Netflix’s eternal quest to out-cliche itself when it comes to low-budget Christmas feature films has entered a new era as of this morning, following the release of the first trailer for the upcoming A Castle for Christmas. Bringing some star power (sort of) to the fold, the film is a romance starring Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes as a sparring couple of enemies who—gasp—fall in love in a Scottish castle over Christmas. To quote the official synopsis:
Famed author Sophie Brown (Brooke Shields) travels to Scotland hoping to buy a small castle, but the prickly owner Duke Myles (Cary Elwes) is reluctant to sell to a foreigner. Working to find a compromise, the pair constantly butt heads, but they may just find something more than they were expecting.
You’ve got to love how the purchase of the castle is softened by describing it as merely a “small” castle—a starter castle, if you will—in order to make Shields’ character seem like less of an aristocrat. Good stuff. The setting can’t help but obviously invoke other shmaltzy Netflix Christmas features of recent years—I suffered through not just one or two, but three installments of A Christmas Prince hoping I’d never see anything like this again. Regardless, it’s at least nice to see Elwes again, somehow looking here like he’s about a decade younger than he was in Stranger Things.
A Castle for Christmas is helmed by prolific directorial mercenary Mary Lambert, who has been working since the 1970s and been behind everything from 1989’s Pet Sematary to Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” video, or episodes of The Blacklist, Arrow and The Goldbergs. It hits Netflix on Nov. 26, if you find yourself in absolute need of a big bowl of holiday pablum.