Christmas Countdown Day 13: Last Christmas

Emilia Clarke is a bit of a mess. Last year she nearly died from a medical issue, and sort of let her life fall apart this year as a result. Now with the help of her mysterious new friend she’s finally motivated to pull it all together, and maybe have some romance in the process.

Last Christmas is a bit of a waste of time, but not an unpleasant one. I know that description probably should go towards all Christmas movies, but I was actually quite excited to see this one, it looked like a silly romantic adventure. It starts quite fun, but within about ten-minutes it suddenly dawned on me. There’s a big twist, and we called it. This twist is dreadful and actually spoils the entire movie by extension.

I want to stress that this movie is really fun, well acted and has a really cute cast. The leads have good chemistry and Emilia is really funny. She would have been a really good Bridget Jones if they were to do it today, and her supporting family members are all really funny. If you haven’t seen it, and still want to, don’t read any further!

The new fancy man in her life is a ghost. Now that may be hard to picture based on the trailer, because it has absolutely no place being in this movie. In the first scene we are introduced to him, nobody other than our heroine interacts with him in any way, which got me suspicious. When his next appearance had this happen again I decalared it openly for the world to hear.

I thought this must be some sort of Christmas Ghost/Angel scenario, sent to make a bitter little person into someone shiny and new. A few minutes later we completed the puzzle, it was right there in front of us the whole time …

Last Christmas, I Gave You My Heart

George Michael / WHAM! – Last Christmas, 1986

Emilia’s character needed heart surgery last Christmas when she got ill. It suddenly became obvious that this mystery man was the previous owner of her newly-donated heart. We had decided this must be the case within about 30 minutes of the film starting, just because this is the single stupidest and obvious thing they could do. The music of Wham! was a big part of the advertising, but clearly it was the driving force of the script writing as well.

This ruined the movie, because it just means you know she’s going around London kissing an invisible stranger who isn’t there, presumably looking like a lunatic. When the film reveals it, they cut back to loads of scenes where they were together, but with him removed. Things like sitting on benches, or ice skating. But where are the shots of her necking him on a bench, while several passers-by stare in confusement as she’s sat with no one. Let alone when he lets her into his apartment, which she later finds out is on the market since his death. Did she just break in her self and forget? Or did a magic ghost let her in? Is this all psychological feel-goodery, or is this some mystic bollocks?

You’re supposed to be happy with the rest of the movie’s subplots, showing her slowly grow to being a new person, but they just don’t have the time. Half the movie is her pining for him, and then when she finds out he was dead she was over it in two weeks. In a movie like Groundhog Day, the romance is almost secondary, because the real meat of the movie is him learning to be a good person. He has loads of funny scenarios with the people in town and has time to become better for them and himself. Here the romance is primary and the development comes second, so when you remove it you only have a few half baked conversations to fall back on. She didn’t even have another love interest to give it away to the very next day.

A bit of a waste of a good cast. Nice chemistry between the pair, thrown down the drain for the sake of a terrible twist that destroyed any form of good will I had for the project. Tomorrow an animated addition, coming from the strange brain of Hollywood’s greatest hack, Adam Sandler.

Published by James Sumner

Writer, reviewer & journalist. BA: Multimedia Journalism. MA: PR & Digital Comms.

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