By Elizabeth Scalzo
“Last Christmas” was anticipated to be the feel-good holiday movie that everyone needed this year, but the story throws the audience for a loop and leaves people confused. The story, written by actress/screenwriter Emma Thompson and Greg Wise (married and of “Sense & Sensibility” fame) and directed by Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”), follows a woman named Kate (Emilia Clarke of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”) as she battles through what seems to be the worst year of her life. Kate bounces among her friends’ homes to have a place to stay to avoid her mother who is overprotective because of Kate’s illness.
It’s revealed early on that Kate is a singer trying to make it big but works in a Christmas shop as an elf owned by a woman (Michelle Yeoh) who calls herself Santa.
Kate manages to continuously make mistakes in her personal life, like forgetting to lock up the shop she works in and it being destroyed along with her estranged relationships among her friends and family.
Then she meets Tom (Henry Golding) who tries to teach her to look at the little things in life and to always “look up” so she will notice things she never saw before. Tom is a bit strange as he disappears on Kate for days at a time, but she finally is able to open up to him and tells him about the heart transplant she had the Christmas before.
After revealing her health issue, Kate does not see Tom for a few days. When they’re reunited, they argue about her being dependent on him. Later, she goes through a mental montage of fixing her relationships with her friends, raising money for a homeless shelter by singing, and taking better care of her heart.
And an uneven plot twist involving Tom leaves a lot of questions for the audience, along with several plot holes aren’t filled.
For example, Kate goes with Tom to his apartment and that’s how she knew where to try and find him, but, say, if Tom was just her imagination, then how did she ever get into the apartment? Or was he? The audience never gets the answer.
The trailer makes the movie seem like a love story, but it’s really a story about a young woman turning her life around and finding her own way to be happy and healthy while being single. Female empowerment is a large topic on the big screen this year, and “Last Christmas” follows through with the theme of singlehood.
Although “Last Christmas” does not follow the traditional happy-ending, the holiday movie manages to give the audience an upbeat and spirited holiday story.
Tom (Henry Golding) always tells Kate (Emilia Clarke) to look up.