Well, this movie is obviously garbage. I mean, it’s a made-for-TV Christmas movie, and it actually has the word “princess” in the title. You are definitely only watching it if you loved “Outlander” and are confused and saddened by the comparative dearth of stuff that has Sam Heughan in it.

That said (and no, I’m not going to turn around and tell you this is, you know, good), this has some charming bits. Briefly, Jules (Katie McGrath) is stuck raising her orphaned niece and nephew in Buffalo. The tricky thing is that her deceased brother-in-law was a fictional nobleman from fictional European duchy or other implausible kind of state, disowned by his father upon marrying Jules’s sister. Jules loses her job (in an antique store), but fortunately the father’s butler arrives to invite the three strays for Christmas, to (I am not making this up) Castlebury Hall. This father, of course, is played by Roger Moore, who looks rough. His other son, Ashton (Sam Heughan), is around and engaged to a horrible woman and just begging to be stolen away by a down-to-earth American. I don’t need to tell you what happens.

Both the writing and the acting are godawful. Roger Moore skates by because his face hardly moves any more, and Sam Heughan is passable because he gives it the old college try and is extremely handsome, but poor Katie McGrath is kind of bad at American accents and looks distractingly almost like Keira Knightley, which ends up being all you can see. Also she is saddled with truly catastrophic dialogue and the disadvantage of acting opposite terrible child actors.  Only the staff at Castle*snort*bury Hall are at all charming, if also slightly caricaturish.

It is dire.

Stray observations:

  • It may be worth it to watch Roger Moore nonsensically accuse the awful fiancée of being “all fur coat and no knickers.”
  • Why Buffalo?
  • It claims to be a comedy, but…it’s not.

Director: Michael Damian
Rating: TV-G
Length: 91 minutes
Score: 1/5

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