Review: Last Christmas is worth the watch

Last Christmas is a must-see for the holiday season.


A promotional poster for Last Christmas.

Anna Woodward, Online Managing Editor

The holidays have always been one of my favorite times of the year, and nothing perfects a chilly (by Florida’s standards) day like watching a Christmas movie. Last Christmas, which came out on Nov. 8, looked like the perfect way to get in the holiday mood. Not only did the plot look heartwarming, but the movie starred Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, both whom I loved in Me Before You and Crazy Rich Asians. The film was also based off of the Wham! song of the same name, which I thought was a really cool idea.

Last Christmas takes place in London in 2017. It follows Kate (played by Clarke), a young woman trying to succeed as a singer while making a living–which she does in a Christmas-themed shop dressed as an elf. As Kate deals with the aftermath of a life-changing event, she meets the mysterious Tom (played by Golding), who gives her a new perspective on life in addition to romance.

There isn’t much I can say without spoiling the movie, but I can say that there was a plot twist that shocked me. I felt like the whole tone of the movie immediately shifted, but the film still ended on a relieving and heartwarming high note. It may have broke me and almost brought me to tears, but it was well-executed and necessary to make Last Christmas stand out the way it did.

Something that I really liked about Last Christmas is how relevant it was. In the film, we see how characters react to Brexit, homelessness and a number of other problems. However, these problems didn’t weigh down the characters. I didn’t feel overwhelmed or as if the movie was becoming a drama urging to make a statement instead of a story between two people. Frankly, I appreciated that and Last Christmas created a perfect balance between being realistic and being whimsical.

One of my favorite things about Last Christmas was Kate. She started the film as a sad person who felt lost and was able to turn that around gracefully. Clarke did an amazing job portraying her. Usually, I wouldn’t be able to stand a character like Kate who can’t seem to be realistic or make rational decisions, but Clarke brought her to life with sympathy and sincerity.

Golding also did a great job portraying Tom. The only major thing I have seen him in besides Last Christmas was Crazy Rich Asians, so I was skeptical to see how he would compare to Nick Young of the latter movie. There’s some actors who, once you see them in a such a lovable role, you can’t see as anyone else. Golding eliminated this concern. He was just as lovable and when I watching him, I saw him as Tom, not Nick. Despite both being love interests with traits in common, Golding was able to make Tom unique.

Another thing that stood out was the length of Last Christmas. Despite only being an hour and 43 minutes long, there was enough time to cover lots of subjects and events without seeming rushed.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this movie. It was interesting and touching and I can see myself watching it again with hot chocolate and Christmas cookies in hand. I won’t ever be able to listen to “Last Christmas” by Wham! the same way again, but it was worth it.