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Winter Castle

Grade: D+

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Jenny – Emilie Ullerup

Craig – Kevin McGarry

Since the title of this movie is called Winter Castle, let’s start off by talking about the castle.


First off, I am more than a bit confused as to why we viewers were shown one shot of the incredible winter ice castle below, (which was in Korea by the way), at the opening of the movie when this castle never actually exists within the movie?

Holy crap.

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Instead, here is the actual ice castle “hotel” from the movie.

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Maybe not the best idea to show me something breathtakingly and artistically beautiful followed by its Lego version. As a result, I don’t feel like what we have here is a winter ice “castle” per say, more like a winter ice “jail.” Look, there’s even a security guard out front.


Jenny, our female lead, is a successful book editor, but her “dream” is to write fairy tales. (Ironic, since she’ll be living one in a minute). Here she is pitching her book idea to her boss. Gee, can you tell she is nervous? You better get used to these types of over-expressed expressions because this actress played this part like she was a cartoon character.


Uh…cough…there’s a fairy who escapes the fairy world thru a drop of dew and, uh, she becomes a real girl, (clears throat), and she meets a lonely boy and, um, they go on lots of adventures! (pass out)

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Boss Lady gives her story idea to the writing team…whoopsie. Jenny is sad.


Oh boy! Her sister, Meg, is getting married in four weeks and it’s a destination wedding at the ice jail hotel! Jenny will be the Maid of Honor.


In this shot Jenny and Meg are waiting for a car to pick them up. Question: who waits for a ride this far from the house?


Also, Meg will end up leaving her veil in the snow here, because apparently the slushy snow-covered ground is a good place to lay an expensive and delicate item for any length of time.

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Meg tells Jenny she wants to set her up with Craig, a single Dad whose wife passed away two years ago. Craig has a young daughter and he is a “go getter.”


Jenny gets to the ice hotel and is inspired to write a fairy tale about an ice castle.


Her room is the “polar bear room” and it looks pretty legit. However, if I ever visit this hotel, (it’s in Quebec by the way), I’ll probably just take a tour, since I’m pretty attached to having a bathroom and a door as part of my stay.

Are all the chairs in this place just big blocks of ice? If I needed to bring my own plank of wood, you should have mentioned that in the brochure.

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Jenny investigates the hotel, discovers a mediocre ice slide and loses her s***. No normal adult is going to get this excited about an ice slide. Jenny gets in line with a bunch of 6 year-olds to wait her turn and when she finishes her 20 foot run down the slide, she acts like she just got off a rollercoaster.


“Ooh man, gotta get my balance – look out I’m gonna barf!”

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Craig happens to be nearby and helps her to stand up at the end of her “run.” She pretty much ignores him, but talks to his daughter, Sara, instead, “Have you tried this?” Make sure you try this a lot.”


Next, she sees some winter activity pamphlets on a counter and loses her s*** again.


Skating! Dogsledding?! Carriage rides!

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Oddly, she keeps talking to Sara and not Craig, the adult who is with her, “I’m going to sleep like a hibernating bear tonight! You should try tobogganing! Are you going to try it?”


Craig responds, “When in Rome…” and she reacts as if he meant this literally. (and by “reacts,” I mean “overreacts”).


“OOH! ROME!!! Have you ever been there? The people, the architecture, the foooood!”


Is this woman a puppy? Is she on some kind of amphetamine? Because I swear, she cannot focus for more than 10 seconds.


Craig responds, “I love this enthusiasm!”

Oh, is that what we are going to call it? Okay Hallmark, if you say so, but in the interest of ME, if she “oohs” or “ahhs” one more time I am going to turn off this TV.


Craig and Jenny talk a bit and find out that they are both part of the wedding party.


Since the hotel has no food, (except maybe ice cubes), the wedding party meets at the Tavern Restaurant for dinner. Oh dear, Craig invited a very pretty “plus one” named Lana so now Meg’s matchmaking plan is ruined!


