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An adorable Clarke (left) and suave Golding share great chemistry and carry the simple but pleasant movie. (Picture courtesy of UIP)

SINCE Christmas is just around the corner, there's a seemingly quirky movie to celebrate the cheer and spirit of the holiday.

This unoffending romance comedy by director Paul Feig has a Malaysian slant in the form of Hollywood man of the moment, Henry Golding, and the lovely Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh.

But the story centres on the chirpy Emilia Clarke, of Game Of Thrones fame, who plays the bumbling Kate.

She works as an elf in a small Christmas-themed gift shop in London run by her stern boss called "Santa" (Yeoh).

Unable to live a structured life Kate has a falling out with her immigrant parents and her sidelined sister, as well as her close friends.

The down-on-her-luck lass then has a serendipitous meeting with a mysterious stranger, Tom (Golding), who she finds equally attractive and unnerving.

Along the way the two begin a relationship that will eventually lead to some unexpected discoveries.

The movie, peppered with the catchy and moving songs of English pop superstar George Michael, was a pleasant ride throughout.

Straightforward with pretty middle-of-the road proceedings, it would appeal to a mass audience just out for an easygoing time at the cinema.

Compared to his other movies such as Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy, American filmmaker Feig severely toned down the language and scenes in this one which made it quite a tame and harmless affair.

Perhaps it was due to Emma Thompson, who co-produced the movie and co-wrote the story and screenplay as well.

Thompson also played Kate's mom here and hammed it up during her scenes as the typical immigrant from Eastern Europe.

The cast in general were pleasant to watch and Yeoh gave a decent portrayal of her quirky supporting role with a small arc at the end.

But it was Clarke and Golding who carried the movie throughout as the initial odd couple. The two main actors shared great chemistry and naturally looked cute together.

They seemed to have fun doing this too and their scenes with each other, though saccharine sweet, were the highlights of the movie which had a quick pace.

No one was truly mean here and there were no villains. So if you're looking for an airy and light movie with a diverse cast that does not offend anyone, this simple, by-the-numbers offering is your best bet.




STARRING Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson, Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh

DURATION 103 minutes


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