Last Christmas Review: I Now Finally Have My Own The Brown Bunny A Scroogy Good Time

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Summary

I now finally have my own The Brown Bunny. I hated Last Christmas. The lazy, peculiar, and out of left field twist has no justification. It simply doesn’t work.

He was my favorite film critic, and now I have my own The Brown Bunny. Years ago, the great Roger Ebert famously said, “I hate The Brown Bunny, and director Vincent Gallo didn’t take too kindly to the matter of fact statement. I have a feeling I won’t make a blip on director Paul Feig’s radar, so I don’t think he will take offense. I would like to file a report, however, on the grand larceny put upon me this very night as I was robbed of the previous 102 minutes of life (and $11.59 for popcorn and soda Tuesday discount day). I hated Last Christmas.

Is it wrong to feel so strongly about a film? After all, it’s a Rom-Com, the genre is designed to be sexist and appeal to couples in heat or the ones seeking it. The film takes the same-old formula, giving you a handful of good pieces of eye-candy, with the site of Crazy Rich Asians hunk Henry Golding placed on the screen to make your significant-other swoon with glee. The problem here though is there is very little chemistry between him and Emilia Clark (ones who have seen this movie may object and state there is a reason for it; I disagree). There are very few laughs, most fall flat, especially between the leads, and anyone they come into any contact with. In fact, besides only two scenes with a supporting turn from the always reliable Emma Thompson, I would say this movie is laugh-free.

Actually, is that all that shocking though? Not really, it’s all the same recycled material anyhow. It’s all beside the point, however. Many romantic comedies take this route. They need to pay the bills too, right? Hollywood is never going to try something different… Until it does. Last Christmas was on its way to the sweet spot of two-star ranking films tend to strive for and end up with. It then turned the tables in a way that lands like a ideas bomb that drops with a loud, vibrating thud. That falls squarely on the shoulder of Thompson (might explain the film’s best lines working in her favor) and Byronny Kimmings, who wrote the screenplay. I, like many I’m sure, saw it coming. I looked for obvious clues that never appeared, which makes it downright lazy. It’s not that it’s unorthodox, puzzling; it’s the mere fact that it simply doesn’t work.

Imaginary or real, there is an unspoken, verbal contract between the studio and the viewer on these types of movies. Pulling the wool over your eyes, and if that wasn’t enough, it takes a victory lap. This only reinforces the same peculiar thud that can’t be explained. Some might argue with the same-old cliche? The heart wants what the heart wants, or its a byproduct of one of the character’s content substance abuses. The problem here is the film doesn’t even bother to justify it with a dumb side note — as an example, see an eye-rolling plot point of Terminator: Dark Fate where they know the location of threats by unknown text messages — because you can’t possibly cover it up without blowing any credibility.

Last Christmas, I want my precious time back.


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M.N. Miller

M.N. Miller has been a film and television writer for Ready Steady Cut since August of 2018 and is patiently waiting for the next Pearl Jam album to come out.

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