Almost immediately after finishing my Festive Films post, I headed downstairs and put on, not one of the films on my list, but A Castle for Christmas, Netflix’s new Christmas offering. And I loved it. If you’re going to watch this one please remember that, like many films, this isn’t an accurate depiction of the country where it’s set, but it is a sort of version of said country (in this case, Scotland) adjusted for an American audience.
In this film, Sophie Brown (Brooke Shields) is a writer, who has killed off the major love interest in her series of bestselling novels, and is facing absolute hell because of it. She travels to Scotland, where her father is originally from, and falls in love with the castle where her father lived as a child, before discovering it’s up for sale. Unfortunately, the Duke of Dunbar (Cary Elwes), who lives in Dun Dunbar (no, I couldn’t help laugh every time they said that) is determined to drive her out of the castle before the escrow period is finished. Of course, they fall in love, and spend most of the film skirting around each other.
The plot is silly, the Scottish setting is a bit…okay the setting is stunning and beautiful but pretty sure a lot of the words they say mean “idiot” are probably not, the actual Scottish people with accents are subtitled and their words changed (“nae bother” to “It’s not a problem) and, well, the rest of the accents are a little on the painfully fake side, and I still freaking loved it.
It’s just pure escapism, the kind of film that fills you with warm fuzzy feelings. There’s not a huge amount of stakes, even including the whole “Duke trying to save the town” aspect, as the townspeople themselves don’t really seem bothered, trusting in the Duke to save the day.
This is a film about two rich white people fighting over a freaking castle, one of whom has an actual title, and it’s really sweet and wholesome. Another aspect I liked was that these are two older people. They have their lives set out, have experience under their belts, are both divorced, and it’s a very different situation than, say, two people in their early 20s. It avoids the typical reckless actions Romance leads take and instead embraces the way their experiences can impact the plot and their feelings for one another.
If you’re Scottish and think the inaccuracies will annoy you, I’d maybe suggest staying away. But if you can overlook them or don’t think you’d really pick up on them anyway, it’s a heart-warming film perfect for a cozy night in, snuggled up on the sofa with a beverage of your choice.