Lifetime meets Hollywood: ‘Last Christmas’ has Lifetime movie feels with a Hollywood budget

With Hollywood names such as Emma Thompson, Emilia Clark, Henry Golding and George Michael’s soundtrack, you’d expect a recipe for success, but “Last Christmas” fails to pass the taste test. 

In what was looking like the best Christmas film of the year, “Last Christmas” missed the mark when it comes to balance. Co-written by Emma Thompson, expectations may have been a bit high, but Thompson playing the mom in this film makes up for the lack of balance between the corniness and downright ridiculous optimism.

Kate (Emilia Clark) plays a lost and selfish songbird who doesn’t know what to do with her life after a near death experience. At last she meets Tom (Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding) who begins to make Kate “look up.” Tom is as handsome as he is annoying, constantly reminding Kate to “look up” because that is how you see life and the joy that is supposed to come with it. Kate of course mocks this so-called knowledge, but Tom doesn’t give up on Kate, hoping she will learn to love others and herself more. 

What the film does do a good job of is keeping you interested in what exactly happened to Kate. In trailers you knew she was “sick,” but it was never clear as to what that entailed. At last, the long-awaited illness turned out to be that Kate almost died and needed a new heart. She finally reveals this to Tom after many nights of wandering around looking and/or waiting for him to turn up, as he tended to disappear frequently. 

When it comes to the George Michael music; according to Rolling Stone the title came from Wham’s 1984 hit ‘Last Christmas.’ Thompson was offered to write the script based off this song and there you have it – a film entirely filled with Michael’s music alongside an array of Lifetime movie vibes. 

There is a twist toward the end of the film that not many caught onto and the theatre was given a tearjerker that is still unclear to have either saved the movie or made people more infuriated. When the truth about Tom comes out, you are kind of left pissed off and confused on top of being blindsided. Granted, Kate becomes far more bearable afterward, but it was still a twist that just leaves you with questions like, “Is Kate okay mentally?” and “Please tell me she is receiving help because what the heck?” 

The actors themselves are great and hearing Thompson say inappropriate things in a thick accent is equally as great, but putting them together just didn’t fit. Comparing these performances to the actors’ past ones, such as in “Game of Thrones” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” makes you hate “Last Christmas” as much as you probably hated Joffrey on GOT. 

Whether you enjoyed it or not, the ending was sweet – as sweet as you could make it after the first hour and 20 minutes. The Christmas theme gets you into the spirit of the holidays, but takes away from the spirit of wanting to watch this again when Christmas actually does come around.