Five Reasons every Scot should be Offended by Netflix Film ‘A Castle for Christmas’

Give this film a miss if you are Scottish or you might end up throwing something at the television

Justine McGrath

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Image courtesy of Netflix on Twitter

I sat down to watch ‘A Castle for Christmas’ on Saturday night. It looked promising — Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes. Two good actors. Set in Scotland — massive tick, and a romcom about an author who decides to buy a castle. On paper all good.

I am not Scottish, but I spent five of the happiest years of my life at Stirling University in Scotland. My maiden name is Kyle so it is highly likely my ancestors were Scottish and I have always adored the country. I love my Celtic cousins!

Ten minutes in and I was grinding my teeth in frustration. Here are five reasons this film may drive you to distraction, particularly if you like your films to have a bit of accuracy or authenticity:

  1. Subtitles for the taxi driver’s words. Seriously. Get a grip. Don’t treat people like morons. I think most people would understand what he’s saying — it’s hardly Japanese.
  2. Brooke Shields character arrives at Edinburgh airport and she says she is going to the Highlands. She then proceeds to get a taxi to the Highlands. Aside from the absurdity of taking a taxi to the Highlands, anyone who has ever visited the Highlands will attest to the absolute beauty of the landscape. However, in the film they don’t go to the Highlands as is abundantly clear from the landscape. It was actually filmed in South Queensferry, a town to the west of Edinburgh. Aaaaargh!
  3. Cary Elwes Scottish accent. I will never understand why film producers insist on putting actors in a role where they have to learn a new accent when IT IS NOT NECESSARY! How many good Scottish actors are out there who could have played the role and given the film real authenticity? Maybe they all refused when they read the inconsistencies in the script.
  4. The name of the castle was Dun Dunbar. Enough said.
  5. The producers completely missed out on filming the beautiful landscape of the Highlands and in fact much of the beautiful landscape of Scotland.

I understand the need to accept that it’s just a slushy Christmas film, but I do not get why producers, writers and directors can’t put more effort in to make it authentic.

If they had this could have been a Christmas film that would have been rewatched every year. As it is, for me it has been relegated to the ‘to be forgotten as soon as I get over my frustration, and never to be thought of again.’

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

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Justine McGrath

ICF certified Executive Coach. Specialist in EI. Author ‘Conversations with my Father — Jack Kyle,’ and ‘The Elephant Crossing.’ http://proactivecoaching.ie