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388. Last Christmas; movie review

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Title : 388. Last Christmas; movie review
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Cert 12A
103 mins
BBFC advice: Contains moderate sex references, language

What's your favourite Christmas flick? Mine is It's A Wonderful Life which is clearly brilliant and Mrs W's is Love Actually which is good fun albeit preposterous.
Last Christmas has distinct echoes of the latter which is why the other half was chortling away merrily in Screen 13 of Nottingham Cineworld.
Yes, while, writer, producer and Love Actually veteran Emma Thompson only has a small part in Paul Feig's movie, she makes every second count and has almost all of the best gags.
In between, there are layers of schmaltz which many will love but others will find rather too sickly sweet.
Emilia Clarke is Kate, the story's central character - a party girl who is unreliable at work and has no time for her family, in particular, her mother (Thompson).
However, her perspective on life begins to change thanks to romantic interest with a mysterious too-good-to-be-true stranger (Henry Golding).
He tries to teach her to have a more positive outlook instead of being so self-centred and self-pitying.
Clarke is super in the lead role even though I was stifling shouts at the screen so infuriated was I by her character's antics in its first half of the movie.
Golding does little more than smoulder sexily, prompting Clarke's eyes to flutter.
Meanwhile, some comedy comes from Kate's boss, Santa (Michelle Yeoh) who owns a shop which is dedicated to... yes, you guessed.
I had heard the soundtrack was made up of Wham! songs but don't expect Club Tropicana and Young Guns - the tunes are from the more mellow end of the spectrum.
And there is a bag of moral messages, from standing up for war refugees to gay pride and helping the homeless - all of which resonate well.
Which lead us to a Christmas show which rekindled memories of Love Actually.
Is Last Christmas a festive classic? No - but there is enough good cheer by its conclusion to make its audience feel nicely fuzzy.

Reasons to watch: If you are a Love Actually fan
Reasons to avoid: Will be too schmaltzy for some

Laughs: Five (more for Mrs W)
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 7.5/10 for me, Mrs W reckoned 8/10

Did you know? The song Last Christmas reached No. 1 in Denmark, Slovenia and Sweden and No. 2 in eight countries; Belgium, Netherlands, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Wham! donated all of their royalties to Ethiopian famine relief.

Final word. Emma Thompson: "Love Actually, of course, was made by one of my best mates (Richard Curtis) and I'm so happy that people are still fond of it. So we certainly weren't thinking we were in competition with anything." BBC

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