‘Last Christmas’ is, bizarrely, based on the song, wait for it… ‘Last Christmas’ and has been compared to the renowned ‘Love Actually’. However, having never seen ‘Love Actually’, I had no idea what this meant, until now. I can tell you it’s probably a mixture of cheesy romance, at least one clumsy character and an unrealistic view on both Christmas and love.
Despite this horrific and squeamish account of the general gist of these films, I found I really enjoyed ‘Last Christmas’, after all ’tis the season for gooey hearts and tacky storylines. Although its plot is quite far-fetched and the characters unrelatable (to a degree), it oozes charm and joy. Its essence of cheap humour, its celebration of what it means to be human, and what Christmas means in today’s society places it firmly in the modern day and will remain a classic for years to come.
The plot follows Kate, a Yugoslavian woman played by Emilia Clarke, who works in a Christmas shop, and yes, whose boss is Santa (watch the film to get what I mean). The fact that she and her family are Yugoslavian is quite significant because the film loosely touches on issues of racism, which feeds into the ending that celebrates community and everybody around you, not just the people close to you.
Kate meets a man named Tom and, to keep it brief: he dances around London, showing her hidden spots and only shows up when he wants to because he no longer uses his phone. Halfway through the film Kate tells him that she was ill and had a heart transplant. From here we see Kate finally begin to rebuild her life; she starts singing (a forgotten passion) outside the homeless shelter to raise them money, and organises a small concert to raise even more. She slowly begins to realise what it means to live again and to enjoy Christmas, all the while George Michael singing his little heart out. The most surprising part of this film is that you don’t see the ending coming. There is a huge twist that, although a little unbelievable, links beautifully with the lyrics of the iconic wintertime Wham! hit, and with the story as a whole.
Overall, the film ‘Last Christmas’ is clumsy, cheesy and quirky. But its portrayal of real issues and the overall message of learning to love and care for everybody is perfect for this time of year. Not to mention it’s quite funny, even if the jokes are poor.