Hallmark's A Merry Scottish Christmas: Rewatch Or Regift?

Lacey Chabert and Scott Wolf, who previously played siblings Claudia and Bailey Salinger on the hit drama "Party of Five," are reunited once again as a brother-sister duo in Hallmark's highly entertaining new Christmas flick, "A Merry Scottish Christmas." Chabert and Wolf haven't lost their chemistry, which is one of the main reasons to check this movie out. Lindsay and Brad are estranged but answer their mother Jo's summons to go to what they believe is a castle-turned-hotel in Scotland. It turns out their mom was once in line to be a duchess, but ran away to California with her American boyfriend, to get out from under her parents' control.

Stunned at this revelation, Lindsay and Brad must figure out what to do with the estate — which supports the local townspeople with jobs — and break down the years' worth of walls between them. Add to that, Brad and his wife Sarah's strained marriage because of their inability to have children, and you've got a recipe for an intriguing holiday film. Also on hand are the butler who bakes, played by character actor Gerry O'Brien, and property manager Mac (James Robinson) who has a kindly eye toward Lindsay.

Rest assured, this being a Hallmark film, things will turn out well for the characters, but it's the journey, unique setting, and music that truly makes it worth a watch!

Relationship issues abound in the movie

Although Hallmark's "A Merry Scottish Christmas" is a drama, it's light in tone and has relatable, real-world problems. The superb acting and tangible chemistry between Scott Wolf and Lacey Chabert make their estrangement believable. Lindsay encounters Mac as he's setting up Christmas lights on the castle, and while she's considering going back home to California, he convinces her to tour the estate with him. Sparks fly between the two, but the slow evolution of their connection works to separate this movie from common holiday film tropes. Kellie Blaise's Sarah isn't given a lot to do here, but once we learn about how she and Brad are having issues with IVF and discussing how to jumpstart their stalled marriage, their story becomes engaging and almost heartbreaking.

Another relatable reason to watch this movie is Jo's detailed account of leaving her parents which caused her brother Danny to become the duke and take care of the castle and estate. Danny dies prior to the opening of the film, and Jo must now figure out what to do with the place, which affects many lives in the surrounding area. Brad and Lindsay are dismayed that they didn't get to know their uncle or grandparents, but manage to get past it as they try to repair their own relationship. The film also wins points for its unique setting, and several familiar Christmas tunes played with bagpipes are heard in the soundtrack, making it thoroughly enjoyable.

Lacey Chabert's performance is dazzling

While "A Merry Scottish Christmas" managed to sneak in a royal theme, it's not overt or hard to believe like some other Hallmark holiday films. The questions for the characters are: what are they going to do with the estate and do they all want to live there? Lindsay's a doctor and Mac's mom is also one who needs assistance running her clinic in rural Scotland. Brad is a tax attorney who would like nothing more than a change of scenery, away from the city grind. The prospect of becoming wealthy royals is not what motivates them, but rather, are they comfortable embracing their heritage and helping to take care of the locals as Uncle Danny did?

Adeptly directed by Dustin Rikert ("Next Stop, Christmas," 2021), the film has a nice, cozy feeling, and would be great while viewed on a snowy night near a roaring fire. Rikert co-wrote it, along with Andrea Canning ("Christmas Bedtime Stories," 2022) and Andrew Gernhard("A Biltmore Christmas," 2023), and it's got a nicely polished touch to it. It's not overly sappy, and while most viewers probably can't relate to inheriting royal money and an estate of over 30 acres, they can identify with the real, human struggles that the characters grapple with. Lacey Chabert shines here and is a strong reason to watch it.

Ultimately, "A Merry Scottish Christmas" is a pleasant and unique take in Hallmark's Christmas film series, and definitely a rewatch!