I waited a very long time for this trailer to drop last night, but eventually sleep beckoned, so I apologize for not rushing out a review at 1 A.M. This morning, when I woke up to find Last Christmas and Emilia Clarke trending, I thought I would have very little to talk about in a review: I watched it. It looked cute, charming, but inconsequential. I was already planning an excuse not to write about it – when I saw the main topic of discussion about this trailer, and realized that this has sparked a debate so weird and laughable, I simply had to get involved.
For those unaware, Last Christmas is a cheerful holiday rom-com inspired by the music of George Michael (though, there’s really no sign of that inspiration in the trailer, other than the accompanying music). It stars Emilia Clarke as a cynical, embittered Londoner suffering from what appears to be alcoholism, working as a Christmas elf in a department store. Somewhere in between electrocuting fish and getting yelled at by her store manager, Clarke’s character, Kate, runs into a man named Tom who seems almost too good to be true, always smiling and laughing, who donates to charity, volunteers at a homeless shelter, and is basically an all-around Awesome Person. Tom and Kate fall in love, and…well, it’s a romantic comedy. They fall in love. Is there supposed to be any more to it than that?
According to the internet, yes. The general consensus is that there’s no way this movie could ever be entirely happy. I’ve seen two theories gaining traction that both are theoretically plausible, but highly unlikely: the first is that Tom is so pure of heart that he must be an angel, come to change Kate’s life and teach her the values of love and Christmas spirit, etc, etc. The other, sadly, is that Kate, whom we see being wheeled into a hospital, communicating with a therapist, and getting wildly drunk, is actually dying, and that Tom is a hallucination, some last-ditch attempt by her brain to get her to change her ways – or that Kate’s condition is actually heart problems, and that Tom is the ghost of the heart donor who saved her life. We’ve seen funny plays on “I gave you my heart” before, but this one really takes the cake.
Is it that hard to believe that Henry Golding’s character Tom is just a decent guy?
If any of these theories turn out to be true, it would certainly be a shocking and bittersweet conclusion to what, on the surface, looks like a really sweet Christmas comedy. It would also be a startling choice from Emilia Clarke, who recently revealed that she barely survived two life-threatening brain aneurysms. I kind of want this to just be a cheerful, low-stakes romantic comedy that doesn’t have to be a tearjerker – we’re already going to be crying our eyes out over Little Women, another holiday movie: can’t anything just be nice? Do we absolutely have to make it weird?
What are your thoughts? Do you think the theories carry any weight, or is this movie just what it appears to be – Emilia Clarke dancing around in a bright green elf-costume while Henry Golding stands by, looking handsome and too-pure-for-this-world? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Trailer Rating: 7/10
2 Replies to ““Last Christmas” Trailer!”
I’m going with the angel theory. Clues:
-Movie poster says it’s a wonderful life, with the wonderful part crossed out. It’s a Wonderful Life is a movie about an angel who comes to help save a man’s life who is contemplating suicide. Kate is slowly killing herself through drinking and self-destructive behavior. Tom could be the angel who has come to save her.
-References are made to Tom appearing and disappearing. We don’t see him interact with anyone else. He is wearing the same jacket in almost every scene (we also see him with a bicycle which I’m going to guess means he likely died being hit by a car while riding his bicycle). Which leads me to:
-the trailer tells us upfront Kate was sick and almost died. The song says “Last Christmas I gave you my heart.” In one scene we see Tom touching Kate’s chest (in a non-creepy way). The most obvious conclusion is that Kate almost died, had a heart transplant, and that the heart was Tom’s. He has come back to help her, since she is struggling with living. She may even have survivor’s guilt, knowing someone else had to die so she could live.
I am disappointed about the premise to be honest…after the Game of Theones ending I really wanted to see Emilia Clarke in a happy rom com. The thought of her falling in love with a ghost is kind of depressing, even if Kate does turn her life around in the end. Emilia needs a happy and lighthearted role with a happy ending!
Wow! Okay, that is some substantial evidence you laid out for the theory. Interesting – I agree with you that Emilia needs a happy role, and I kind of wanted this to be it. Thank you for pointing out these clues!