I watch this movie every Christmas and it never disappoints! It's fun and light-hearted. The Christmas decorations are beautiful and the castle is gorgeous! It has great leads and a nice story. Overall, it's a great Christmas movie to watch for the holidays.
Reviewed by doctorsmoothlove7 / 10
Very good family Christmas flick!
"A Princess for Christmas" is an aging Hallmark film you can occasionally find on free streaming services. If you ever find it, I suggest you give it a watch. It is one of the earliest examples of the "royal" subgenre of Christmas movies wherein a young woman falls in love with a prince during Christmas. Of these that I have seen, this is one of the better of this subgenre.
A single mother, Jules (played beautifully by Katie McGrath),from Buffalo lives with her niece and nephew. Her sister and the sister's husband died offscreen and the kids haven't taken to her yet, especially the teenage son. The boy appears to have a girlfriend who should have been a British girl in the fake England they all visit. Instead, we never see her after Milo steals a comic to impress her in the opening five minutes.
Jules receives a visitor who informs her his master is lonely and has invited them to visit. The family boards a plane to visit Castlebury where Milo and his little sister, Maddie's grandfather resides. The grandfather is played by Roger Moore who just nails the part of hornry old grandpa. This guy acts like he knows that you know he smells old and don't want to be there. Yet he invited his estranged family anyway. Apparently his deceased son was disowned when he married a common American woman.
The castle set and the surrounding town are impressive. It appears as if the film was shot in a real European castle. We see many rooms and get the impression the place is huge. The director does a good job setting the tone of this place too in the many dark scenes with low lighting. The darkness is too symbolic for any experienced viewer yet any symbolism is welcome to this genre.
McGrath and Sam Heughan as the prince are well acted and written here. Each of them is given enough backstory for the actors to portray them as complicated people with internal conflict. McGrath particularly is so warm and effusive I don't see how anyone couldn't fall in love with her. She has the quality Audrey Hepburn has in Roman Holiday, which is probably the best film to ever come out of this genre. Her performance is so effortless it almost comes off as cheesy.
What is actually cheesy is this film's movie jerk: the prince's snooty, quasi girlfriend character. Just as grandpa warms up, she shows up to be the villainess. The film doesn't need her although Charlotte Salt camps up her performance for added effect. It's an odd choice to have a character so blatantly movie-ish in this otherwise grounded film. It comes off as if the writer either realized the film had run out of story before its ending or an executive forced a third act.
The film suffers from pacing issues as many films do in this genre. However, I feel the experience as a whole is worthwhile and recommendable. The attention to personal detail here is great and gives the intended family audience something to discuss with children. I think parents will appreciate talking to children about death and coping which are the emotional core. Recommended.
Reviewed by tmccheyne8 / 10
Nice little fantasy
Only thing that spoils it is the man playing Milo...he is far too old for the part. There are numerous young actors that could have played this part better.