For better or worse, theaters have been somewhat left out of the rom-com renaissance happening on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Paul Feig and Emma Thompson are out to change that, as evidenced by the new trailer for their George Michael–inspired romantic comedy, Last Christmas, starring Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke and Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding.
Director Feig told Empire magazine that he calls the movie a “rom-com-plus” or a “dramatic romantic comedy” because, while it definitely carries the influence of lighthearted Richard Curtis classics like Bridget Jones’s Diary and Love Actually, it’s also “very emotional.” “It’s really got some emotional themes in it about family and about immigrants and about homelessness, and people trying to repair their lives and going through catastrophic illnesses,” he said.
The film takes place in London and follows Emilia Clarke as Kate, the daughter of Eastern European immigrants who works as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop run by Michelle Yeoh. Flummoxed by poor finances, poor health, and a poor relationship with her mother—played by Thompson, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Bryony Kimmings—Kate’s life is changed forever when she meets bike courier Tom (Golding).
George Michael’s music is also central to the film. According to Feig, Thompson began work writing Last Christmas as a narrative “based loosely”on the Wham! song of the same name. While the film is not a musical, George Michael’s music is heavily incorporated into the plot. Feig tells the BBC that Last Christmas will feature a never-before-heard track from the late singer, who was found dead in his home on Christmas Day in 2016.