Emilia Clarke’s Last Christmas is criminally underrated

Emilia Clarke as Kate in "Last Christmas," directed by Paul Feig.
Emilia Clarke as Kate in "Last Christmas," directed by Paul Feig. /

Hot off the end of her Game of Thrones run as the Mother of Dragons, Emilia Clarke scratched off yet another item from her acting bucket list in 2019 when she headlined the charming holiday film Last Christmas. 

Last Christmas saw Clarke trading in Daenerys Targaryen‘s iconic threads for an elf costume in the lead role of Kate, a struggling young woman who works as, you guessed it, an elf in a year-round Christmas store trying to find the magic in life again. Enter the charming and mysterious Tom, played to perfection by Henry Golding, who quickly manages to bring a spark of light back into Kate’s life.

Further strengthening the film’s holiday cred is its ability to draw on the songbook of legendary artist George Michael, including Michael’s iconic holiday tune that inspired the film’s title and story. The movie’s ensemble cast is also incredible, and features Emma Thompson, Michelle Yeoh, Patti LuPone and Rob Delaney.

The film would ultimately rake in $121 million worldwide on an estimated $25 million budget, making it a successful holiday flick. Despite the success the film enjoyed at the box office and the terrific cast, holiday grinches couldn’t seem to help themselves from dubbing it a holiday fail.

Is Last Christmas starring Emilia Clarke a bad movie?

If you’re to ask most critics their thoughts on Last Christmas, odds are you’re going to be told not to waste your time on the film, as there was little love to be had for Emilia Clarke’s holiday feature upon its release.

The film sits at a 46% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes, with the professional critic consensus being that “likable leads, terrific behind-the-scenes talent, and an intriguing musical hook aren’t enough to save Last Christmas from its poorly conceived story.” However, we’re here to tell you the critics completely missed the mark with their assessment of the film, which is one of the most criminally underrated holiday offerings of recent years.

At the heart of many critics’ complaints is that the film is too cliche and predictable and that it uses some of your typical holiday movie tropes, but that’s what makes the movie so fun and special. Holiday movies are meant to be light-hearted, fill you with joy and hope and spread the holiday spirit, which is precisely what Last Christmas does. The film is a beautiful story about love, life, and second chances that is sure to warm the hearts of audiences.

Clarke shines in the lead role, bring the perfect amount of humor and relatability to Kate, a character who could have easily been unlikeable if not for Clarke’s performance. It doesn’t hurt that she has incredible chemistry with Golding.

And let’s not forget that the film features a shocking twist that is sure to leave fans feeling bittersweet, but helps to sell the movie’s heartfelt message.

Is Last Christmas on Netflix?

Now that we’ve established Last Christmas as one of the best holiday movies of recent times it’s time to add the movie to your Christmas-in-July watchlist.

For those hoping to watch Emilia Clarke’s charming holiday flick, you’ll unfortunately have to look beyond Netflix; the film isn’t streaming there, at least as of July 2021. It’s possible the film could be added closer to the holiday season!

While Last Christmas is not available to stream on Netflix, the film can be streamed on Hulu and we highly recommend adding it to your queue for your Christmas-in-July festivities.

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