Movie Review: A Royal Christmas (2014)

Synopsis: Emily Taylor, a seamstress and aspiring fashion designer from Philadelphia, is excited to celebrate her first Christmas with Leo, her boyfriend for nearly a year. When Leo reveals he is really a prince of the small country of Cordinia, Emily readily agrees to attend Cordinia's annual Christmas ball with him. However, while she quickly wins over the castle staff, the townspeople and even some of the royals, Leo's mother, Queen Isadora, makes it clear she wants Emily to have nothing to do with her son.

Who's in it? The movie stars Lacey Chabert, Stephen Hagan, Jane Seymour, Katherine Flynn and Simon Dutton.

Review:  As I have mentioned countless times before, I absolutely cannot stand predictable movies. And, there is nothing more predictable than a fish-out-of-water movie like this one. So, even though I agreed to watch it with my wife last night, I had some serious doubts about it. As it turns out, I ended up enjoying it a lot more than expected.

To be honest, as far as the overall plot goes, there really wasn't much that made this movie stand out. It was a very simple story with no real surprises. However, that being said, I did find there were some thingst that made this movie stand out from some of the others I've seen.

One of the main ones, in my opinion, was the acting. As I've mentioned before, Lacey Chabert seems to stand out when it comes to Christmas/romantic movies and this film was no exception to that. She played Emily in a way that made it easy to believe people would like her, even if she didn't quite fit in. 

At the same time, casting Jane Seymour as the main antagonist, Queen Isadora, proved to be the right choice. I loved how she made the character seem serious and stern while, at the same time, dropping just enough hints through her body language to suggest there was more to her character than first appears. In other words, even when she wasn't very friendly toward Emily, I could tell it wasn't necessarily because she didn't like the other woman, she was just concerned for both her son and her country.

Even some of the less-important supporting characters, like Leo's (Hagan) ex-girlfriend, Natasha (Flynn) had a surprising amount of depth. I liked how the movie allowed her to show some growth while, at the same time, kept her true to herself as far as the type of guy she wanted to be with. This allowed her to become someone that was easy to like and dislike at the same time and added another memorable element to a movie that might not normally be memorable.

Final Opinion: The film has a simple and predictable plot but Emily and Isadora are memorable characters and there is a good mix of entertaining minor players that make the movie entertaining to watch. I don't know if I would add it to my regular holiday rotation but I did like watching it at least once.

My Grade: B

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