Evie Totty: “It was ok.”

A Christmas Romance with Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes (right?) on Netflix.

Is it a good story? Yes. Worth watching? Yes - if you are like me and watch these as if they are Pokémon and "you gotta catch'em all".

I will warn you though that the chemistry between the leads is sorely lacking. When the 'turn' came and they realize they love each other, it came as a complete surprise to me. Elwes was just too good at being - the role he was cast as.

But Shields' character was well-written. There were a couple times I was disappointed in her behavior, but it was necessary for later in the story.

Otherwise, she didn't fork around. She was confident yet vulnerable. I liked seeing her act as if a real person would. Not every day is going to be a good day, and you aren't going to be "100%" (what is 100% anyway?) every day, either. And she helped me dig a litte more out of the "prude hole" I didn't know I had lived in until a decade or so ago - at first I was judgemental about the amount of skin she was showing at age 55. (I am 53). But then progressive Evie spoke up and said "What business is it of yours?" I was like "that's RIGHT!", silently "ohmygodding" to myself.

It's none of my business.

PLUS: the source of the thought! That's what I hate the most. The idea that someone her age should not openly display themselves as a sexual being. That it's somehow gross. (I'll let your own mind continue with the examples that I know it's coming up with.)

[Author's Note: I struggled with how much to write in this review, but decided to leave most of the extra stuff in, as I believe that's what I should have done all along.]

Ok well. I think I'll make a blog post about the rest of my thoughts.

I'm curious as to what Kelly's opinion of the character is (or would be, if she hasn't seen it).

Side note about Christmas Romances: all of them are "It was ok" and some of them actually suck - you just give them the benefit of the doubt. (Vanessa - please no more "XX Switch" movies. I'm begging you.)

Except The Holiday. I love this movie so much. I will watch it whenever I think of it (I want to watch it now).

− December 12, 2021 • more by Evielog in or create an account to reply

Scott Hardie: I've never heard of this movie until now, and Netflix originals and Christmas romances aren't typically my thing, but you make me want to see this despite your rating. There really must be more portrayals of older women in Hollywood that allow them to be confident or vulnerable or sexual, or anything else other than the mere plot devices or family props that they are typically misused as. And we should support the ones that do get made. Nomadland won Best Picture, for crying out loud; there's room for more like it.

If you'll forgive a weird tangent, I watched the entire run of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit up until the arrival of Brooke Shields's character in season 19. The show had been so good for so long, making serious drama that happened to have an accomplished female lead who aged confidently, and I thought of Mariska Hargitay's role as one of those respectable parts for aging actresses, a competent professional instead of merely a middle-aged wife or the main character's mother. Then around the time the show became old enough to get a driver's license, some idiot showrunner or network exec decided that the series needed to portray the detectives' private lives, and the show was badly equipped to do that as it couldn't devote the time necessary to develop that home life properly, so it devolved into terrible soap-opera nonsense, and the utterly predictable and immensely frustrating arc for Shields's character was to me the final straw. So it's weird to read about this Netflix movie that gives Shields a lead role as a complex older woman, when I associate her with the destruction of another great lead role for an older woman.

Reading your comment about the amount of skin that the character showed at 55, I thought, well, it's Brooke Shields, so of course. She's long been considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. But I have no idea what her thought process is. Maybe she has resented being seen as a sex symbol all of her life for any number of good reasons. Maybe she's struggled with her self-image and being forced to wear less in this film continues that process, or maybe it's a voluntary reclaiming of her image as she gets older. It's none of my business either.

I'm sure Cary Elwes is fine in this part and charming in person, but I have a hard time taking him seriously in dramatic roles. He's just so good playing dunces, in roles from Liar Liar, to Hot Shots!, to The X Files, to Twister, to Stranger Things, and of course his best-known performance in The Princess Bride was very funny. Maybe he's funny in this too, I don't know. I just can't see his face and take his character seriously, as a romantic interest or otherwise.

Kelly hasn't seen this and probably won't. She rarely sits through movies any more. :-( − December 22, 2021 • more by Scott

Evie Totty: I stopped watching SVU a long time ago because it was just too disturbing / depressing. I hate to hear it went off track like that.

Regarding Elwes - I believe that was also a problem: I could not take him seriously as a romantic lead. − December 22, 2021 • more by Evie

Want to join the discussion? Log in or create an account to reply.

write your own review of A Castle for Christmas

Other Movies from 2021

The Many Saints of Newark

Matthew Preston says, "It ruled." Go »

Black Widow

Scott Hardie, Evie Totty, and Erik Bates say, "It ruled." Matthew Preston says, "It was ok." Go »

Free Guy

Matthew Preston and Evie Totty say, "It ruled." Scott Hardie says, "It was ok." Go »


Evie Totty says, "It was ok." Go »


Scott Hardie says, "It ruled." Go »

Red Notice

Erik Bates and Matthew Preston say, "It was ok." Evie Totty says, "It sucked." Go »