So today, I’m indulging in another favorite…are we sensing a theme here? A Princess for Christmas follows all the fabulous tropes of our other royal installments – girl who doesn’t understand the way royals work, big castle, a ball with a moment where she stops traffic (although in this one, I don’t think it’s because she looks so good) and, above all, a fairy-tale ending. This one stars the girl who plays Lena Luthor in Supergirl, and, pre-Outlander Sam Heughan…and trust me, he looks WAY better in Outlander than he does in this snow-filled royal story. Oh, and Roger Moore is in it, too. RIP.
Jules Daley lives in Buffalo, is great with clocks and watches, and who gets fired from Buffalo Antiques and Stuff as the story opens (not because she sucks, but because no one is buying high priced antiques in Buffalo). She also is the guardian of her niece and nephew, as her sister and brother-in-law are no more. Niece and nephew are a handful, and the nanny quits as well. It’s been a busy first five minutes.
Milo, the nephew, is a huge jerk, but it’s because he’s sad his parents are dead. They died over Christmas, and it’s just awful, y’all, during this time of year. And Maddie, the niece, has a junk food problem and an over-dependence on this one doll that keeps losing its head.
Jules is not having a great day, and it is made worse by the arrival of Paisley Winterbottom (I AM NOT KIDDING) who works for the kids’ grandfather, who had originally cut off his son for marrying Jules’ sister. Grandfather is a duke, and Paisley is the butler. He’s there to invite them all to Castlebury Hall, which is a stone’s throw from Lichtenstein. At first Jules doesn’t want to go, but then she realizes that she’s got no job, no prospects, and a broken car, and she’s exhausted from trying to be a working mom, so off to Castlebury Hall they go. (And apparently, Castlebury has their own airline).
The interior of Castlebury is the same as A Christmas Prince. So I’m glad that the owners of this house get some more use out of it. The housekeeper is a stickler with a harsh German accent, who doesn’t like Jules and the kids. But do you think she’ll thaw at the end?
Jules and Duke’s son Ashton have a meet-cute in the hallway where she breaks a wall-sconce. As you do. You can tell the magic of their meeting because of those wind-chimey sounds that appear on the soundtrack.
First dinner with the family, and Jules and the kids are late. But even though it’s very awkward, Roger Moore is trying to be good, even though he did just call their mother unsuitable.
Jules is barely holding it together – Milo is, like, Harry Potter in Book 5 angry about everything. And Maddie is worried that Santa won’t find them, because there’s no Christmas tree. And Roger Moore is a total Scrooge who doesn’t want one, as they drip sap on the mahogany. Jules makes an impassioned speech in favor of a Merry Christmas – and Ashton and Roger Moore have a moment where it’s clear that their relationship is in the toilet.
There is a hunt at Castlebury hall, complete with red coats and horses, and lots of trumpets and slow-mo of Ashton riding majestically. But there’s a flaw in the hunt, and it’s a brunette with brown eyes who is already threatened by Jules. So insecure.
Jules takes them Christmas tree shopping and during this, Milo fights an orphan and ruins the town square. Even the servants are shocked by his behavior!
Jules meets Lady Arabella, who is not quite engaged to Ashton but that doesn’t stop her from lording it over the tea table. And apparently Ashton is a prince, as well as the son of a duke. Not sure how that works. But whatevs.
Harsh housekeeper has had a breakthrough about her miserable childhood, and now she’ll be nicer and she helps Jules decorate the very sparse Christmas tree that they found.
Milo messes up Lady Arabella’s purse, and she does not take it well. Again I say, that bitch.
Ashton and Jules bond over the Christmas tree. This movie is silly, but the two actors actually have some kind of chemistry together. Good for them. And now Roger Moore thaws enough to like the tree. It’s the magic of Christmas!
Ashton funnels Milo’s rage into archery in the snow. Aww, they made a bullseye.
Roger Moore is so in love with Christmas now, that they’ll have a Christmas Eve ball. And Ashton decides he needs to teach Jules how to waltz. There is a lot of waltzing. And then some very scary dancing by Ashton in a heavy metal sort of way. It’s cute, but Lady Arabella is super pissed that Ashton missed their lunch date for dance lessons.
With the standard trope of eavesdroppers, Jules hears Ashton and Roger Moore talk about someone “without a title, or fortune” and is “embarrassing” and naturally assumes it’s her. She’s visibly upset, but still is nurturing and delightful when Ashton asks her what sort of canapes they should serve at the ball. FYI, shrimp quiche.
The maid has ruined Jules’ fancy dress (which apparently was gross). She takes the dress mishap as a sign to not go to the ball. That makes the maid sob uncontrollably. But Paisley Winterbottom is the fairy god-father and will help her to a dress. Awww, you guys, isn’t that nice?
Milo and Maddie get to dress up. Maddie is wearing one of those dime store tiaras that are always in these movies, but on the little girl, it doesn’t look stupid.
Oh, Jules is super upset – she’s going to leave before the ball because of what she overheard, and she’s a crying mess with great hair even in the snow.
But enter all the staff, who chase after Jules in the snow with a fancy dress in tow. They bought her a designer dress from Vienna. So now, Jules has a ball to get ready for! (Which apparently she will do in the back of a car).
Lady Arabella has the same tiara on as Maddie does. It looks totally stupid on a grown woman.
Ashton has some doubts about Lady Arabella, who actually says, “If you were a gardener, I wouldn’t give you the time of day.” Wow, so shallow. He totally dumps her on Christmas Eve. “I can’t make you happy,” Ashton says. “I don’t care about being happy, I care about being a Princess!” (She says this, as she gestures to her cheap tiara). Way to have goals, sweetie!
And enter Jules. There is an audible gasp from the hallway. It’s because the dress looks like crap and doesn’t fit. Right? (Of course not, it’s all about how magical she is. Duh).
So Ashton and Jules figure out the whole eavesdropping thing, how they weren’t talking about her, but some other crass person without a title. And thus, they waltz, to the amazement of everyone. They have a moment in the shadows where they realize they are falling in love with each other…but there are at least 8 minutes left, so there has to be one more thing.
And, lo and behold, Arabella’s family makes a scene because their daughter just got dumped and will not be a princess. It’s super rude, all about how Jules is a gold-digger or something, especially in front of the entire ballroom, but Roger Moore sticks up for Jules, just like we all knew he would. He calls Lady Arabella “All Fur Coat and No Knickers.” Which is the best line ever. Then he tells Ashton not to let Jules get away.
Are we going to get a proposal? It’s a freaking Royal Christmas movie. How do you think it will end?
They ride off in a horse-drawn carriage and I guess they live happily ever after, which is all you want in a fairy tale. This one is adorable, and while it does say “but it’s Christmas” a few times to justify people’s behavior, it isn’t annoying about it. I would gladly go for another visit to Castlebury, but maybe not until next year. You know, just so you don’t have to.