Christmas and George Michael the perfect combination
IF YOU enjoy a Christmas feel-good movie, then get ready to enjoy a wonderful present that you're going to love.
Have you ever felt like your life is out of control?
Kate knows the feeling, as you will discover in Last Christmas, a new romantic comedy from the director of Bridesmaids, Paul Feig, and the pen of Oscar winner Emma Thompson.
Kate (played by Emilia Clarke) is a car crash in slow motion as she fumbles her way through life in an Elf costume.
Dragging her suitcase around London, Kate has made a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes.
The 27-year-old has health issues, has been kicked out of her apartment, and her sex life is causing issues for those friends who foolishly agree to let her stay.
Worst of all she has a full-time job as an elf in a Christmas shop that is open all year, under the guidance of her boss, Santa (Michelle Yeoh).
One day she meets Tom (Henry Golding), who seems too good to be true, when he walks into her life and starts to see through so many of Kate's dismissive social barriers.
As London transforms into the most wonderful time of the year, nothing should work for these two. But sometimes, you just 'gotta have faith'.
Inspired by the song Last Christmas by George Michael, this is a rom-com set to the music of one of England's finest.
Featuring nothing but Michael's classics, Last Christmas uses the late singer's songs to great effect, and highlights just how good a songwriter he was.
With 115 million album sales to his name, the songs are like they were made for this movie.
Co-written and created by Emma Thompson (who also plays Kate's mother), the movie touches on Brexit and immigration, and at times reflects the current state of the UK.
Just like Kate, it's a crazy situation.
But what it also does is highlight the beauty of one of the world's great cities.
Last Christmas is a love letter to London, highlighting the urban beauty in sites such as Piccadilly Circus, Brick Lane and Convent Garden.
Director Paul Feig has had a long-standing love affair with the city, and it adds to the 'Britishness' of the movie, with a mostly English cast.
This is the Emilia Clarke you adored in Me, Before You and Last Christmas will only cement her numerous talents to a widening fanbase.
She is funny, adorable and yes, she can even sing.
She is a revelation, and the future is bright for the Game of Thrones star.
Mums and dads will want to take her character home, cook her dinner and give her a bed for the night, while millennials will relate to her woes of finding a place to live, all while chasing elusive true love with a handsome stranger.
The best scenes are the ones involving Kate and her boss.
Michelle Yeoh is best known for her action roles alongside the likes of James Bond and Jackie Chan, but after her stint in Crazy Rich Asians, the Malaysian-born actress shows just how funny she is when given all the best one liners.
The two make a great double act, intentional or not.
For too long cinemas around Australia have been churning out Love, Actually to satisfy fans who want a good old-fashioned romantic comedy with a dash of Christmas cheer.
With a great cast, lots of laughs, romance and a soundtrack that will appeal to anyone who has tapped their toe to Wham! or George Michael, Last Christmas could be set to take the title away from Richard Curtis's 2003 much-loved comedy.
A good night out at the movies for everyone, Last Christmas ticks every box, and will leave you with a full heart, a smile and a warm fuzzy feeling about the world.
Sit back, relax and enjoy yourself.
Movies like this don't come along too often.
STARS: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson, Michelle Yeoh, Sue Perkins.
DIRECTOR: Paul Feig (Spy, Bridesmaids)
SCORE: 3/5 stars
REVIEWER'S LAST WORD: A charming, witty rom-com with a killer George Michael soundtrack and a great cast. Stand aside Love Actually, we have a new contender.