Last Christmas movie review: A Christmas comedy full of heart

Emilia Clarke as Kate in "Last Christmas," directed by Paul Feig. -- Photo credit: Universal Pictures
Emilia Clarke as Kate in "Last Christmas," directed by Paul Feig. -- Photo credit: Universal Pictures /

Last Christmas, the new Christmas romantic-comedy starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, is a heartfelt movie full of Holiday spirit. Check out our (spoiler-free) review.

Halloween has barely passed, but Christmas preparations have already begun! And what says Christmas more than a Christmas movie? Last Christmas starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson, and Michelle Yeoh is the newest Christmas movie set to become a holiday classic.

Taking inspiration from the George Michael song of the same name, Last Christmas follows Emilia Clarke’s character Kate as she navigates Christmas time in London. As seen in the trailers, Kate became very ill some time ago and though physically she’s seemingly recovering, emotionally she’s still a bit of a mess.

Kate works as a helper elf in a Christmas shop under her stern boss (played by Michelle Yeoh). Kate’s family believes she’s throwing her life away and Kate herself no longer seems to be invested in her job, or much else at all really. She drinks too much, is sleeping around, and has ruined practically all of her friendships.

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Kate’s life seems to be in a downward spiral ever since her illness and she just can’t seem to get back to normal. That is, until she meets Tom, played by the charming Henry Golding. He comes into her life just when she needs him.

Rom-com hijinks and cuteness ensue, of course, as Kate and Tom get to know each other and spend more time together. There are nighttime walks, ice skating rinks, deep conversations, mystery, and everything else you want from a cute rom-com romance.

Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding sparkle off the screen, their chemistry is fantastic and it doesn’t hurt that both of them are extremely beautiful people. Plus, they’re both just so likable! Kate is a bit of a mess, but you still root for her. And Tom is the perfect gentleman and leading man. Together they have a wonderful dynamic.

While the relationship between Kate and Tom is the heart of the story, there is more to it than that. Kate’s relationship with her friends and family is also a major factor in the movie. And though it can be classified as a rom-com, it almost feels more like a dramedy. There are plenty of laughs to be had (and actually it could have used a few more, if I’m being honest), but there is also some real drama and heart to the movie.

Emilia Clarke as Kate in “Last Christmas,” directed by Paul Feig. — Photo credit: Universal Pictures
Emilia Clarke as Kate in “Last Christmas,” directed by Paul Feig. — Photo credit: Universal Pictures /

The movie tackles serious topics very much relevant to our world today. Things like illness, immigration, modern dating, and our tendency to rely on technology while ignoring the outside world. So, unlike many rom-coms, the movie does have real messages and stories it’s trying to tell. At times, Last Christmas doesn’t feel like a holiday film, but it tackles all other topics in-between laughs, which makes it still enjoyable to watch.

The backdrop of London at Christmas definitely does add to the Christmas feel, having it set there was a brilliant choice. As a huge anglophile myself, the beautiful shots of the city were very much appreciated.

All in all it is a sweet Christmas movie with a lot of heart, but it really only works because of the stellar performances of the cast who each play their parts to perfection. Emilia Clarke as the young woman who is still trying to figure out her life, Henry Golding as a modern Prince Charming, Emma Thompson as Kate’s put-upon mother, and Michelle Yeoh as the stern shopkeeper, all come together to bring this movie to life in a way that it wouldn’t with other actors playing the roles.

The movie even has a sort of twist at the end, but don’t worry I won’t be spoiling it because everyone should be able to experience the movie the way it was meant to be experienced! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel a million different emotions and come out loving the cast even more than before. And honestly who are we kidding, the reason half of you will go see this movie is purely because of its majorly talented cast.

Next. See Emilia Clarke & Henry Golding in Last Christmas trailer. dark

My one caveat is that I wish there had been even more Christmas (I’m a glutton for Christmas movies) and more laughs to balance out the drama. But if you love any of the cast, if you love London, or if you just love Christmas movies and rom-coms then you’ll enjoy Last Christmas.

Last Christmas will arrive in theaters Nov. 8, 2019.