Last Christmas movie review An okay not-quite rom-com

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Kate (Emilia Clarke) harumphs around London, a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes, another irritating outcome from her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. Her mom (Thompson) frets about Kate's health and tends to say the wrong thing, Kate's sister Marta (Lydia Leonard) is brimming with sibling resentment, and Dad (Boris Isakovic) spends so much time as a cab driver that he nearly never sees anybody. Tom encourages Kate to look up, metaphorically and physically, but the first time she does so a bird poops directly in her eye. She works at that Christmas shop owned by Santa (Michelle Yeoh, who is not at all the picture of what that name typically conjures, but go with it), a gaudy, tacky place that manages to keep the lights on by selling the silliest holiday junk one can imagine.

With Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke and Crazy Rich Asians' Henry Golding as lead co-stars, Last Christmas seemed like it would be a sure-fire hit. Kate's mother Petra (Emma Thompson), however, is fully immersed in the old ways: she sings dreary folks songs and seems genuinely perplexed when a doctor suggests she reconnect with friends: "All my friends are dead", she announces. Her devotion to the late, great GM established, we fast-forward to grown-up Kate.

I also chuckled when Kate, who yearns to be a singer but is working as an elf at a store, says something morbid to Tom.

Sold as a being built around the music of George Michael and Wham! - which it decidedly is not - Last Christmas delivers pretty much everything a rom-com connoisseur could desire. Her courting everyday living is a sequence of one particular-evening-stands that stop in disaster, and she's scarcely clinging to a menial retail task at a vacation boutique that specializes in really horrifying Christmas-themed novelties. She's recovering from a near-death experience, she tells Tom, and she hasn't felt like her sunny self since she "came back". Though "Last Christmas" is marketed as a romantic comedy, there's little romance to be found; it's hard to buy into Kate and Tom's chemistry when Golding's character reads more as a walking, talking self-help manual than an actual human being. Then when Emma Thompson heard the new track, "This Is How (We Want You To Get High)", she instantly knew it had to be part of Last Christmas.

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Even while being pursued by Bobby Brown in 1989, Crawford writes, "She was more interested in Eddie Murphy , but he was elusive". Robyn explains Whitney told her they had to stop seeing each other, as she felt it would sink her music career.

If you want to check out the twist for yourself, Last Christmas hits theaters November 8. "Last Christmas" is about as buoyant as leftover eggnog.

Last Christmas feels like Thompson and Feig playing a tug-of-war, the creative power flipping from one to the other so that, at any given moment, it's possible to tell whose turn it is and who's in the driving seat. It would make a fine date movie or a trip to the Cineplex with your besties. I'm one of the few critics that gave a good review to The Holiday (Jack Black, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet).

However, a chance encounter with a charming (and gorgeous) stranger Tom (Henry Golding), begins to shift her perspective slowly. It may not satisfy as a romance, but it's got all the Christmas decorations you'll need to see for the season.

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