LAST CHRISTMAS (2019) movie review in haiku

Emilia Clarke as Kate in “Last Christmas,” directed by Paul Feig.

Christmas tragedy
George Michael soundtrack better
Than sloppy story

or maybe…

Game of thrones girl
Takes skating lessons from a ghost
Wretched waste of time

Tragic match up when lyrics tell the plot too literally and you are left wondering why you ever sort of liked that holiday ditty.

Amilia Clarke tries to save herself by making a long stream of bad, lazy, selfish choices. After burning every bridge with friends, she’s just an anxious, emotional, down-and-out, clumsy girl in London who immigrated there and is now trying to make it as a singer while working days at a Christmas shop that National Lampoons would consider way over the top and gaudy.

It’s not actually about Christmas; she just works at a shop and sings Christmas songs. They skate and decorate a tree and it snows and the business is struggling. Even the store owner is called Santa. Almost the Hallmark recipe, except at least with Hallmark you get a likable plot that isn’t totally dependent on matching George Michael lyrics to scenes. Even Yesterday (2019) didn’t force the Beatles numbers to take over the plot.

She complains constantly about her parents, who she paints as devils. She seems forced to choose between homelessness or going home with any guy who will pick her up for the night, until her very gracious father picks her up in his cab and drives her home to her sweet, attentive, worried mother, Emma Thompson, who attempts a sad Yugoslavian accent. Their delightful demeanors  make her consistently less likable. One day she meets Tom, the well-dressed, calm, charity worker who can’t get enough of her. He’s just that hot, free therapist running after the troubled needy girl who is dressed as an elf for the duration. Of course.  An ever-present, friendly, helpful, best friend who pursues steadily and graciously, but isn’t a stalker? Too good to be true. Too good to be alive. True. He’s dead, and last Christmas he literally GAVE HER HIS HEART! I want to spoil it…to save you the trouble.  

Some may say it’s so bad it’s good, like an accident you can’t quite look away from. It’s sad when sloppy, sappy storytelling wins because it’s covered in Christmas wrapping.

Grade: D+

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