Emilia Clarke rides a roller coaster of emotions as Kate in “Last Christmas.” The romantic-comedy also stars Henry Golding, Emma Thompson and Michelle Yeoh.
Spoilers ahead: What follows discusses the ending of the new rom-com “Last Christmas,” based on the Wham! song and starring Emilia Clarke. Stop reading now if you don’t want to know.
George Michael is as omnipresent as an Elf on the Shelf in “Last Christmas,” the new romantic comedy (in theaters now) based on his cherished holiday standard and starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding.
But, um, it’s a Wham! tune, so where’s Andrew Ridgeley? In the song’s 1984 music video, after all, Ridgeley is the guy who gets the girl famously pined for in the heartsick lyrics (“Last year, I gave you my heart / But the very next day, you gave it away”).
American fans of the ‘80s pop duo might be forgiven if they don’t immediately spot Ridgeley in the film’s feel-good final scene, in which Clarke, dressed in a green velvet elf costume and wrapped in a string of twinkling lights, leads a group singalong of “Last Christmas” at a homeless shelter’s holiday talent show. Ridgeley’s shaggy, streaked hair and ear piercings are long gone, but he remains a dapper dresser.
‘Last Christmas’: How George Michael’s beloved holiday hit became a very sad movie
Listen to George Michael’s previously unreleased song: ‘This Is How (We Want You To Get High)’
“Andrew Ridgeley was very much an early part of it, because of course we had to get his blessing,” says Emma Thompson, who co-wrote and co-stars in the film about a young woman (Clarke) struggling to get her life together after surviving a major medical emergency. “And he couldn’t have been nicer to everyone.”
Ridgeley, singing enthusiastically, is seen seated next to Greg Wise, Thompson’s husband and co-writer, but “I didn’t recognize him when I first saw him,” she confesses. “We were thrilled to have him be a part of it.”
The movie is peppered with reminders of Michael, who pops up on jukeboxes and posters, and 15 of his songs are included in the soundtrack. The star gave his support to the project before he died on Christmas Day in 2016, and director Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”) says “it was hugely important” to give the fans a moment.
More ‘Last Christmas’: 5 holiday movies that are really kind of depressing
Which Christmas song is the best of them all? We debate
“I became very close friends with Andrew over the course of this project,” Feig says of Ridgeley, who has a new memoir out, “Wham! George Michael & Me.” “He’s the loveliest guy in the world. We’ve had dinner a million times – he’s become like my brother or something. When that scene was coming up, I was like, ‘Please, please, please, you have to do this,’ and he was amenable to do it. I just could not conceive of this movie and not having Andrew in it.”
And for those fans who blink and miss it?
“I hung on it long enough where you go, ‘Oh, I think I’m supposed to know who that is …’ So if you don’t, then they’re going to look him up and go, ‘Oh, my gosh, it’s Andrew Ridgeley.’ And he looks so great, too.
“He’s the most stylish guy. He’s the only guy who outdresses me. How dare he!”
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/movies/2019/11/09/last-christmas-george-michael-wham-fans-will-love-ending-spoilers/2535980001/