A Princess For Christmas (2011) – Movie Review
Okay, so I know Thanksgiving isn’t over yet, and I’m not trying to rush it by. But as I said in my last post, I am not going to wait. If I want to talk about Christmas, or watch a Christmas movie, or do a Christmas craft, etc, I will. So! I am going to share with you a review on the first Christmas movie of the season.
A Princess for Christmas!
This is one of the most recent Christmas movies on our list. We only discovered it on Hallmark last year. It has a simple plot, and not too altogether unoriginal, but it’s sweet and pretty much well acted. The atmosphere, something that can make or break a movie, is just cozy and warm, what everyone wants for the season.
Starring Katie McGrath, Sam Heughan, and the former 007 heartthrob, Roger Moore, this film was filmed at various castles in Romania. Other titles have been Christmas at Castlebury Hall, A Princess for Castlebury, and a Christmas Princess.
So read my review and then tell me what you think!
Jules Daly is an antiques enthusiast with a touch of the out-of-the-ordinary. When her sister and brother-in-law are killed in a car accident, she becomes her niece and nephew’s guardian. With this being the first Christmas without them, everyone is a little down. While trying to handle her grieving niece and nephew, and keep everything under control, times look as if they are going from bad to worse. First she loses her job and then the nanny quits. On top of all this, they receive an invitation to spend Christmas with the kid’s grandfather, the Duke of Castlebury. Jules declines the offer, remembering how the Duke disowned his son for marrying her sister. But soon it becomes clear that they all need a change and going to Castlebury just might be it.
When they arrive, they are treated like royalty with their own servants and lush apartments. Right off, Jules runs into Ashton, the Duke’s son and her sister’s brother-in-law, but his cool demeanor prepares her for the worst. Despite her earlier feelings, Jules encourages her niece to give the Duke a chance. The atmosphere around the castle is cold and stiff, but Jules down-to-earth nature soon takes the chill off everyone. That is, everyone except for Ashton’s girlfriend, nearly fiancée, who immediately sees Jules as competition.
Right before Christmas Eve the Duke decides to have their annual Ball and makes all the preparations. Since their arrival, Jules and Ashton have become attracted to one another, but when she overhears him and the Duke speaking about a woman being crass and having no title she mistakes it for her. Hurt and upset, Jules plans to leave and return home before the ball, telling the children they’ll have a second Christmas together when they return. At the train station, she is all prepared to leave when a handful of the castle’s staff show up to bring her back. They reveal the dress they all pitched in to buy and Jules can’t help but agree to return to the castle with them.
At the ball, Jules learns the truth about the Duke and Ashton’s discussion. She is greatly relieved and enjoys a dance with Ashton. But his former fiance, angry at being slighted starts trouble in accusing Jules of being there only for money. Ashton stands up for them and as well as the Duke, who ends up throwing her and her family out.
Their troubles are over as Ashton marries Jules and the Duke takes them into his home. So what started out as a bad year ends in happiness!
As I said before, there isn’t anything new in the story, and honestly they could have given it a little more spice to the plot, but all in all it’s a good story and nice movie to watch. A classic Hallmark film.
Now I can’t write a review without making some mention at costume. In an effort to give Jules Daly an eccentric sort of style, the costume designer chose a some random outfits for the character. The one she wears the first night at Castlebury Hall is a loose-fitting burnt orange dress that in no way flatters McGrath’s figure. On the other hand, her sweater dress with black tights, red belt and socks, with brown boots makes up for the earlier outfit.
I remember when I first saw the film I was immediately drawn to her hat and scarf, the one she wears through most of the film. The stitch is obviously knitted, but as a believe in everything crocheted, one day my version will find it’s way to my hook.
Her ball dress, unfortunately, looses what credit the designer had gained in my eyes. Another effort at giving McGrath’s character a unique feel, it fails to meet the standards of a classy ball gown. There was potential: the colors were dreamy, and the material had elegance. But the lack of regularity in the style ruined it. She needed a stiffer bodice and more organized folds. It could have looked it great.
But these are my opinions. I am sure there are many people who would not agree and that is their privilege.
Thanks for reading! Be sure and leave me a comment below telling me what you think.