“If you believe in this spirit thing, the miracle will happen and then you’ll want it to happen again tomorrow… It can happen every day, you’ve just got to want that feeling.”
– Bill Murray in SCROOGED
That’s right – it’s time to feel the moment and that holiday spirit thing. It’s time for SpoilerFreeReview’s 12 days of Christmas 2021 edition! We will be posting our favorite holiday experiences with 12 reviews and illustrations of movies, TV, and music. So sit back, enjoy some spiked eggnog, and welcome to SFR’s 12-days of Christmas 2021!🎅🏽
There’s a certain type of person who loves every made-for-tv holiday romance film ever made. I am not that person. There’s the person who makes themselves some special hot cocoa, puts on their comfy Christmas-themed pj’s, lights a tree-scented candle, and sits down to watch all those Christmas romance flicks on Lifetime or Netflix. Again, I am not that person. My interest in these types of films extends as far as a running joke I have with a girlfriend of mine. Every year, she and I make up titles and plots for these types of films and exchange them on social media. Sometimes we look up the ideas after writing them to see if this type of film already exists. Sometimes (okay, always), we write ourselves into the movies as the lead or the sassy best friend. The fictional movies that we just made up. Not the real ones.
So when another friend shared the poster for A CASTLE FOR CHRISTMAS on Facebook awhile back, I thought to myself, “This is going to be the movie that makes me the type of person described above. Yes, Cary Elwes and Brooke Shields, it is you who is going to have me fall in love with holiday romances!” And… well… I think it failed. 😢 There were a lot of moments in this film that I feared I’d have to give this a 🤮, but in the end, the film is just so lukewarm that it doesn’t deserve any intense scorn.
Right off the bat, the plot feels like it was plucked directly from a bingo machine filled with mad-libs of every other made-for-tv holiday romance film.
- Successful single woman. ✅
- Small town. ✅
- Rough around the edges guy. ✅
- Someone who needs to learn the true meaning of Christmas. ✅
Plus it has castles! Not a spoiler. It’s right there in the title. “That’s fine,” I told myself – “Sure, my friend and I could have come up with this idea on a whim over text one night. But we didn’t sell it and make it into a movie, so more power to those that did.” Elwes and Shields are a good-looking age-appropriate duo who may or may not get together. And with the word “castle” in the title and a poster featuring Elwes in a kilt, I did enjoy the Scottish locations, accents, and atmosphere.
Yes, this is a very by-the-numbers holiday romance that’s elevated a bit by two lovely leads who deserve better roles. There are no surprises here, and you know what? That’s fine. Just sit back and enjoy the escape and try not to Google how much an actual castle would be to purchase in the Scottish countryside (You already did it, didn’t you?). Put those velour gingerbread-man-themed pj’s on. Make that hot cocoa (with whip cream AND sprinkles). Why not? You deserve it.
A CASTLE FOR CHRISTMAS is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.