Review Round Up: Last Christmas

Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding star in this new festive film featuring the music of George Michael. Here’s what critics have had to say about it….

The Guardian: * “There is some heart-in-the-right-place material about Brexit and bigots on the bus, and Last Christmas arguably deserves points for being one of the very few, or perhaps the only mainstream film to talk about Brexit. But everything about this clunks.”

The Independent: *** “Clarke has spent years frowning and bellowing about dragons; here we finally get to see the person we’re so used to off camera. She’s funny, self-effacing, and in possession of a set of eyebrows so expressive, they deserve their own tiny Academy Award.”

The Times: *** “The idea of Last Christmas didn’t fill this writer with festive warmth. A rom-com cynically based around the music of George Michael and starring Emilia Clarke , whose portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones was a bit, er, limited. The reality of Last Christmas — if reality is the right word for a film that takes a Richard Curtis airbrush to London and locates Alexandra Palace just off the Strand — is rather better.”

The Telegraph: *** “Usually, plot spoilers for new films should be avoided at all costs. But in the case of Last Christmas, the viewing experience might be improved tenfold if an usher handed you the full details on a slip of paper on the way in – because, as things stand, the mystery left hanging in the film’s early scenes proves a chronic distraction throughout.” * 1/2 “There will be fans of this intensely rich Christmas pudding—always a better idea in theory than practice—but you might find you’ve had more than enough after only a couple of bites.”

Rolling Stone: * “It makes sense that Last Christmas isn’t coming out at the end of December but right on the cusp of Thanksgiving. It’s a bona fide holiday-movie turkey.” * “Its visuals are so twinkly and its sentiments are so mushy that some people will see it as a holiday treat. But it’s appropriate that Kate spends half the film wearing elf boots which curl up at the end, because Last Christmas really is toe-curling stuff.” ” Last Christmas has way too much going on to devote adequate time to really filling out the fact that its central family are Balkan refugees. But it is present underneath everything else going on, from the anglicized name that Kate (born Katarina) insists on going by to the cautious half-existences of her parents. The movie suggests that they were derailed by the trauma of war in a way that echoes Kate’s more personal ordeal, and that they’ve felt too scarred by what happened to them to ever really relax into the lives their now very British daughters take for granted.”

Empire: *** “While stretching the credulity and credibility of Kate’s story – both the twists and turns within her own dysfunctional family and her burgeoning romantic relationship – Last Christmas still strains to be more than just a festive romcom. It takes in the painful consequences of Brexit, the reality of homelessness, the fear of the refugee community, the crippling trauma of illness and the increasingly fragile bonds of family. Some are handled more effectively than others – the homeless characters are often just two-dimensional props to a struggling plot – but the push for social relevance within what could simply be a sickly-sweet construct is admirable.”

Den of Geek: ** “The sad truth is that Last Christmas fails as a romcom, as social commentary and as a showcase for its impressive collection of talent, even if it still just about passes as a Christmas movie. There are a lot of fun ideas and novel elements to be found in throwaway gags or in moments inbetween the main thrust of the movie and, for the forgiving viewer, that might be enough.”

The Sun: *** “Director Paul Feig doesn’t get off scott free either.For a man who built his career on the incredible Bridesmaids and even with last year’s A Simple Favour, what’s missing here is any form of sass and bite. It’s all painfully polite.”

The Mirror: ***** “London, too, is heart and centre of the film, with all the capital’s sights never looking more beautiful in the Christmas lights.”

Metro: ** “Watching Last Christmas, sadly, is like being seduced by a turkey Christmas dinner lathered with all the trimmings, and being served up a heap of mouldy sprouts instead.”

Daily Express: *** “No spoilers, but the contemporary take repositions Kate from being the damsel in distress who’s ‘saved’ by the arrival of her true love and makes her her own saviour.Positive messages everywhere.”

Last Christmas is out in cinemas now.

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