A PRINCESS FOR CHRISTMAS
Hallmark Channel Original Movie
Debuts 8 Eastern, 7 Central, Saturday December 3
Co-stars: Roger Moore as the Duke of Castlebury Hall and Katie McGrath (of the British-made Merlin TV series) as the American Jules Daly. (But, often stealing the show is 8-year-old Leilah DeMeza as the Duke’s granddaughter, who makes her first screen appearance in this film.)
Fans of Sir Roger Moore, who now is 84, have waited quite a while to see the former James Bond back in the movies. Of course, over the past decade, Moore has given us a handful of voice-over appearances in animated adventures. But, this week in A Princess for Christmas, he comes fully out of retirement to play a Scrooge-like nobleman trying to reunite the remnants of his scattered family.
This is pure Christmas candy! The movie’s goal is nothing short of sweetly strumming our heat strings with every twist and turn of the plot. Just one of many examples: The Duke manages to assemble his family in his musty old castle, but he can’t keep his hard-hearted anger in check. The old man’s heart finally melts when his tiny granddaughter begs him to help the family decorate a Christmas tree—the first tree allowed inside his castle for decades! As the scene unfolds, there are lots of twinkling lights and glistening eyes, hugs and sighs and heart-tugging lines. One sub-plot in the decorating sequence involves the tale of two little boys who once broke a favorite Christmas ornament—and, now, the twin of the smashed ornament is rediscovered. We don’t leave that grand old tree until every possible emotion is wrung from its green-and-glittering boughs. You’re thinking: Is this too much!?! Perhaps, but this is the rich-and-tasty stuff that goes into baking up a proper Christmas movie, isn’t it?
Toss into this movie mix Katie McGrath as a 20-something, misfit American woman, who gets fired from her job because of the terrible economy in the U.S.—and winds up at the nobleman’s castle partly out of desperation. At that point, you’ve got all the makings for a holiday rags-to-royalty tale that will leave you pleasantly smiling when this fairy tale finally ends.
To their credit, the producers effectively used low-cost locations in Romania to double for Baroque, vaguely British venues. Sometimes, made-for-TV movies like this cut so many corners that it’s difficult to suspend our disbelief—even willingly—to look past the plywood-and-duct-tape stage settings. Here, the castle where Roger Moore roars, until the old lion is tamed just in time for Christmas by his lovable American relations, properly dazzles with winding staircases, giant fireplaces and gilded parlors. Plenty of ball gowns, tiaras and crystal stemware are hauled out for the big Christmas Eve ball.
Who is the true “princess” for this Christmas? Well, it’s not difficult to guess, even reading this much description of the plot. Certainly, it’s one of the transformed Americans. And, no, the elderly Sir Roger doesn’t try to dip down through the decades and romance the young woman. Another, perfect suitor emerges in the course of “A Princess for Christmas.” A Prince Charming? Well, you decide …
Love Christmas movies? Don’t miss this new gem!
DID YOU MISS MITCH ALBOM’S ‘HAVE A LITTLE FAITH’? IT’S BACK!
We’ve heard from many readers, commenting on the made-for-TV movie based on Mitch Albom’s best-selling memoir, “Have a Little Faith.” Millions watched the movie, but a lot of people missed it this past weekend. Well, simply tune in the Hallmark Channel, which has a website to help you find an broadcast time that fits your schedule. The Hallmark debut of the film is on Sunday, December 4, 2011.
FAN OF 007 JAMES BOND? CONSIDER DOING BOND BIBLE STUDY
Are you a fan of James Bond 007?
Then, you know that Roger Moore is not the most popular Bond ever cast on the silver screen. To his credit, Moore was a huge star after his decade-long run in The Saint TV series. Some Roger Moore fans even enjoyed his brief TV series with Tony Curtis, The Persuaders, during which Moore was the highest-paid actor in series televsion. So, when he became James Bond for a dozen years, Moore was at the top of his game! Today, spy thrillers are serious stuff, once again, making the Roger Moore 007 films seem silly. But, that humorous tone was the sophisticated style in that era of spy thrillers. Clearly, at ReadTheSpirit, we appreciate Sir Roger.
Connect James Bond with Bible study:
ReadTheSpirit Books publishes a popular “James Bond Bible study.” The classes are lively and tend to draw newcomers into Bible study, especially men. The study also is popular with men and women in military service, as well as veterans. How do we know? The 007 Bible study literally was field tested by chaplains in Iraq. Click here to learn more about Ian Fleming’s Seven Deadlier Sins & 007’s Moral Compass: A Bible Study with James Bond.
Originally published at readthespirit.com, an online magazine covering religion and cultural diversity