The Reviews For 'Last Christmas' Are In – And It's A Festive Treat
Based on the song by Wham!, written by British cinema legend Emma Thompson and starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding and Thompson herself, the movie promises to follow in the snow-dusted footsteps of 2003's box office smash Love Actually.
The good news? It's already racking up gushing reviews from film critics.
Clarke plays Kate, a sofa-surfing young woman who continually makes bad decisions. Think Bridget Jones meets a gingerbread-spiced Fleabag, with a bit of Zooey Deschanel in Elf thrown in.
Kate works in a year-round Christmas store in Covent Garden, dressed as an elf. Drifting from her friends and swerving contact with her worried mother (Thompson), she escapes reality by dreaming of becoming a singer.
Then, a chance encounter with a handsome stranger (Henry Golding) over some Christmas decorations (yep, really) sets Kate on a different path - but not before an unfortunate incident involving some bird poo (there's the Bridget Jones part).
The storyline has the trappings of a Richard Curtis megahit, and reviews are now rolling in. So, what do the critics make of it?
Like the sweetest figgy pudding, Last Christmas has some viewers hungry for more, and others feeling a touch sickly.
Film critic Tom Byrant is firmly in the 'love' camp. "Clarke is perfect as scatty Kate," he wrote. "Michelle Yeoh is flawless as Santa, the owner of the Christmas store Kate works in, and Emma Thompson is Adelia, Kate's mother."
"Both steal the show with their cutting one-liners - particularly Thompson, whose self-penned script fizzes and zips along," he added.
Jordan Julian at The Daily Beast praised the film's offbeat nature. "It's weirder, cheesier, and features a plot twist so insane it might actually be brilliant," she wrote.
"While Last Christmas is unlikely to achieve the holiday classic status of Love Actually, it is a perfectly enjoyable feel-good movie that will satisfy both lovers of Christmas and of sappy tear-jerking romances, nonetheless," she added.
Others weren't so keen. Chief Film Critic at Variety Owen Gleiberman called the movie "twee" and "precious", while the BBC's Nicholas Barber found the plot "contrived" and the script "unfunny".
For die-hard fans of Richard Curtis classics, though, Last Christmas is likely to serve the festive scenes of Christmas romance and lit-up London they are craving.
Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures