A Castle for Christmas (2021) is a new Netflix Romantic comedy film. It is now on Netflix. So should you add this holiday Rom-com to your watch list?
A Castle for Christmas Review
A Castle for Christmas is directed by Mary Lambert and written by Ally Carter and Kim Beyer-Johnson. It stars Brooke Shields, Cary Elwes, and Lee Ross.
To escape a scandal, a bestselling author journeys to Scotland, where she falls in love with a castle – and faces off with the grumpy duke who owns it.
Cary Elwes, and Brooke Shields are both stars in this Romantic comedy film and it is about an author who goes to Scotland to escape the ire of her fans that she angered with her latest book. And she arrives in this tiny village and encounters a curmudgeonly Castle owner, and they have a slightly combative personality clash.
So like most Rom-Coms, this one is highly predictable and full of obvious story arcs, and if you’re familiar with my reviews, you’ll know that I’m usually willing to overlook a lot of cheesiness If the story can feel fresh or really connect with me.
For this one, you’re going to have to overlook quite a few shortcomings when it comes to the writing and technical aspects.
Now, the exterior shots and scenery are beautiful and they look good, but when there are interior shots where the actors are up close, the quality shifts to something more akin to a made for TV movie, with harsh lighting and odd framing.
The editing also leaves quite a bit to be desired, made with some very wonky cuts and transitions and some awkwardly placed graphics to show video calls between characters. But at least the consistency is there when it comes to the editing style.
Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes did a fairly good job at their back and forth with their very mild animosity. And all the while, we know that their protestations will lead them into each other’s arms because otherwise, I mean, come on, this wouldn’t be a proper holiday romance.
Once she arrives Shields befriends a knitting group in the village, and I enjoyed that dynamic. They’re all happy and supportive and also provide needed encouragement and wisdom.
Elwes has an assistant who helps to provide a little comic relief, but mainly he’s just there to say a lot of the things that we’re thinking and to call out Elwes when he’s being daft, which can be pretty often.
So like with many romantic comedies, the story progression is wildly predictable, and this one isn’t any different, but there was a moment where everything is all love and smiles and then abruptly switches gears to something semiangry in a way that just didn’t make much sense other than to infuse some false dramatic conflict into the narrative.
This feels fairly awkward within the story, but there are several other instances of clumsiness as well. The story feels almost haphazardly put together where we’ll have the thinnest outline of a plot, but not much else.
The story is easy to follow, but there’s very little development, leaving large holes in the overall narrative like it’s just skipping through to hit the high points.
For example, there’s a portion where Brooke Shields is wearing a dress and Kerry Ellis has a real problem with it, and then we don’t understand why. Where is the explanation for this?
Shields and Elwes have a little bit of good chemistry, but at times it feels like they’re holding back both in the antagonism and then in the romance.
I wanted them to be bigger and more passionate in both arenas, so that when the romance portion comes, it feels like we want it like it’s been teased to us, and we’re just chomping at the bit for them to get together.
Instead, the relationship is very surface level, even given the amount of time that they’re said to have spent together, which is several months.
So what ends up happening is that the ending in motion is completely unearned and it’s fairly forced. It’s a typical Rom-com ending, but I didn’t find it very satisfying.
I even found it difficult to root for the relationship because I just couldn’t connect with the characters in a way that I just wanted them to get together.
While the story starts off shaky, the first half of the movie was much more enjoyable than the last half. For some reason, when the movie should be progressing towards a romantic climax, it really just becomes a clumsy mess that I wanted to end.
It’s only 98 minutes long, but I wish more had been done within that time frame to build up the relationship and make it better.
I wanted a convincing romance, even if it was wildly cheesy and ridiculous, but I was never convinced of their feelings, and that kept me from becoming invested in all of it.
To add to the things that felt out of place in this, there’s a midcredits scene that is just wildly confusing. It feels like a blooper reel, but I’m not sure it was actually a blooper reel.
I mean the way that it’s edited, with a ton of jump cuts and spliced sequences really does feel like we should be laughing at actors’mistakes, but I think it’s more of just a storytelling choice as odd as it is.
So overall, A Castle for Christmas is a holiday romantic comedy that just misses the Mark in about every arena.
While a spark of romance could be seen between Shields and Elwes, the story doesn’t build enough for their relationship to feel even the slightest bit real. This is also very light on the comedy, providing only sporadic minor chuckles.
I loved the setting of Scotland and how beautiful the landscapes are, but that’s not enough to save the film. The fact that this is extremely predictable didn’t even become a consideration or a concern.
I just wanted to see some earned emotion between the two leads. This could be decent for a very casual watch, but I can’t recommend checking it out. There’s no sex, nudity, profanity, or violence.
So I am going to give A Castle for Christmas a D-Plus.
Do you have a favorite holiday rom-com, I’d love to hear what it is in the comments below.
Guys thank you so much as always for reading the review of A Castle for Christmas review. See you next time with another movie review.
A Castle for Christmas Trailer
Watch the trailer of A Castle for Christmas new Netflix Rom-Com film.