I went in expecting an over-sugared gingerbread house of a romantic comedy but forgot this was British and written by Emma Thompson and partner Greg Wise. It’s fun and witty and the Christmas theme is front and centre, as is the always delightful music of George Michael that weaves a spell throughout.
Kate (Emilia Clarke) is a disappointment to her (refugee from former Yugoslavia) mother Petra (Thompson), boss Santa (Michelle Yeoh) and bitter sister Marta (Lydia Leonard). Outstaying her welcome on friends’ couches, her late night roaming throws her into the path of handsome Tom (Henry Golding). This isn’t a typical romance though and Tom may or may not be what Kate is looking for.
The dialogue is often deadpan witty, as one might expect from Thompson, and many of the smaller characters add a lovely lightness to the story. Yeoh’s hard-nosed Christmas -oving boss is a highlight and it is her that makes sure we understand the quality of Kate’s character. There are some nice social and political themes that are not overdone and Clarke channels Felicity Jones winsomeness, dispelling all memories of dragon mothers. And Henry Golding, who I have never been a great fan of, won me over.
This might become regular Christmas viewing.
Have you seen this film? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.