Julia Cox ’23
Feeling down? Struggling to find a good job? Don’t fret — just get a boyfriend!
Just in time for the end of cuffing season, “Last Christmas” is here to remind us that finding a cute boy will make us not only happier but also better people. Besides this overwhelmingly problematic suggestion, the storyline was unrealistic and not heartwarming enough for a successful holiday film. Full of cheesy and predictable moments, “Last Christmas” is at best mildly entertaining and at worst unbearably idyllic and disappointing.
The movie follows an aspiring singer recovering from a semi-recent surgery, Kate (Emilia Clarke), who meets a happy-go-lucky yet mysterious man named Tom (Henry Goulding). As Kate and Tom grow closer, she begins to see the world through a different, more positive lens. Taut with familial drama and the tension caused by Kate’s family’s fear of deportation, “Last Christmas” does have a few deeper elements but overall fails to produce any sort of meaningful message. The role of Tom as Kate’s savior is one I’m sick of, and the plot is unrealistic and fails to invoke any meaningful emotions. If anything, the one partially redeeming moment is the shocking plot twist near the end of the film. Trust me, don’t look this one up: the reveal will most likely be the best part of the film. It’s a bit silly, but nevertheless it’s an exciting moment for viewers.
Though the idea of “Last Christmas” was indeed unique from other holiday movies, the plot still lacked creativity. While basing the story of “Last Christmas” on Wham!’s hit of the same name seems interesting at first, the idea quickly fell flat. More of a childish idea than a realistic premise for a movie, I believe that the storyline should have been rewritten immediately upon first review. Even a read-through of the song’s lyrics should have demonstrated how impossible it would be to successfully adapt it for the screen. As a result of this poor writing, the plot was senseless, cliche, and doomed the movie from the beginning.
What most excited me about watching “Last Christmas” was the feature of George Michael’s music. I’m a huge fan of his, and I was excited to watch a holiday rom-com with a great soundtrack. Though the film did integrate songs such as “One More Try” and “Freedom! ’90” well, at other times the music didn’t seem to fit the tone or storyline of the movie. Overall, the addition of Michael’s music felt forced. While I’m always happy to listen to Michael’s music, the integration of his work into the film should have been more thought out.
I admittedly had low expectations for “Last Christmas,” but what could have been a pleasant feel-good film was corny and mostly predictable, albeit with one plot twist you won’t see coming. The lows of the movie felt inauthentic while the highs were cheesy and meaningless. Though Clarke and Goulding are talented, it wasn’t enough to save a sloppy plot. It would have been refreshing to have Kate pull her life together on her own, but unfortunately the movie mandates that a man rescues her from her problems.