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‘Last Christmas’ Review: Emilia Clarke Cheers Up an Undercooked Holiday Trifle (With a Twist)

‘Last Christmas’ Review: Emilia Clarke Cheers Up an Undercooked Holiday Trifle (With a Twist)
Paul Feig’s cheesy and intermittently charming “Last Christmas” asks its audience to suspend its disbelief early, opening the holiday-themed rom-com in a decidedly unhappy locale: Yugoslavia in the early ’90s. If the situation looks bleak, that’s by design, all the better for an unexpected — and very unlikely — twist of musical magic to liven things up in an otherwise drab small town church.

Things may be bad in a country on the verge of splitting apart, but they’ll get better once the church’s youth choir — led by the angel-voiced Kate (played by Madison Ingoldsby as a child) — bursts into an apparent local favorite: George Michael’s “Heal the Pain.” It’s a strange choice for any choir, but hardly an off-kilter pick for Feig’s latest film, which stuffs curious choices inside a grab-bag of otherwise warm rom-com tropes.

The formula is all there: There’s the salty leading lady,
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