Last Christmas is a movie that's being talked about mostly because of it's somewhat unexpected ending, but the film's other major claim to fame is the way that it uses the music of George Michael to tell its story. While the singer died in 2016, it turns out that much more than his music influenced the film, as he was actually aware of the story during its creation, and he gave some notes that influenced the plot.
Last Christmas was a project that co-writer Emma Thompson has been working on for most of the last decade, and so George Michael was very much alive when it started. Director Paul Feig reveals that Thompson actually showed a treatment of the story to the singer, and he suggested the inclusion of the film's elements dealing with homelessness. According to Feig...
Emma had met with him before he passed away, and he had read the treatment that she had written up for the movie. He was very aware of it, and really liked what she was doing, and even brought up the homeless issue, and if that could be in there, because that was a big cause of his.
It seems that we have George Michael to thank for more than just the music of the film. Vulture also reports that Michael had agreed to help supervise the film's music, but he died before the film made it into production.
Certainly, if you're a fan of George Michael, the soundtrack to Last Christmas is a pleasure, it includes several of the artist's songs, and not simply the radio friendly hits that the general public is aware of, although, certainly, there are plenty of those. Unlike other recent films that focus on a single artist's music, Last Christmas doesn't draw a great deal of attention to the music within the narrative, but it's always there.
Last Christmas may have one of the more talked about endings of current movies, but that doesn't appear to be helping it draw an audience, the movie has only made about $18 million at the box office worldwide and with a reported budget of $25 million, that's not great news.
One certainly wonders if the film's twist, which has been talked about since before the movie ever came out, might be part of the reason. It's possible that people are skipping it because they know what happens. I would argue that even knowing where the movie is going --which, let's be honest, we all know most of the time with most movies-- it's still an enjoyable little romance, and yeah, it's got a pretty solid soundtrack.
Last Christmas is in theaters now