Reviewed by: Charity Bishop
Selfishness / self absorption / carelessly hurting other people / fall of mankind
The self-destructiveness of sin
Heavily self-focused women who party frequently, drink too much, and sleep with multiple men (strangers)
What should a Christian do if overwhelmed with depression? Answer
What is SEXUAL IMMORALITY? Answer
Compassionate and giving men
Selflessly helping others
Music in the Bible
Mother and daughter conflicts
Lesbian sister / sister sister conflicts
What about Gays needs to change? Answer —It may not be what you think.
Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality
About the POOR in the Bible
Homeless people / homelessness
Christian homeless shelter ministries
What is FAITH and why is it important? Answer
Heart transplants / being a receiver of a donated heart
REVIEWS of “Christmas” movies
Emilia Clarke … Kate
Madison Ingoldsby … Young Kate
Emma Thompson … Adelia
Henry Golding … Tom
Michelle Yeoh … “Santa”
Peter Serafinowicz … Theater Producer
Rob Delaney … Theater Director
Patti LuPone … Joyce
Sue Perkins … Ice Show Director
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|Director:||Paul Feig—“A Simple Favor” (2018), “Ghostbusters” (2016), “Spy” (2015), “Bridesmaids” (2011)|
Calamity Films [Great Britain]
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Christmas is the time of good cheer, egg nog around the fire, decorating gingerbread houses… and watching sweet, romantic, feel-good holiday-themed movies with your loved ones. Though “Last Christmas” tries to jingle with the holiday spirit, it just doesn’t have enough of the right kind of magic.
Kate (Emilia Clarke) has a long history of bad decisions. One night stands? Been there, done that, still doing it given half the chance. Booted out of her flat for not paying the rent? Yup. Forgets to lock up at the store? Oh, yeah. Decked out as a cheerful green elf year-around hasn’t quite managed to keep her life on track, much to the distress of her boss, officially known as “Santa” (Michelle Yeoh). But at least it brings Tom (Henry Golding) into her booze-soaked hemisphere.
The cheerful, fun-loving young man does everything Kate doesn’t, including slowing down to smell the holly and take an interest in the people around him. He even volunteers at the homeless shelter several times a week. He encourages Kate to stop being so selfish, and look around her. Which, she has to admit when she’s forced to go home and face the humiliation of her mother knowing she’s failed yet again, doesn’t sound half bad. There are lots of things she can do to “fix” her life, right? But… to do it, she’s going to have to confront something she does not want to confront: the mistakes she has made, and the event that changed her life. And somehow, she has to figure out how Tom fits into it.
On paper, this movie sounds great. It’s about a selfish, confused young woman who matures into a better person. She, in a sense, finds the light… but, in true secular fashion, there’s no Jesus involved. There is, however, an interesting twist. I don’t want to spoil anyone for it, but some Christians might take issue with it, so I’ll include it as a spoiler paragraph at the end of this review. Kate is a likable heroine, despite her faults, and she has an abundance of them. She drinks, sleeps around, and brings a guy to her friends’ home, in the process breaking their house rules. But as she opens up, and learns to care, Kate becomes more selfless and giving. She starts volunteering at the homeless shelter, she learns to recognize the love her family gives her, and she decides to do something worthwhile with her life. And that’s great.
Less enjoyable are the abundant content issues, the jokes at Baby Jesus’ expense, and that the film tries too hard to be funny, leading to a few truly cringe-worthy moments. Since Emma Thompson helped write it, I had high hopes for it, but it’s just not that memorable, despite her hilarious performance as Kate’s paranoid immigrant mother. (This may be a jibe at anti-immigration laws.) Many scenes reference Kate’s promiscuity (she wakes up in a guy’s bed, uses his shower – no nudity – and is discovered by his girlfriend). Kate puts the moves on Tom, but he does not reciprocate (she is confused as to why he simply lays her down and tells her to rest, rather than wanting anything more). A family makes lesbian jokes; in a flashback, a girl makes eyes at another girl in the church choir.
The violence is minimal (a woman drops a hairdryer into a fish tank, electrocuting the fish and blowing all the power circuits in the house). We see events leading up to a person being killed in a bus accident. Lots of British slang, profanities, and other terms turn up, along with Christ’s name being abused a half dozen times; God’s name is misused ten times. A long conversation revolves around a part of a man’s anatomy and how to say it in a foreign language. Kate gets visibly drunk twice. A woman lies to the police to cover up a mistake. Kate and Tom break into an ice skating rink. When hearing immigrants speaking a different language, a man screams at them to go home. A bird dumps into a woman’s eye.
Each year, several family-friendly streaming and cable networks turn out a bunch of clean romantic Christmas movies. I couldn’t help wishing, as I watched this, that this had been one of them. More commitment to the twist in a miraculous or divine sense and a little less content would have made this a memorable annual tradition.
***SPOILER*** The audience learns Tom is not real, but either a ghost or a figment of Kate’s imagination, owing to her having his heart. He died in the accident that gave her a new lease on life. Since many people who have received heart transplants exhibit unusual behaviors (interests, likes/dislikes changing, or taking up something the donor loved to do), it’s not a huge leap, story-wise, to believe Kate is taking on some of Tom’s personality traits. But for a believer, a more meaningful twist would have been Tom’s confirmed presence (the film never explicitly tells us whether he came back to help her or not) or an angel, sent to help her realize the meaning of her life.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.