• Veronika Jel

REVIEW: A Castle For Christmas

Netflix’s newest Christmas movie just dropped. This time, we’re going all the way to Scotland. Featuring a slightly older couple, an adorable dog, a castle, a passionate group of knitters, and some questionable Scottish accents.

Read our spoiler-free review!

Image: Netflix

A Writer Looking For An Escape

Sophie Brown (Brooke Shields) is a famous novelist who has recently made all her fans angry after killing off their favorite character. After a disastrous TV interview, she decides it’s time for her to take a break. She goes to Scotland to reconnect with her roots and see the castle where her father grew up.

When she gets there, she meets a lot of friendly Scots – and one unfriendly, grumpy duke (Cary Elwes) who’s selling the very castle she’s already fallen in love with. Sophie decides to buy the castle, but as part of her contract, she has to live in it. With the horrible duke. Will they be able to find common ground?

Having the main couple of a big rom-com be two middle-aged divorcees is a breath of fresh air.

Refreshing Couple

It’s good to see Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes – they’re both beloved actors for a reason. Seeing them together, having fun making a cute Christmas movie was lovely. Not just because they’re so great, but also because of what casting them brings to the table.

Let’s be honest: most romcoms are about young, conventionally attractive 20 or 30-year-olds. They’re usually naïve, fresh-faced, and rarely have much baggage from past relationships beyond a couple of awkward dates.

Having the main couple of a big rom-com be two middle-aged divorcees is a breath of fresh air. Sure, they are still conventionally attractive middle-aged divorcees, but it’s a change from the norm, nonetheless. Especially considering that they are both middle-aged – even the woman. We don’t see a lot of women past 50 playing the romantic lead. Which is a shame because if this movie proves something, it’s that age truly doesn’t matter when it comes to romance. You don’t have to be 28 to get our hearts beating!

Scottish Accents? Nae Bother, Apparently

Image: Netflix

One of the best parts of this movie is, without a doubt, the setting. The Scottish scenery is beautiful. You could get lost just watching the nature shots. Truly breathtaking. A real celebration of Scotland.

Or is it?

While the movie does seem to be obsessed with everything Scottish (throwing around lots of slang, kilts, and tartan), it massively misses the mark when it comes to actually sounding Scottish. Starting with the lead actor himself – Cary Elwes’ Scottish accent isn’t the best. Still, I was willing to forgive the movie for that. I’d rather have Cary Elwes with a bad accent than no Cary Elwes.

What’s harder to forgive is the supporting cast. If you film a movie about Scotland, in Scotland, why not hire local talent to play the side characters? Why were there so few Scottish actors in this movie?

Watch For The Feels, Not The Accuracy

At the end of the day, ‘A Castle For Christmas’ is an entertaining and heart-warming movie.

Is it accurate when it comes to its portrayal of Scotland? Absolutely not.

But will it make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? A thousand times yes.

I’d definitely recommend watching it. Just don’t go around calling people dobber afterward.

Rating: 4/5