You bet your butt I’ve been waiting for a new Christmas film!
Yeah, yeah, I could add something like Avengers: EndGame to my Christmas viewing list, but a movie that actually REFERENCES the time of year is the chef’s kiss.
Love Actually stands tall as the numero uno, and maybe so does Die Hard. You could also put in the likes of Home Alone, The Santa Clause and more, but I craved something new.
And so Emma Thompson of Love Actually fame (and again, much, much more) decided she would take on this challenge!
By getting an idea from WHAM!‘s ‘Last Christmas’…
A young woman, who has been continuously unlucky, accepts a job as a department store elf during the holidays. When Kate meets Tom on the job, her life takes a turn.
Honestly, it kind of feels like a creative reversal with Last Christmas. I’ve always thought the typical kind-of creative inception for artistes has been film inspiring music.
But in this case, you can imagine Thompson sitting at home, drinking some kind of fine-a$$ beverage because she’s a fine-a$$ lady, and listening to ‘Last Christmas‘ and thinking:
“Damn…that’d be a good film”.
Collaborating with Greg Wise and Bryony Kimmings on writing and screenplay, with Thompson getting cast in the film herself; Paul Feig steps in as Director to deliver this new Christmas rom-com of hers that fills another hole in the advent calendar of yuletide viewing.
Emilia Clarke plays the down-and-out Kate, because she’s not really down-and-out as she’s more affected by some sh*tty traumatic events. Said trauma leads to her noticing the overly-enthusiastic, very happy and goddamned charming Tom, played by Henry Golding.
They come together as George Michael serenades in the background, with a rom-com filled with typical fare. It’s not revolutionary stuff and very much follows the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, but you’re goddamned right I don’t care about that!
Relying on the partnership of Clarke and Golding to deliver the romance, they execute it very well and very cutely, but really I just think Golding can make anyone love him. And yes, the mystery of Tom from the trailer is in the film; But it’s kind of fun, kind of playful, and kind of obvious but exciting enough to keep you intrigued.
Clarke’s turn as Kate, this broken human who finds their Christmas spirit in the world of Brexit, is heartwarming as hell, especially with her family in the mix; But boy…BOY…you just want those 2 kids to kiss.
Standout of the film, and maybe just in general, is Michelle Yeoh as Santa. Don’t worry, that gets explained, but this change of cinematic direction for Yeoh fits her like a glove, and bless Crazy Rich Asians for delivering her unto us in this new light.
I say go into this film with the Christmas Spirit; A little hopeful, a little open-minded and the willingness to keep looking up.
"Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away
This year, to save me from tears.."
...some reviewers will probably just see all the formulaic stuff, but I just had a bloody fun time in a cheeky film about Christmas and cute people falling in love and that's just nice, you know?