Jenny meets Lana. Lana makes a random comment about the cold weather, and instead of just agreeing with her, Jenny goes crazy and starts to ramble spastically about the outside air and the inside air and the different temperatures in Fahrenheit and Celsius. Thanks, babbling weather girl.


Jenny and Meg discuss the fact that Craig brought a girl to the wedding (what nerve!). Jenny reassures her sister that she is fine with it, which I should hope so since she has talked to Craig for all of about 15 seconds.


That night she sees Craig hug Lana goodnight. FYI this story should be over at this point and Jenny should just leave this couple alone, (#homewrecker), however as we have over an hour left to go in this movie this will not be happening.


That night as Jenny is working on her ice castle story in her room, she hears Lana come out into the hall complaining loudly, “Oh me! Oh my! I didn’t know it would be this cold!” and on and on and on. Hello, look around you Lana! There are no doors in this hotel. Just ask for extra blankets already! #inconsiderate-to-sleepers


So at this point, it looks suspiciously like the script writers are making Lana out to be a b****. The question remains whether this is sufficient reason for Jenny to make a move on Craig.


The next morning Jenny arrives at the Tavern, and Craig invites her to join him and Sara for breakfast. Lana is not with them.

For some reason, Sara is demanding that her Dad make up a story for her which he is struggling to do. Jenny jumps in and of course she is very imaginative but, as she ends the story right before Snowball, the polar bear, is about to die by drowning, I have to wonder whether she’s really cut out to be a children’s book author.


Oh! Do you want to hear the one about the clown that eats children?

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The next morning Jenny goes cross country skiing and we also learn here that she habitually talks to herself. This is not a comforting detail.


She falls down on the trail and the rest of her ski group ignores her and continues on, (thanks losers!). Then she gets up, decides this is a good time to take a picture, and as a result she completely loses the group. In the end she opts to take off her skis and walk, which I highly question… aren’t there large drifts of snow that you could sink into?


At this point I’m pretty certain that if you stuck Jenny out in the wilderness with ample supplies and shelter to live on for months, she would die immediately.


Here she is hearing a strange sound like a growl – could it be Snowball? However, on a positive note, my daughter, Annelise likes her beanie.

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Ooops, there she goes muttering to herself again, “Don’t be a bear, don’t be a bear, don’t be a bear…”

Don’t bears hibernate in the winter? Didn’t she just say this Sara yesterday? What a moron.


Jenny over-heaves with relief to find out that it was actually Craig and Sara who somehow surprised her in a huge expanse of white snow where you can see quite well in all directions.

Then she proceeds to scare the crap out of Sara.


Jenny: Thank goodness it’s you! I thought it might be bears!

Sara: (nervously) W..what?

Craig: Don’t worry Sara, there are no bears in the forest.

Jenny: Yes, there are! I read that there are bears, and foxes and wolves!


This is her expression as she talks about the dangers of the forest to Sara.


“…and tigers and dinosaurs and raptors…we’re completely surrounded right now! AGHHHH!!

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By my count Jenny has terrified this child twice in one morning - why would Craig want this woman anywhere near his daughter?


To lighten the mood Jenny suggests they sing their way home which is odd since this is supposed to be real life and not the Sound of Music. When Sara tells her she used to sing in a school choir, Jenny almost falls backwards into the snow.



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After they arrive back at the ice jail hotel, Craig mentions how he loves the snow, especially after a fresh snowfall.


Jenny loses her freaking mind over this small detail. Say the next sentence as if it is all one word and you will replicate exactly the way it was delivered in the movie.






(gasp for air)


In the next scene, Jenny, her Mom and her sister are getting manicures and apparently Lana was invited. Jenny looks pretty pissed about it.


WTF! Seriously?

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Side Note: What does Jenny have against this woman? She hasn’t done anything of note so far except not like the cold.


