Movie Review: Christmas at Castle Hart (2021)

Synopsis: After being fired from their waitress gig, sisters Brooke and Margot Bennett travel to Ireland in search of their deceased father's relatives. While touring the estate of an Irish earl, Aiden Hart, Margot convinces Brooke to pretend to be a successful event planner so they get the opportunity to organize an elaborate castle party. They are successful but Brooke begins to have second thoughts when she starts to fall for the earl.

Who's in it? The movie stars Lacey Chabert, Ali Hardiman, Stuart Townsend, Kate O'Toole and Breffni Holahan.

Review: My wife and I saw this movie advertised multiple times while watching other Hallmark movies this weekend and, mostly because we both like Lacey Chabert, we made a point of watching it when it first aired. Unfortunately, while Chabert lived up to expectations, this movie really didn't.

If there is one word to describe this movie, it would be "predictable." Everything from Brooke's (Chabert) budding relationship with Aiden (Townsend) to how the truth about her and her sister (Hardiman) is revealed was so obvious, I felt like I had seen it before.

Adding to the disappointment was the fact the sisters were entertaining and funny, with Chabert and Hardiman showing great chemistry when they were in scenes together (they reminded me of Romy and Michele) while also being able to carry the movie when it was just one of them. Had this been a stronger movie in general, I think their performance would have made it memorable.

I feel like the filmmakers' biggest mistake was choosing to make the sisters' search for their father's biological family a secondary story rather than the primary plot. That part of the film was actually kind of interesting, especially since they had very little information to go on and the search required them to get information from a duchess (O'Toole) that seemed much more interesting than some of the main characters and probably should have been featured more.

I also feel like the relationship between Aiden and his sister (Aoife Spratt) deserved more time than it got. I would have loved to see them fix their problems over the course of the movie rather than just have that part crammed into the last few minutes (along with a bunch of other stuff). In fact, that, by itself, probably could have been a great movie.

Final Opinion: Chabert and Hardiman were fun to watch and I would enjoy seeing them paired in other movies as a result. However, this movie was just too predictable and failed to live up to expectations. I didn't hate it. I just think it could have been a lot better.

My Grade: C


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