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Last Christmas Movie Review - Cool Leads in Feel-Good Romance

Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding provide holiday cheer with a twist.

Reviewed by on Nov 08, 2019
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews the holiday romance movie Last Christmas. It’s a mix of sad and glad with a top notch cast but has a supernatural twist that is easily guessed.

In Last Christmas, Kate (Emilia Clarke) is an unhappy 20-something Londoner who makes bad decisions in her career and personal life that keep her near homeless. Her job as a “cheery” elf in a year-round Christmas shop doesn’t help.

Tom comes into Kate's lifeTom comes into Kate's lifeCourtesy of Universal Studios

When cute Tom (Henry Golding), seemingly a bike messenger, pushes his way into her life, he starts to break through her barriers and cheer her up until she reconciles with her dysfunctional family and thinks she and Tom have a future. All is, however, not as it seems. Is this couple headed for heartache?

Last Christmas Trailer


A Bummer Life

After seeing that Kate, as a teen, was a promising singer in a choir, we find her in 2017 London drinking too much in a bar and playing the song she sang as a kid over and over again on the juke box. She drags a rolling suitcase with her and spends the night with random guys and friends until they throw her out. She takes a job as a salesgirl/elf in a year-round Christmas shop run by “Santa”, an Asian woman (Michelle Yeoh) who is always on her case. Her successful lawyer sister Marta (Lydia Leonard) tells her to call her mom. Kate has missed several doctor’s appointments.

Homeless, Kate drags her suitcase to workHomeless, Kate drags her suitcase to workCourtesy of Universal Studios

Enter Tom

A cute, well-dressed guy keeps staring through the shop window. Kate notices and he keeps asking her out. She thinks he is cute but weird, maybe a stalker? When a singing audition tanks, he is there to cheer Kate up. He is as bubbly as she is depressed. He shows her a tiny hidden park and seems to know about the people sitting there. Kate helps “Santa” get a date with a man who obviously likes her but Kate has been kicked out of a friend’s apartment and is again homeless. She doesn’t want to go back to live with her parents but finally has to.

Sad Kate first sees Tom outside the shopSad Kate first sees Tom outside the shopCourtesy of Universal Studios

Overbearing Mom

Kate’s old-country Yugoslavian mom Petra (Emma Thompson) cuddles and sings to her while putting her down for ruining her life. They go to Kate’s doctor who says her heart is delicate and she must eat better, quit drinking and stop being so angry.

Kate's mom takes her to the doctorKate's mom takes her to the doctorCourtesy of Universal Studios

Tom shows up again and takes Kate ice skating since she has an audition for “Frozen” on Ice. She can’t skate. They are there after hours and have to run away on skates when discovered. She doesn’t get the “Frozen” part and Tom seems to disappear from her life. When looking for him, she meets people who run the homeless shelter where he volunteered. When she becomes depressed again, Tom is suddenly there. He takes her to his small but neat apartment.

Falling in love at the skating rinkFalling in love at the skating rinkCourtesy of Universal Studios

Kate Tells All

While relaxing with Tom, Kate tells him she had a heart transplant and hasn’t felt whole or “herself” since then, half dead even. He tucks her in and they kiss but they don’t spend the night together. She is falling hard for him and is happier the next day and, as it is holiday-time, Kate decides to sing Christmas carols for donations outside the homeless shelter. She gives the few coins to the guys who run it. Some of the homeless join in and, gradually, some donations grow. Finally Tom shows up but says she shouldn’t get attached to him. He can’t always be there for her.

Tom cares but won't commit to KateTom cares but won't commit to KateCourtesy of Universal Studios

Tired of a Semi-Relationship

Very sadly realizing that Tom won’t commit to their relationship, Kate has to walk away but he has changed her. She apologizes for being mean to her sister, helps her parents accept Marta’s gay relationship, spends time having fun with her mom, stops meeting guys in bars and decides to create a holiday show at the shelter to make money for it. Tom has made her a better person and she goes to his place to tell him but he is not living there. The real estate agent inside tells her nobody has lived there for a long time.

Kate's life is looking up since she met TomKate's life is looking up since she met TomCourtesy of Universal Studios

The Mystery

Is Tom who he says he is? Will Kate ever see him again? Can she go on with her improved life without him or will she fall back into despair? 

Tom keeps coming to Kate's jobTom keeps coming to Kate's jobCourtesy of Universal Studios

Wrapping Up

Last Christmas is a sweet, funny and romantic movie with a great cast. You will probably guess the twist which takes a long time to reveal but the lesson to be glad you are alive and to change a sulking, glum, “I hate everything” personality is a worthy one.

Director Paul Feig, Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding at the premiere of Last ChristmasThe Director, Emilia and Henry at the premiereCourtesy of Universal Studios

Emilia Clarke gets a chance to be funny; a far cry from her role as the stern, even scary Danerys in “Game of Thrones” and the girl can sing. She has fun with the title song that was written by ‘80’s idol George Michael and performed by English pop duo Wham!

Kate decides to sing for donations to the shelterKate decides to sing for donations to the shelterCourtesy of Universal Studios

Clarke and Henry Golding make a nice romantic couple and you do feel some chemistry. Emma Thompson who has starred in a ton of movies, does a great job as Kate’s old-country mom and Michelle Yeoh, the stern mom in Crazy Rich Asians, has fun as a Christmas shopkeeper who hides her sweet, caring side for some of the film.

Kate helps boss Santa get ready for her dateKate helps boss Santa get ready for her dateCourtesy of Universal Studios

Last Christmas is a feel good holiday romance that is uplifting with a few sad touches. It would make a fine date movie or a trip to the Cineplex with your besties. There are a few slow sections and, if it weren’t for the excellent actors, it could be a Hallmark or Lifetime romance movie on TV but we can rate it three stars.

Last Christmas Movie Rating: 3

Last Christmas Movie PosterCourtesy of Universal Studios

See Last Christmas in theaters now.

Do You Like Christmas Romance Films?

Are you into Emilia Clarke or Henry Golding (of Crazy Rich Asians)? Do you get all warm and fuzzy on seeing a holiday-time romance or does that sort of film seem just too “sweetsy” for you? Let everyone know with a comment!


By: Lynn Barker