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"Last Christmas"

 

December 12, 2019



Romantic comedies are popular around the holidays, especially on TV and I’m one of those guys who can happily ignore most of them. But for the big screen this season, Emma Thompson herself has helped pen a new take on the old formula: “Last Christmas,” Starring Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”) and Henry Golding (“Crazy Rich Asians”) as the erstwhile lovers.

Kate (Clarke), a wannabe singer, works as an elf in a Christmas gift shop run by a woman who goes by the name “Santa” (Michelle Yeoh, “Crazy Rich Asians”). Kate is detached from her native Yugoslavian family and, with a bit of an attitude, keeps screwing up at work and in her personal life. One day she meets a guy named Tom Webster, who seems too good to be true. Between her friendship with Tom, and her ups and downs with family, Kate finds an unexpected opportunity, which ends up changing everything.

The title of the film–and its apparent inspiration–comes from George Michael’s 1984 pop hit by the same name. (He and Andrew Ridgeley performed it as “Wham!”)

The thing about romantic comedies, apart from being too frequently formulaic, is that occasionally one comes along that throws in the unexpected twist to balance out the overdone cuteness and silliness of humor. Emma Thompson - who does quite an entertaining performance as Kate’s mother, Petra–does a nice job of telling a story that ends up going somewhere you didn’t expect.

“Last Christmas” plays at the Liberty Dec. 14-17 (Sat-Tues). For more information visit http://www.libertytheater.org.

 
 

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