Christmas has come early for Emilia Clarke, and she’s once again been given the gift of Hollywood trying to make a movie star of her. Have a look with the trailer for Last Christmas, the film that asks: if romantic drama, psychological horror, sci-fi action, and space adventure didn’t quite take… maybe holiday romantic comedy?
Directed by Paul Feig, the film builds upon the Elf-en lore of pretty blonde white girls with singing ambitions, their big city dream cursing them to disinterestedly work retail in a viridescent Santa’s helper costume.
Clarke plays Kate, who experienced some kind of medical trauma and is now a mess because of it. When she meets Henry Golding’s Tom, it’s clear that the Crazy Rich Asians star has been swiftly typecast as “just about perfect rom-com boyfriend,” and the two have a Christmastime meet-cute that—loosely following the title song’s lyrics—seems to end quickly and pick back up a Christmas later, when she’s sorted her shit out a bit.
Leaning even harder into its title, the movie also heavily features the music of George Michael, even including one of the artist’s unreleased songs.
Michelle Yeoh, reuniting with her Crazy Rich co-star, plays Kate’s boss, with Emma Thompson supporting as Kate’s mom. Thompson also co-wrote the script, so may well deserve credit for the scene action “falcon poops on Emilia Clarke.”
While Feig’s work typically skews big and broad, with a lot of his comedy ringer casts dialing up the apparent ad-libs, this appears to be his most subdued, boilerplate film to date. Honestly, it looks like little more than a gussied-up Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas original.
We’ll see if that’s case when it hits theaters November 8. And if so, no big deal, because Clarke gets another chance at a genre with the thriller Above Suspicion after that.