Last Christmas (film)

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Last Christmas
Last Christmas poster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPaul Feig
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Starring
Music byTheodore Shapiro
CinematographyJohn Schwartzman
Edited byBrent White
Production
company
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • 8 November 2019 (2019-11-08) (United States)
  • 15 November 2019 (2019-11-15) (United Kingdom)
Running time
103 minutes[1]
Country
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$25–30 million[2][3]
Box office$35.6 million[2]

Last Christmas is a 2019 romantic comedy film directed by Paul Feig and written by Bryony Kimmings and Emma Thompson, who co-wrote the story with her husband, Greg Wise. Based on the song of the same name, the film stars Emilia Clarke as a cynical Christmas store worker who forms a relationship with a mysterious man (Henry Golding) and begins to fall for him; Thompson and Michelle Yeoh also star.

Last Christmas was theatrically released in the United States on 8 November 2019 and in the United Kingdom on 15 November 2019 by Universal Pictures. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the performances and chemistry of Clarke and Golding but criticized the screenplay, clichés, and plot twist. It has grossed $35 million worldwide.

Plot[edit]

Former singer Kate (Emilia Clarke) has an unsuccessful life and relationship with her family. A year previously she had a heart transplant and became cold and selfish. When she accepts a job as an elf at a year-round Christmas store she meets Tom (Golding), who tries to help her be more caring and helpful. It is revealed that Tom is the heart donor, literally adhering to the song lyric, "last Christmas, I gave you my heart". Kate realizes all their interactions have been her alone and that Tom was a ghost.

She decides to live both of their lives in memory and try to help as many people as she can. Kate celebrates Christmas with her family who all seem to get along, with her mother accepting Kate sister's girlfriend.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In September 2018, it was reported that Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding would star in a London-set romantic comedy taking place at Christmas. Paul Feig was announced to direct, with Emma Thompson co-writing the screenplay.[5] In October it was announced that Thompson would be starring and that the film would feature the music of the late singer George Michael, including "Last Christmas" and previously unreleased tracks.[6] In November 2018, Michelle Yeoh joined the cast of the film.[7] Theodore Shapiro would compose the film's score.[8]

Filming began on 26 November 2018 through February 2019.[9][10] Filming locations included West London Film Studios.

On 31 October 2019, Thompson and Wise published a collection of personal essays about the meaning of Christmas in a book also called Last Christmas. Contributors include Andy Serkis, Caitlin Moran, Olivia Colman and Emily Watson. The proceeds from the book went to two charities, Crisis and The Refugee Council.[11]

Music[edit]

The musical score was composed by Theodore Shapiro. An official soundtrack album was released by Sony Music on CD, 2-disc vinyl, and digital formats on 8 November 2019.[12] The album contains 14 Wham! and solo George Michael hits and 1 previously unreleased recording, a new track originally completed in 2015 titled "This Is How (We Want You to Get High)".[13] The soundtrack album debuted at No.1 on the U.K. Official Soundtrack album chart and No.11 on the Official Albums chart on 15 November 2019.[14][15] It also entered the Australian Albums Chart at No.7 on 11 November.[16]

Release[edit]

The film was due for release on 15 November 2019 but was moved up a week to 8 November in the United States.[17] The film still released on 15 November 2019 in the United Kingdom.[18]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

As of 17 November 2019, Last Christmas has grossed $22.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $13 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $35.6 million.[2]

In the United States and Canada, Last Christmas was released alongside Doctor Sleep, Midway, and Playing with Fire, and was projected to gross $13–19 million from 3,448 theaters in its opening weekend.[19] It made $4.1 million on its first day, including $575,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $11.6 million, finishing fourth behind its fellow newcomers.[20] In its second weekend the film made $6.7 million, finishing fifth.[21]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 48% based on 155 reviews, with an average rating of 5.39/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Likable leads, terrific behind-the-scenes talent, and an intriguing musical hook aren't enough to save Last Christmas from its poorly conceived story."[22] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[23] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 3 out of 5 stars.[20]

