In this age of TV spots, teasers and teaser announcements, the thought of dedicating three entire minutes to an old-fashioned movie trailer is unheard of. And yet that’s exactly what we got from Emma Thompson and Paul Feig’s new rom-com Last Christmas this week.
The Last Christmas trailer told us every single thing we needed to know about the film. It introduced us to the walking disaster zone that is Emilia Clarke’s lead character, who works in a year-round Christmas shop. We see her meet-cute with Henry Golding when a bird defecates into one of her eyes. We hear how she had recently become very ill and almost died. We watch as Henry Golding’s influence begins to rub off on Emilia Clarke, opening her up to the magic of Christmas. We see them break in, and get chased out of, some sort of vintage hipster ice rink. We see it all; everything that Last Christmas has to offer.
Except for the fact that Henry Golding is a ghost.
Because, come on, he’s definitely a ghost. Or maybe an angel. Definitely. One of those two things is definitely true.
I’m not the only one who thinks so. Dozens and dozens of people saw the Last Christmas trailer this week, and they saw how completely generic it was, and they couldn’t quite square the sheer blandness of the film with the big names involved. And so they realised that the trailer must have been hiding some sort of super unspoken twist in plain sight, and as one they all decided that Henry Golding was a ghost.
“If Henry Golding is actually a sexy festive ghost, we will be DECEASED” tweeted Hellogiggles. “So... Henry Golding was a ghost all along, yes? Or perhaps it is a dream Kate has while still in the hospital?” tweeted Rebecca Lewis. ‘So Is Henry Golding a Ghost in Emilia Clarke’s First Post-Game of Thrones Movie, or What?’ shouted Gizmodo.
The theory has caught on like wildfire, to the point that if Henry Golding actually plays a nice, normal, real-life character in Last Christmas, I genuinely fear that there will be riots.
Still, it makes sense. Throughout the duration of the trailer, Henry Golding wears exactly the same outfit and never interacts with anyone but Emilia Clarke. He sneaks up on her (like a ghost would) and is prone to saying irrefutably ghost-like things, like when he tells her that their meeting wasn’t accidental, and when he says “It was always going to be you”. There’s also a clip of him saying “Being a human is hard”, which I’m taking to mean that he thinks humans are literally hard, like corporeal, like hard compared to a ghost, because humans can’t walk through the walls that he definitely can because he’s a ghost.
But wait! The theory thickens. Last Christmas features the music of George Michael, remember? It’s named Last Christmas after the Wham! song Last Christmas. And how does the song go? That’s right: “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart”.
Do you know what this means? It means that Henry Golding plays a man who died in a terrible accident, and he was a registered organ donor, and when Emilia Clarke was ill last Christmas she became the recipient of his heart. He literally gave her his heart, and now his spirit has become her moral guide. This is a rom-com where a woman falls in love with the ghost of a man who was mangled to death in some sort of horrific industrial accident. That has to be it, right?
BUT WAIT! What if that isn’t it either? Because how does the rest of Last Christmas’ chorus go? That’s right: “This year, to save me from tears, I’ll give it to someone special”. This leads me to believe that, so far, all the Last Christmas theorists have only seen half the picture.
Because what if that’s the plot of the film? What if Henry Golding really did die, and his heart really was implanted into the body of Emilia Clarke, but he’s become dissatisfied with her attitude towards life, and so is lulling her into a false sense of security so that he can snatch his heart back right out of her body, and give it to a more deserving participant? What if that’s the film? If it’s a horror movie about a bloodthirsty and vengeful ghost attempting to tear the beating heart out of a woman from beyond the grave? I’ve nailed it, haven’t I? This is exactly what Last Christmas is.
Or, you know, it’s just a rubbishy-looking rom-com. One or the other.