From the moment they announced this movie, I said I would be seeing the sh-t it out of it. And now that the trailer’s out, I can confirm that not only will I see the sh-t out if it, I might want to fly to London to see it where it was filmed.
Last Christmas is a holiday rom-com for people who love rom-coms. What I mean by that is that there is a formula. Successful recent rom-coms have adhered to the formula without betraying the progress we’ve made in storytelling: centering the narrative where it belongs, giving women agency, and avoiding squicky consent issues.
Here the recognisable formulaic beats: music montage, two people who meet accidently and one person is super annoyed by the other, a grumpy landlord/store manager/neighbour, quirky parents, quirky and/or offbeat job (subway token collector, sex worker, travel bookshop owner, fashion designer – basically not an accountant).
Also… calling the main character Kate.
It’s another rom-com Kate! I know I’ve mentioned this before and when I did mention it, I was like, hey screenwriters, can you come up with a name other than Kate in your movies because Kates have had their day, but now I wonder if maybe it’s actually because Kate, the name, has become a proxy, a vessel, a substitute for anyone to project themselves onto, a name that takes the shape of anything anyone wants it to be. Or you could say that Kate is ultimate versatility. A Kate can be anything she wants to be. For all you Kates out there … how do you feel about this?
So here’s our latest Kate, played by Emilia Clarke, who works as an elf in a Christmas store and can’t find her Christmas spirit, until gorgeous Henry Golding comes along. I’m IN. I’m all the way in. I think I can see the twist all the way from here, but I’m in, especially since I love George Michael’s “Last Christmas” so much, specifically for its melancholy, and even though I’m not convinced yet that Emilia and Henry have any chemistry and I think this trailer is wayyyyy too long. Movies are already long enough these days, why are trailers now three minutes?
No matter. I don’t even know why I’m complaining. There’s nothing to complain about. Emma Thompson co-wrote it. The soundtrack is going to be amazing. We are all going to cry and then hug ourselves afterwards. While everyone else is seeing Frozen 2, this is where I’ll be parked in November.