Movie Review: A Merry Scottish Christmas (2023)

Synopsis: Dr. Lindsay Morgan and her brother, Brad, used to be close but are now estranged. As a result, neither are thrilled when their mom invites them to spend Christmas at a Scottish castle. However, they soon learn a family secret, their mom, Josephine, is actually a Scottish duchess, and the castle belongs to their family. They are given a choice, take over their family's legacy and their inheritance or put the castle up for sale.

Who's in it? The movie stars Lacey Chabert, Scott Wolf, James Robinson, Kellie Blaise and Fiona Bell. 

Review: It's Thanksgiving, which for my wife and me, means it's the start of Christmas movie season. So, naturally, we started out with the newest Hallmark movie starring Lacey Chabert. Unfortunately, this one was a bit of a disappointment.

I think the main problem with this film is the plot is just a little too simple. Most Hallmark movies and Christmas movies in general tend to be predictable but at least most make an effort to build a little suspense about the ending. This movie really didn't make much of an effort in that regard. 

In fact, the movie made the "tough" decision regarding the castle not all that tough at all. For Lindsay, she was given the option to live in Scotland, continue her medical practice, live in a big castle with the family she was reconnecting with and date a guy she was falling in love with. Or she could go back to California, where she seemed to have zero ties other than her beforementioned career. Brad (Wolf) had the choice of being a duke and saving his marriage or going back to a job he hated. Basically, if they chose to go back to California, it would make them look like idiots or asses.

What the movie desperately needed was something that made the decision to stay in Scotland a whole lot more difficult. At first, it seemed like the movie was going to do that by hinting they wouldn't be welcome since Josephine (Bell) abandoned her family when she was younger, and Lindsay and Brad were Americans. But other than an unkind comment made at a restaurant early on, that never came to fruition. Apparently, all you need to do to win over a Scottish population (at least according to the movie) is buy them a whole lot of booze. No joke, you could play a drinking game based on the number of times they are drinking.

Another thing that maybe could have helped the film was having some chemistry between Lindsay and her main love interest, Mac (Robinson). Other than proximity, I just didn't see it working out for the two of them. Frankly, I think Lindsay seemed have more of a spark with the bartender, who only appeared in a couple scenes. 

I will say I thought the cameo involving Will Kemp as Mac's brother-in-law was kind of entertaining, especially when Lindsay mentioned he looked familiar. However, that only reminded me of how much more they would have worked together as a couple in this film than her and her official co-star. I think it was telling the filmmakers had her big dance scene performed with Kemp rather than Robinson.

Final Opinion: My wife and I love Lacey Chabert, especially in Christmas movies. However, compared to most of her films, this one was easily forgettable. A different love interest might have helped but I think the overall plot was just a little too simplistic for even that to save it.

My Grade: D


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