A Castle for Christmas parents guide

A Castle for Christmas Parent Guide

Sweet without being cloying, the movie manages enough charm to compensate for its predictability.

Overall B

Netflix: Sophie's latest novel is a flop so she heads off to Scotland on a holiday, only to impulsively buy a castle. There's just one catch - the handsome, irascible owner doesn't want to leave his home before the holidays.

Release date November 26, 2021

Violence A-
Sexual Content B
Profanity B+
Substance Use B-

Why is A Castle for Christmas rated TV-G? The MPAA rated A Castle for Christmas TV-G for language

Run Time: 98 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Sophie Brown (Brooke Shields) is a successful author with 12 bestselling novels in 20 years. Having killed off a popular character in her latest novel, she’s now facing protests from her fans and open hostility from the media. Throw in a messy divorce and Sophie realizes that it’s time for a change. Seeking a solitary escape, she heads to Scotland for a visit to the remote Dun Dunbar castle.

It’s love at first sight when Sophie spies the 500 year old stone edifice. Her family has connections to the estate and the castle feels like home to the dispirited author. Learning that the castle is for sale, Sophie impulsively puts in an offer to purchase.

There’s just one catch: Myles, the 12th Duke of Dunbar (Cary Elwes) doesn’t want to sell but is driven to it thanks to his father’s extravagance and a need to protect the tenants from foreclosure. Desperate for a solution, Myles hatches a plan. He’ll accept the offer but require a 90 day escrow during which Sophie will live in the drafty castle and learn how to run it. Between the castle’s aging infrastructure and its crotchety master, he’s betting that she’ll run away and forfeit her deposit.

Perhaps Myles should have spent more time studying the works of Robbie Burns, Scotland’s beloved poet. His warning is prescient, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley [oft go astray]”. As Myles gets to know Sophie, it just might be time to change his plans…

Let’s be honest, most romantic dramas are neither clever nor original and A Castle for Christmas is no different. It’s predictable, filled with stock characters with overdone Scottish accents, and ridiculously over-decorated. (Seriously, is the owner of a 500 year old castle with electrical problems going to put Christmas lights and floodlights everywhere? And since when does anyone in the UK decorate with American-style holiday excess?) That said, the movie is sweet without being cloying. Sophie and Myles manage a wee bit of chemistry and the views of the castle and local Scottish scenery are enough to get audiences booking tickets to Edinburgh.

Perhaps the best part of A Castle for Christmas is its implicit messages. In Sophie’s journey, we’re reminded that it’s never too late to change your life’s trajectory. Sophie’s not sure where her new path is going to take her and she’s frightened by the uncertainty. But she’s got courage and sticks to it, eventually forging an exciting life and career. Her friendships with the local residents are a tribute to the power of community and the impact that individuals can have on those around them. This is a story where people have space for second chances and are able to grow in an atmosphere of support, kindness, and love. Frankly, that’s more valuable than any castle, however picturesque it might be.

Directed by Mary Lambert. Starring Brooke Shields, Cary Elwes, Vanessa Grasse. Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release November 26, 2021. Updated

Watch the trailer for A Castle for Christmas

A Castle for Christmas
Rating & Content Info

Why is A Castle for Christmas rated TV-G? A Castle for Christmas is rated TV-G by the MPAA for language

Violence: A woman talks about different ways of killing a fictional character.
Sexual Content: A man is seen from the chest up in the bathtub. A man and woman kiss; later sexual activity is implied but not shown. A woman wears a drew with deep cleavage. A character makes a joke about a “happy ending”.
Profanity:  There is a single use of a term of deity and about five uses of an anatomical curse word.
Alcohol / Drug Use:   People drink alcohol at the pub and in various social settings.

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A Castle for Christmas Parents' Guide

Sophie says that Castle Dun Dunbar feels like home. Have you ever been to a place that is related to your family history? Did you feel a sense of connection?

Sophie’s agent asks her who she is without her work. Why is it so easy to confuse our personal and professional identities? How does Sophie balance her new interests with her profession?

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Home Video

Related home video titles:

The classic love story set in Scotland is Brigadoon, a musical about an enchanted town hidden in the misty hills.

Other rom-coms set in Scotland are Falling for Figaro, about a wannabe opera singer, and Then Came You, the story of a widow on a bucket list trip to movie sites. Neither are good but they both have charming Scottish backdrops.