Mary Lambert is in the director’s chair for this Netflix film. Who is Mary Lambert? She directed the 1989 version of Pet Sematary and Madonna’s music video for Like a Prayer as well as many other music videos. Brooke Shields is Sophie, an author on the outs with her American fans and Cary Elwes is Myles, a Duke, and owner of a castle in Scotland. This is not part of the Netflix Christmas Cinematic Universe despite having a castle.
The film follows the budding love between two people who don’t like each other at the start but learn to love each other as they are forced to spend time together. Sophie decides to buy the castle and Myles makes her live in it for the 90-day escrow, ending on Christmas. I enjoy rom-coms. I enjoy Christmas movies. I did not enjoy this rom-com Christmas movie. I never felt any chemistry between Shields and Elwes, which made getting on board with their love story hard. The plot is hyper formulaic, and you could set your watch to the beat in the film. Some drama is added in a single scene that threatens to blow up the entire castle purchase.
The film is set around Christmas but does not delve into the holiday cheer that much. It has three months of runway before the day. It is quite disappointing that it is marketed as a Christmas film because of the lack of joy in the season. I will stand by Die Hard being a Christmas film because of the day on which it takes place. It is also, objectively, a good action movie. A Castle for Christmas is not a good Rom-com and is barely a Christmas movie. I want fanciful top-level royalty in my Christmas films or well-executed stories about family and love. This contained neither and was a struggle to get through. Save yourself some time and avoid this film.