STOP! Before you go any further, in case you stumbled on this accidentally, this is not the review of LAST CHRISTMAS! Click that hyperlink if you want that. This is for those who don’t spoilers or those who hunger for a little bit deeper exploration of said spoilers.
Seriously, the review is aggressively spoiler-free. Start there! Don’t scroll down unless you really truly want to!
So…Those LAST CHRISTMAS Spoilers Please!
You almost certainly guessed the first one or read someone who did.
Tom (Henry Golding) is, in fact, very dead.
You may have guessed the second as well, a lot of people did.
After Tom’s death, his heart became Kate’s, the organ that saved her life.
And yes, finally, this all happened during Christmas the year before.
Does It Matter?
Honestly, not really. Even if the trailer did not make the first part of the spoiler so bleeding obvious, the movie fails to deliver the reveal with much impact. Kate learns of it from a man selling Tom’s old apartment, she flashes back to several of their talks, she meets ghost Tom again at a bench that it turns out was donated in his name according the plague, then she goes to her concert.
I can’t decide if the movie deployed the revelation too early or too late in the movie but either way it does little to enhance one’s viewing experience.
Are the Twists Bad for LAST CHRISTMAS?
That’s the thing…not really. They aren’t good for it, but they aren’t all that bad for it either. As Paul Feig said after the first trailer dropped, CHRISTMAS is not a dark movie. In fact, it is so light despite some of what is mentioned on-screen, it is almost too its detriment.
So when the movie finally “tells” us that Tom is dead and his heart is literally Kate’s now, it has little interest in engaging in how painful or confusing that might be. Even overlooking the supernatural aspect, imagine falling in love, being thoroughly head over heels and then finding out that the relationship can never truly be because of the Grim Reaper. Sure you might be happy for the experience, but, oof, first the whole thing is going to hit you like a Mack truck.
LAST CHRISTMAS rushes past the pain so quickly that the sweetness that follows also lacks any kind of impact. It’s a twist that utterly fails to elicit either of the emotions it is aiming for.
The dual twists do not ultimately add anything. You could have Golding be called away on business and it would feel roughly the same. Hell, cut the apartment and bench seen and go right to the concert and you’d still leave the film on the same emotional register. It is a big swing twist that could not feel like less of a big deal.