After aspiring singer, Kate’s (Emilia Clarke) latest scrape gets her kicked out of her temporary accommodation she is forced to move back in with her parents (Emma Thompson and Boris Isakovic) just before Christmas. If that wasn’t bad enough, she’s stuck working as a sales assistant in a Christmas shop in Covent Garden when she constantly clashes with the owner, “Santa” (Michelle Yeoh).
When Kate meets the mysterious, Tom (Henry Golding) she is intrigued. Tom doesn’t carry his phone, is hard to track down and has a great eye for some of the more unexplored gems of London. Soon Kate starts to fall for Tom’s charms but what secret is he keeping from her and will his seemingly altruistic nature be enough to help Kate change her ways.
I wont pretend this film isn’t a bit cheesy and that it doesn’t have some seriously silly moments but about halfway through I realised I was rather enjoying it. Clarke and Golding are both very charming and they have a lovely chemistry that makes them really enjoyable to watch together. I didn’t predict the twist in the story and when it came out it made me feel quite emotional… enough to make me briefly stop wondering where Kate got her skates for the ice rink scene or to stop pondering how the Yugoslavian refugee timeline could possibly make sense.
Normally a film set around the music of one particular artist (George Michael/Wham! in this case) is enough to make me cringe but it worked quite nicely. Thompson and Yeoh are both underused and I am not sure the Brexit storyline needed to be crow-barred in but if you go in with low expectations you might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.