LAST CHRISTMAS Review — At Least the Cast is Pretty

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Last Christmas review — Swinging for the Love Actually fences and missing. 

Last Christmas reviewThis film has an impeccable pedigree — co-written by the divine Emma Thompson, who also has a small role, and directed by rom com impressario Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Knocked Up, A Simple Favor). Then there’s the fact that it stars the outrageously gorgeous and watchable Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians). How can you go wrong?

How indeed. Instead of skipping merrily into the holidays, it awkwardly trips over its own twinkle toes. Burdened by a silly, transparent plot and an overall feeling of trying too hard, we’re left with a pretty movie about pretty people that never really goes anywhere.

About the title; yes, it’s a reference to the George Michael song. The plot is actually based on it, with an all too literal take on the “I gave you my heart” lyrics.

Throughout Last Christmas, various George Michael songs swell as the ever elf-outfitted Kate (Clarke) scampers up and down the wildly festooned staircase of a year-round Christmas shop in London, run by “Santa” (the fabulous Michelle Yeoh). The bizarrely garish and absurd decorations are good for some of the heartiest laughs. Who isn’t amused by a bright orange Christmas gibbon?

Intrigue supposedly develops when Kate meets an all-too-perfect stranger (Golding) who is great at teaching her new things and invaluable life lessons, but is not too dependable. What’s with this guy? Is he married? A criminal? On dialysis? A stripper? Less than halfway through the film, my 11-year-old film critic companion Winston figured it out.

If you were hoping for a new Christmas classic, keep shopping. But if you’re willing to settle for a pretty package with nothing much inside, this could be just what you’re looking for.

If, after reading this Last Christmas review you’re interesting in skating over to see it, find times and tickets at Fandango.com.

Rated PG 13

1 Hour 42 Minutes

Last Christmas review — Swinging for the Love Actually fences and missing. 

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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