Variety's Owen Gleiberman gave the film a negative review and wrote: "It's twee, it's precious, it's forced. And it's light on true romance, maybe because the movie itself is a little too in love with itself."[24] John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter called it a misfire "but it earns some warm feelings for its determination not to be like anything else currently in circulation."[25] Alonso Duralde of TheWrap compared the film to a Christmas album, and said it was not as good as Paul Feig's best work "but it fulfills a craving for sticky Christmas pudding".[26]

Charles Bramesco of The A.V. Club called the film "a guilty pleasure" but criticized the predictable plot twist. He praised Clarke for her performance saying "she succeeds in the only real meaningful test of rom-com skill, in that she makes us want her to be happy."[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Last Christmas". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Last Christmas (2019)". The Numbers. IMDb. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  3. ^ Mendelson, Scott (3 October 2019). "Box Office: Universal And The Respectable, Sustainable, Not Bad, Pretty Good Year". Forbes. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  4. ^ Collis, Clark (9 May 2019). "Doctor Who star Ingrid Oliver talks The Hustle, Last Christmas, and why she's a Brexit 'Remainiac'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  5. ^ Rebecca Ford (18 September 2018). "Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding to Star in 'Last Christmas' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  6. ^ Kroll, Justin (26 October 2018). "Paul Feig's 'Last Christmas' Dated, Will Feature Unreleased George Michael Music". Variety.
  7. ^ Galuppo, Mia (28 November 2018). "Michelle Yeoh Joins Henry Golding in Paul Feig's 'Last Christmas' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Theodore Shapiro to Score Jay Roach's Roger Ailes Movie & Paul Feig's 'Last Christmas'". FilmMusicReporter. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  9. ^ Marc, Christopher (5 September 2018). "Emma Thompson/Paul Feig's Universal Holiday Comedy 'Last Christmas' Shoots November-February in London". Geeks Worldwide. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  10. ^ Feig, Paul (14 February 2019). "It's a wrap! We have officially finished production on #lastchristmasthemovie! (It's not like we crawled over the finish line or anything.) Huge love to our entire cast and crew. See you this Christmas! 🎄 ❤️". Instagram. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  11. ^ Chandler, Mark (12 March 2019). "Emma Thompson and Greg Wise's charity Christmas essays to Quercus". The Bookseller. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  12. ^ "'Last Christmas' Soundtrack Track List: See It Here". Billboard (Magazine). 4 October 2019. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  13. ^ Savage, Mark (6 November 2019). "George Michael: Upbeat new song premieres on Radio 2". BBC. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  14. ^ "Official Soundtrack Albums Chart Top 50". Official Music Chart. 15 November 2019. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  15. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Music Chart. 15 November 2019. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  16. ^ "ARIA ALBUMS CHART" (PDF). ARIA Charts. 11 November 2019. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  17. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (19 April 2019). "Emilia Clarke & Henry Golding Romantic Comedy 'Last Christmas' Gets Release Date Shift – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Last Christmas Release Info". IMDb. 12 September 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  19. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (6 November 2019). "'Doctor Sleep' Eyes $25M-$30M Box Office Start, Will Turn Out Lights On 'Terminator: Dark Fate'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  20. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (10 November 2019). "How 'Doctor Sleep' Went Into A Coma At The B.O. With Dreary $14M+ Opening, Following Surprise $17M+ Attack By 'Midway' – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  21. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (17 November 2019). "'Ford v Ferrari' Cruising To $30M+, 'Charlie's Angels' Kicked Out Of Heaven With $8M+ Start". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  22. ^ "Last Christmas (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  23. ^ "Last Christmas Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  24. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (6 November 2019). "Film Review: 'Last Christmas'". Variety.
  25. ^ DeFore, John (6 November 2019). "'Last Christmas': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  26. ^ Alonso Duralde (6 November 2019). "'Last Christmas' Film Review: Holiday Rom-Com Brings Cheer, If You're Feeling Charitable". TheWrap.
  27. ^ "A coal-lump twist can't dampen the fleabaggy charms of Last Christmas". The A.V. Club.

External links[edit]