By Maddy Turner
I must say, I did not have super high expectations of ‘Last Christmas,’ when I walked into the cinema with my three friends, sat down and started sipping on my Matcha Chatime. I was invited kinda last minute, had to drive through peak hour traffic and I was honestly wondering if all of this was worth it for an hour and a half, probably cliche Christmas movie. Especially because it’s only the middle of November, and there’s still over a month before Christmas which is, in my opinion, way too early for Christmas music, decorations and movies (just call me a Grinch). I was however, pleasantly surprised with this move, and here’s why (no spoilers – they’ve been leaked enough on twitter as it is).
First of all, the characters and the acting combined created the perfect concoction of relatability and humour. I can confidently say that every single one of the actors and actresses were cast perfectly for their individual roles, which resulted in well fleshed-out and detailed characters. Within my group of friends, we could all say by the end of the movie that we could relate to some extent – I personally related hard to Emilia Clarke’s character ‘Kate’ who was just a mess, so that tells you something about me (also Emilia is literally one of the best people to ever exist, so I might be a little bias). Now, something I was very aware of going into the movie was that there were many, many famous actors and actresses in this film (Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson, Michelle Yeoh, etc). Something a lot of movies fall prey to is casting too many well-known people and then disregarding the script to give equal screen-time to each person (it’s happened in “Love, Actually,” “Valentines Day,” and many more). This movie however has managed to elude that trap and personally I felt they gave each actor ample screen-time to ensure they had their moments, but the story remained solidly intact.
This film did not feel overwhelmingly like a Christmas movie, which is quite frankly a hard manoeuvre to pull off well. Instead of focussing the plot about a girl who falls in love with a mysterious man and ends up kissing him under the mistletoe with a happily ever after, the movie focuses itself on the mental growth of a girl who has been through something very traumatic experience and whose life is a mess. We get to watch as she grows as a person and improves her life and ambitions from wanting to be famous, to helping out in a homeless facility. Honestly, the only real “Christmas” aspect of the story is that she was very sick the previous Christmas, and works in a Christmas store as an elf – also her boss (Michelle Yeoh) calls herself Santa… so there’s that too.
Honestly, my only complaint about the movie was that is was released in November instead of December, but that’s the fault of the marketing team not the film itself. It’s seriously worth a watch, and it’s not just your average Christmas movie – but I would advise you to bring tissues with you…just in case