An Attractive Package (Reviews)

Deepa Gahlot
Friday, 8 November 2019

Last Christmas
Language: English
Director: Paul Feig
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Emma Thompson and others
Showing at: Cinepolis, CityPride, E-Square Carnival, Inox, PVR and others 
Rating: * * *

This one comes a little early, before all the conveyor belt, feel-good romcoms and family melodramas land in December, in time for the holiday season. Paul Feig’s Last Christmas is perhaps just what the season and George Michael’s songs ordered. At least in the movies, everyone should feel happy and loved.

Kate (Emilia Clarke) is another version of Fleabag, selfish, unpleasant and borderline self-destructive — the kind of young woman who had casual sex with strangers and gets drunk alone. Her Croatian refugee mother (Emma Thompson, who also co-wrote the script with Greg Wise and Bryony Kimmings) is overbearing, but also worried about her daughter’s health. Her boss Santa (Michelle Yeoh), who runs year-round holiday store, with glittery, tacky merchandise, has her joyous moments.

When Kate’s (who works as an elf and dresses as one) troubles pile up, it is a matter of time that she runs into Tom (Henry Golding), who is the charming male designated to straighten up Kate, give her hope and make her believe in goodness.

With a cast like this, even a half-hearted and half-baked movie is watchable. It is so formulaic that the twists can be predicted. But when it’s the season to be jolly, the audience can appreciate all the heavy-lifting the cast (that deserves better) does to make the film sparkle a little.

London is lit up and looks beautifully magical, just the kind of landscape where romance could happen — never mind the troubles an enforced Christmas cheer hides. The wrapping of the gift package is shiny enough to be pleasing. 

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