Last Christmas Movie Review
It should be a crime to release a Christmas movie, even if on Blu-ray, after the holidays. Then again, it should be a crime to make Last Christmas, a movie that is mediocre through and through until its twist ending lurches it into true awfulness.
For a movie about a woman who wears an elf outfit at the year-round Christmas store she works—set during Christmas time—Last Christmas is surprisingly lacking in Christmas cheer. This fact becomes glaringly obvious when, during the film’s final scenes (which explain the cringeworthy reason for the film’s title), Emilia Clarke breaks into song and you realize that up until this point you had totally forgotten it was a Christmas movie.
But that’s not the film’s biggest crime.
Last Christmas attempts to be endearing, even romantic, by bringing Clarke and Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding together. Golding’s character proves elusive, however, despite having a thing for Daenerys. Is he playing hard to get, or is it something else? Either way, the movie pivots around the chemistry between the two actors—around their romantic potential—despite, you know, the two having nearly no chemistry with one another.
Bu that’s not the film’s biggest crime.
The twist ending—easily one of the worst twist endings in the history of worst twist endings, is Last Christmas’ biggest crime. Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) didn’t write the damn thing, but he executed on it, a hired assassin ready to destroy your Christmas spirit once and for al. It’s not just that the twist ending is bad—it’s that it makes no sense, that it upends the entire movie in nonsensical ways, and that it instantly makes the entire production worse in the moment it all becomes obvious.
It’s a shame, because Last Christmas actually wastes Emilia Clarke’s one good non-Game of Thrones performance. She’s a good fit for the role, and she elevates the bland material around her. Feig has always been good at writing female characters, and he taps into a side of Clarke’s talent we haven’t seen before.
But one good performance doesn’t save what is ultimately an ugly movie. It’s not funny, it’s not romantic, and it’s not particularly entertaining. And yet it’s not offensively awful (until it is), which makes it the worst kind of bad movie: utterly mediocre.
Maybe that’s why Feig and crew attempt to pull a fast one on us… It’s the only reason Last Christmas will ever be remembered.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.