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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Bad Date
by Richard Jack Smith

Someone gets in a bad mood if they cannot find their phone or a customer shouts at them during working hours. Personally, a rotten film masquerading as the well-meaning, feel good variety just gets on my wick. Like a date which seemed to be going well yet ends with a slap and shove down a narrow rickety staircase, Paul Feig's Last Christmas left me feeling a little despondent. If there's anything good to be felt here that happens only when the film lumbers towards its excoriating conclusion. Trust me that having an open mind won't help.

I'd say getting stung in the eye was preferable to the cringe-worthy spectacle of Kate (Emilia Clarke) falling for Mr Right, otherwise known as Tom (Henry Golding). They try very hard to create some chemistry, yet it felt less than convincing. Although Clarke's smile can be heartwarming, there's a contrivance to the first meeting. Staring up at a bird outside Kate's place of work, Tom comments on the rarity behind this species, then the creature poops in the lady's eye. Subtle, huh? 

Meanwhile, Michelle Yeoh as Kate's boss stole the entire romantic premise. She meets Peter Mygind's star-gazing stranger, and they lose themselves in each other's eyes. It relies more on the visual and the visceral than the many drawn out dialogue scenes between Clarke and Golding.

Despite being tempted to wave a banner declaring the false advertising behind Last Christmas, the film's abysmal returns will have to suffice. From the trailer, you expect the film to be quirky and a little off-kilter. However, one major u-turn betrays any notion that the story was leading somewhere meaningful. Also, denial only makes the wound hurt more.

A poem:

Henry Golding was nice and bland

While Emilia Clarke sunk like quicksand.

Emma Thompson as Yugoslavian mother

Belongs in a script by another.

 

By land's end, it was hard to care

Emotionally we paid the fare.

Wishing that the twist

Hadn't dislocated my wrist.

 

From an overworked mind

Last Christmas became a grind.

For Paul Feig's comedic miscalculation

We ought to make a donation.

 

Michelle Yeoh was luminous and sprightly

Loving the man called 'Boy' serves her rightly.

It was sweet and out of place

The only magic I could trace.

(Released by Universal Pictures and rated "PG-13" by MPAA.)


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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