Last Christmas- Not Your Same Old Cheesy Romantic Film

It’s almost Christmas and all the holiday lights are up in Toronto. The city is filled with a festive Christmas vibe, what better than to catch a movie with friends that has my favorite actor Henry Golding in it? Before the movie I was expecting it to be another cheesy mushy romantic film. It didn’t matter to me if that was the case anyway because there was Henry Golding.

I don’t write movie reviews because it’s not really my thing, and I wouldn’t consider this a review either. It’s more of a record of my reflections of the values and definition I hold towards love. This movie is 1 hour and 43 minutes, and it had me crying for at least one hour. My reaction to the movie was nothing like what I expected. I would say that it’s a movie one could watch on their own or to watch with their partner, either way it would give you some food for thought if it makes you feel anything.

Look up- Tom Webster

Before I elaborate any further I must warn you there will be some SPOILERS. Come back and read my blog after you’ve seen the movie if you like, but if you don’t plan to see the movie I’m still inviting you to read further on what I’ve reflected on after watching this beautiful movie. Hopefully it would be as heart warming for you as it was for me.

There were four main things I thought of that that got me teared up in the movie: the possibility of establishing real bonds with strangers of the opposite sex, the assumption of making someone a kinder person by being kind to them, how love is a choice, and finally, self-love.

  1. The Possibility of Establishing Authentic Bonds with Strangers of the Opposite Sex (Or the same sex, depending on sexual orientation)

I am speaking as a straight person because that is what I am. There is no intention to disregard any other sexual orientation or identity here. I don’t feel like it is my place to speak for sexual orientations other than straight people because as a heterosexual person I don’t have the full context of people of other sexual orientations. Nevertheless, I do assume that what I feel from parts of this movie could be applied just the same.

Kate and Tom didn’t know each other, when Tom approached Kate it was the most random thing ever. Reflecting on real life, men who are strangers have only ever approached me for sexual intentions. I wouldn’t say that this is the case for women because I don’t believe that my experiences represent all, but I believe they could represent a majority of women. They approach me because they are attracted to my appearance, when in truth they actually couldn’t care less for me. These men I have met on via various channels. Some I ignored, some I had small talk with, and some I actually tried to establish ties with.

Despite enduring pain, these men have taught me lots. They taught me not to fall in love too easily. They taught me how to build mental walls to not make emotional investment so I wouldn’t get hurt. Despite all, they didn’t change who I really was inside. I still enjoyed and loved authentic relationships. I love collecting little moments that I know will eventually slip away. I still believe in living romantically. The more I grow, the less I am willing to spend time on bullshit relationships that are built on each other’s’ emptiness. I understand what I need in life are relationships in which both sides are able to nurture each other but do not have to be dependent on one another. This is the reason why most people do not consider friends with benefits as real friends because the relationship is built on both sides’ desire and craving for physical intimacy. People often don’t end up caring for the other person because he or she is just a tool to satisfy one’s interests.

What got me teared up about Kate and Tom’s encounter is the portrayal of a stranger becoming romantically involved but also really becoming a friend. I want to believe it’s possible because it’s such a beautiful thing, even if it never happened to me. It’s so hard for us to care for a complete stranger is it not? Why would you make such an investment when you don’t know who they really are? But the very fact that we think this way is because we have already forgotten what true kindness is. It’s giving without expecting anything in return. That is what I was reminded of: Tom was being kind to Kate, without expecting anything in return. As a result Kate then helped the homeless people in the same manner. It’s the most beautiful thing ever.

2. The Assumption of Making Someone a Kinder Person by Being Kind to Them

Kate was a selfish woman who only did what she wanted for whatever she wanted before she met Tom. She was also messed up and lost, craving for sexual intimacy like it was one of her main goals in life. I understand it’s possible society and trauma could make people like that, but Kate was an extreme example. She was selfish even to the ones who were closest to her, pushing her family away and using them when she had to. After meeting Tom, she moved to the other side of the spectrum completely, she not only repaired broken relationships but also made an effort to use her talent to help people in need.

It is true that hurt people hurt people, which is why we should worry for those who treat us badly instead of being caught up in their negativity as well. I think it is understandable that when people aren’t treated nicely, they are likely to let out that anger somewhere else. In Kate’s case, she already had people who were nice to her, but they couldn’t change her character. Tom changed her by being romantically involved with her AND being kind to her. The motive for Kate to change was the attraction she felt towards Tom. For someone to change because of kindness given from someone you met on the street and then fall in love with them is too good to be true, but it was still a heartwarming narrative.

I feel that the same rationale applies in actual relationships. You are motivated to become a better self at the beginning because you want to become a better person for your significant other, or that you are motivated to build a better future together. Although it’s only a process we go through in love, it’s still a romantic thing. It’s a little “moment” or “period of time” that will eventually slip away. In the end we realize that we need to become better people not for anyone else, but for ourselves.

3. Love is a Choice

Liking someone is incredibly easy. Loving someone is difficult because loving someone often means going against our own interests. We always have a choice when it comes to people. To love someone, or to love ourselves. Once a very unpleasant person told me “Someone being nice to you is never a reason to like or love them.” I think that’s absolute nonsense. If that’s true then it wouldn’t make sense for people to fall in love when they are pursued through roses, dinners, hot chocolate, suits and ties, text messages, and all the other things that satisfy their needs and interests. We fall in love because we need to be treated nicely! Love is a choice of seeing what the other person’s needs and continuing to satisfy them, because you either love the other person or you love yourself. While one is doing so, their partner should also be doing the same if it is a healthy relationship.

Tom saw what Kate needed in her life and gave her strength to grow and become better. A description of love I have known as a kid is that if you love a flower you would let it grow instead of picking it. If you love the flower you know it needs to grow, therefore instead of choosing your desire to make it a decoration, you choose to let it be. The definition of love to me is a continuous choice to satisfy someone’s needs. Needs and wants are different, the former is what is necessary for someone to achieve the best outcomes, even if the receiver may not think so.

4. Self-love

Self-love is a choice too. I feel that I had to go through so much bullshit to learn to love myself. If we all loved ourselves a little more, we would be so much happier because we would choose ourselves more often. When Kate had an epiphany that Tom did not exist and was stumbling around by herself I stopped crying, because that’s what reality looks like. You stumble around after getting hurt but you eventually manage to pick yourself up and get your shit together, and I was so ready for that to happen in the movie. But when Tom appeared again and said, “Take care of my heart, it was going to be yours one way or the other.” I started to cry so much I had to breathe through my mouth to stop myself from sobbing out loud in the theater.

I was crying because, we have our hearts but we rarely take care of it at all. Kate had to love Tom to take care of herself, but it doesn’t have to be like that. She could love herself and take care of her own heart from the start. Why is it so hard for people to learn how to love themselves? We all have our own hearts, and we should take care of it more often.

…And that is why I think Last Christmas isn’t your regular old mushy cheesy romantic film. May your holidays be filled with love and joy. Merry Christmas!




Digital Marketer. Creative Copywriter. A record of experiences and events. I write to get back on track.

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Victoria's Dream Life

Victoria's Dream Life

Digital Marketer. Creative Copywriter. A record of experiences and events. I write to get back on track.

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