Review of “A Castle For Christmas”: A Holiday-Themed Escapist Fantasy

Despite a few flaws, it is still a great product. “A Castle For Christmas” is gently disarming, heartening, holiday-themed escapism that’s as satisfying as a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night. Director Mary Lambert’s romcom is centered on a divorcée who, after a public meltdown, buys a castle in Scotland, meets a dreamy duke and regains her creative vitality. The romcom’s charming, witty, and sarcastic dialogue about how it is never too late to start your second chapter feels genuine, and makes up for the lack of recompenses.

Sophie Brown (Brooke Shields), is a popular romcom writer who has released 12 books. “Emma Gale” series. However, the celebrated author has recently come under fire by her fans since choosing to kill off her protagonist’s love interest — a creative decision motivated by her own bitter divorce after her husband left her for another woman. A live breakdown “The Drew Barrymore Show”This causes her to rethink all her creative pursuits, and she makes the decision to head to Dun Dunbar in Scotland to find her father’s castle. Her father, the son of the groundskeeper was a great storyteller, and this inspired her to become a writer. She hopes this trip will enable her to reconnect with her family and work anonymously. But when Sophie arrives, she’s greeted by many unexpected surprises.

Not only do the townsfolk recognize Sophie and unwaveringly support her work, but she discovers that the palatial palace from her dad’s youth is for sale. However, Myles (Cary Elwes), an aggressive, cash-strapped, duke, refuses to give her the keys. He reaches a shrewd deal. A 90-day escrow allows her to immediately take ownership provided that he lives there with her. If she does not, his ownership will be restored. Myles believes he can quickly get the new tenant out of the property. He places her in a dimly lit, darkened room and threatens to make her move. His plan to drive her out eventually brings them closer.

Along with Ally Carter and Kim Beyer Johnson, Lambert instills the film with a lot of heart, charm, and ebullience. Only when it is necessary to use genre tropes, Sophie and Myles’ meet-cute is adorably instigated by Myles’ overly excited dog Hamish (played by Barley, a total ham). Character motivation is always clear-cut when internal conflicts are involved. Their foreseeable argument, and third act “chase to win her back”They are well-earned. While their verbal sparring isn’t quite on par with other snappy screwball comedies, the pair engage in humorous, healthy repartee that stars Elwes and Shields nimbly negotiate.

Those in Sophie’s inner circle — her knitter’s club — are allowed impactful arcs subtly woven into the film’s fabric. Angus (Stephen Oswald), a gregarious leader of the group, is forced to deal with his grief over the loss of his husband. Innkeeper Maisie’s (Andi Osho) journey involves forgiving former beau Thomas (Lee Ross), while Rhona’s (Eilidh Loan) involves leaning into her free-spirited side.

Filmmakers keep the stereotype-prized shenanigans, hijinks, and other nonsense to a minimum. This is both a blessing as well as a curse. It’s a strategy that grounds the fantasy elements in reality while simultaneously restraining some of the liveliness those silly situations bring. External conflicts are very muted. There’s little sense of pressing urgency or mounting adversity faced by our heroine when it comes to writing a creatively fulfilling novel, nor refurbishing the castle in time to reinstate the town’s traditional Christmas Eve ball and caretaker Myles’ impending departure.

Absent are montages of Sophie learning how to maintain the home and expansive grounds, which we’re told include a garden and a sustainable wind farm. Maybe she doesn’t need to since she has plenty of money to make troubles disappear. Even the looming threat of Sophie or Myles’s exes possibly mucking things up — which is broadly hinted at — fails to come to fruition. There’s also a scene spent at the inn checking in a random couple, who seem like they’re being set up as significant somebodies, but turn out to be nobodies as they’re never heard from again.

Still, the film’s benefits outweigh the blights. It’s refreshing to see a sweet love story revolving around a couple over the age of 50. Lambert’s assured sense of introspection, nuance and humor adds an endearing sweetness to the story. This feature is a gift, with its roots and informed views on community and artistic integrity, as well as regaining vibrancy amid a world trying to reduce it,

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