Parents' Guide to

Last Christmas

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Musically inspired romcom has big heart; language, innuendo.

Movie PG-13 2019 102 minutes
Last Christmas Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 16+

Good movie but some language issues to be aware of

There is one scene that shows some adults conversing about how a mans private part is the same as the name Dick, and about being nailed to a mans private part. In another scene a character gets pooped on by a bird and she uses the "s" word to describe the bird and what it's doing several times.
age 2+

It's a shame for Emma Thompson to accept a role like this.

The film begins in Yugoslavia in 1999 with a children's choir song in English. That would be Ok for a Hollywood love comedy. Still, with Emma Thompson in the front row of the audience, a children's choir in Yugoslavia would be expected to sing in Serbian (Croatia had already separated from Yugoslavia at the time). A siren and a bomb would also be expected to be heard, as NATO bombed Yugoslavia in 1999. The siren was not heard, the children's choir finished the song in English. The plot moves to London, where Emma Thomson utters sentences in Slovak ( the Czech Republic and Slovakia are pretty far from Yugoslavia, and Slovakian sounded quite weird there, or it is the quality of movie where it is just not important which of East European languages is uttered - as long as it sounds exotic). After that, Emma Tomoson, whose identity has still not been established - but something like from the former Yugoslavia, possibly a Croat (because is it more socially acceptable than being a Serb?), got scared of the KGB. As people with basic education know, the KGB belonged to the Soviet Union and had nothing to do with Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was not even a part of the Eastern Bloc. ..and who, except Emma, could be scared of KGB 1999??! The role of Emma Thompson is shamefully stretched further, where she tries to establish the identity of a Croat (who fled Yugoslavia in 1999?! She fled from NATO bombs? She could not escape to Croatia?!) I loved Emma Thomson and was expecting a wonderful Christmas movie like "Love Actually," but this movie is not watchable. It is a shame for Emma Thompson to accept such a role.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (21 ):

British holiday romcoms are expected to deliver a little naughty and a whole lot of nice; Thompson's latest screenwriting effort does both, but the film doesn't twinkle as much as she does. Thompson came up with the story and wrote the script based around the music of her friend, the late George Michael. Thompson's voice is prominent; in fact, Kate's dialogue sizzles if you picture Thompson saying the lines rather than Clarke. Golding proves that he could easily play romantic heroes for the rest of his life, especially when he's channeling Cary Grant, as it seems he intentionally does here. Last Christmas is cute enough and delivers some surprises, but the scene stealer is unquestionably Thompson. She plays Petra with witty conviction, whether she's trying to understand the English translation of a dirty joke or singing Christmas dirges.

What's disappointing is that the film is based on a Captain Obvious-level pun. Happiness and sentimentality are delivered on a platter, along with rousing songs and a happy ending, but when the twist is revealed, tears will be shed -- and eyeballs will roll. You may not see it coming, but in the end it feels like the idea of the film came from two giggling teens. Entire TV networks are dedicated to churning out Christmas movies during the holidays, and cheese and corn are always the first two ingredients. But somehow it feels like one of the grand dames of British cinema should have offered something a little meatier.

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