Best known for her works in the horror genre, director Mary Lambert is back with a refreshing Christmas movie, “A Castle for Christmas,” just in time for the holidays.
The film follows Sophie Brown, played by Brooke Shields, as she sets out to Scotland to visit the castle her father grew up in. She hopes to write the latest installment of her bestselling series after the previous one ended in backlash from fans.
I was invested throughout the entire film and was especially interested in the landscape of Scotland and the small village the castle was located in. Every time Sophie walked around the village, she was greeted not only with friendly faces but a variety of farm animals and lush green landscapes.
Shields did an amazing job bringing Sophie to life. Her character was the only part of the film that made it feel authentic and not like just another Netflix Christmas movie.
Sophie is anxious and uneasy after her fans protested the death of the main character in her series “Emma Gale.” But even as she goes through a hard divorce and receives hate from fans, she is a strong character who can take her time writing and fixing the “Emma Gale” series once she goes to Scotland.
During this time, she makes amazing friends who become important story elements for the plot. On various occasions, I found myself tearing up from how close everyone becomes in a movie that’s only 90 minutes long.
The cast of characters surrounding Sophie in Scotland are another standout. The accents from the entire cast are thoroughly enjoyable. No one seemed out of place or put on a bad performance. The movie took Scottish culture and made sure to bring its main aspects to life without overdoing anything or inaccurately portraying its traditions.
The comedy in the film is a breath of fresh air. Sophie is often seen in the first half of the movie exchanging snarky remarks with Myles Dunbar, played by actor Cary Elwes, the duke of the castle. The two often clash heads over silly things throughout the movie, such as Sophie’s room in the castle or the fact that the castle’s dog likes her more.
The only downside to this film is the very obvious love story between Sophie and Myles. After saying she needed a change in her life, Sophie falls into Myles’ arms almost immediately after getting to the castle grounds in Scotland. Sadly, this cliché love story took away from the main plot of the movie.
Sophie’s bumpy relationship with Myles felt redundant at times. Although the pair would enjoy sweet moments while living in the castle together, they were only really happy for a few minutes of the film. Though the rest of the movie after the first half is not necessarily boring, it is predictable, especially with the “enemies to lovers” trope at play throughout its entirety.
There are a few other details that get lost that take away from the overall story. Viewers do not learn anything else about Sophie or her group of friends, further taking away from the main point of the movie, which was her getting a change and wanting to write the next installment of her series.
Still, “A Castle for Christmas” is a wholesome movie to watch with friends and family as we approach Christmas and winter break. Featuring lush environments and humor for all age groups, it is sure to be another holiday classic.