Set in London during the first Christmas season after the Brexit referendum, Last Christmas is a musical holiday movie loosely plotted around the George Michael hit of the same name.
Kate/Katarina (Emilia Clarke) is a 20-something aspiring actress whose life is a hot mess. Struggling to recover from a serious health scare, Kate’s flakiness and klutzy behavior test the patience of friends and family members. Kate’s attempts to land an acting role fall short, forcing her to maintain her “elf” position at a year-round Christmas shop run by a bossy, sharp-tongued Santa (Michelle Yeoh).
Amid this angst, handsome and mysterious Tom (Henry Golding) walks into Kate’s life.
At first reticent, Kate opens up to Tom. She enjoys their “dates,” a series of unique excursions, among them a secret garden walk and an ice-skating lesson. Tom encourages Kate to always “look up” and catch the little bits of magic. He also introduces Kate to a nearby soup kitchen, populated by an eccentric group of street folk.
When Kate starts volunteering at the local shelter, she experiences a shift of perspective and returns to her family home. Not much has changed on the home front. Her mother (Emma Thompson) bemoans her circumstances while her father (Boris Isakovic) maintains as much distance as possible from his wife.
Kate’s parents have struggled financially and culturally since fleeing the war in Yugoslavia. Watching the Brexit news further alarms Kate’s mother, who is convinced they will be forced to leave England.
Imagining herself in love with Tom, Kate becomes frustrated when he starts to take distance. Spoiler alert: Prepare for a twist in the narrative.
A delightful holiday movie that skillfully combines romantic comedy, fantasy, excellent performances, and the music of George Michael.