During the manicure Lana gives the girls the history of her and Craig’s relationship. The low down is that she has been helping Craig and his daughter after his wife’s death for the past 3 YEARS. She stays over for dinner at their house and takes Sara shopping, basically she has been acting as sort of a surrogate mother to Sara.


Consensus from the viewing group: This chick has put in some serious time on this one, and it looks like Craig has not committed to a relationship with her after 3 years. He also confuses her by doing things like asking her to dinners and to destination weddings. The group took a vote:


Craig is Prince Charming - 0 votes

Craig is a Total Tool - unanimous



The next scene takes place with Jenny and her family sitting around a camp fire looking for shooting stars. Sara, Craig and Lana wander over and Sara points to her hat, which has a cat face on it, and asks Jenny if she likes it.


Jenny’s response: “It’s so cute! Do you know if they had any with tigers on them? I love tigers. And did you know that in Taiga they have the world’s biggest tigers and the people that live on the land say if you respect the tigers the tigers will respect you back.”


Side Note: Huh?


Jenny makes everyone warm milk with honey and nutmeg, (gross), and Sara whispers to Jenny that she wished on a star that she can be her new Mom.


Side Note: Wow, Lana must be terrible with children. She had 3 years to win this kid over and she couldn’t do it. Then Jenny waltzes in and wins the shooting star vote in 1 day. Poor child repellant Lana.


Also, please enjoy the super fake-y CGI northern lights in the sky.


That night Jenny emails her friend about Sara’s wish, then she goes for a walk and wishes on a star like a 6 year-old.

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Oh brother. Hey, what happens if Lana wishes on the same star? Will it go super nova? (super cheesy maybe.)


Lana catches a bad cold, so Craig and Jenny decide to take a carriage ride together, (FYI Jenny, this is not okay. Lana put in 3 years. You put in 3 hours.)


Craig gives her a pastry and we get to watch her eat it. When the carriage ride ends Craig helps her down from the carriage and she doesn’t even say goodbye to him. She just steps on the ground and keeps on walking away. Was this an awkward moment? Did she forget a line? We’ll never know.


Later in the day, Lana is watching Sara and Jenny go down the ice slide and she tells Sara she is “really getting the hang of it”.


The hang of what? Sliding down a slide? There really isn’t anything to learn here.


Lana feels left out and decides to go on the slide too, so she minces her way up the steps where we see her literally slap at a kid who is trying to pass her. What a B. Also, are we really supposed to believe that she doesn’t know how to go down a slide?


This movie is boring me right now – I don’t want to watch adults go down slides. Oh for goodness sake, now it’s maple syrup art – I’m not going to go into the details of this but basically you set up a crapload of stuff for about a minute of fun.

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Big news on the romance front - Jenny finds out that Craig is not romantically interested in Lana. Craig tells her Lana saw the invitation and “got really excited” so he felt obliged to invite her to the wedding. Does this mean Jenny has an All Clear?


Consensus from the group: Yes. Jenny has the All Clear to pursue Craig as long as she realizes that by doing so, she is also saying, “Screw you and your dreams Lana, it’s every woman for herself.”


Jenny and Sara remake Meg’s veil since she left hers in the snow. It is hideous, but since no one will ever tell the bride this - she will love it.

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Next, Lana goes into Jenny’s room to get the veil and, as Jenny’s emails are visible on her computer, she takes that as an invitation to read them. Now she knows about Sara’s shooting star “Mom” wish as well as Jenny’s feelings for Craig.


Before the rehearsal dinner at the Tavern, Craig asks Jenny to go outside where he almost kisses her. Then he pulls away and tells her that she is special, but he is confused about Lana. Jenny says, “I get it” and they return to the party inside.


Unbeknownst to them Lana sees them framed in the window while all this is going on and this is the last straw for her.


This is how you talk in private?

What a couple of morons.

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Lana leaves the next morning so now Craig doesn’t have to choose between two women. Jenny therefore wins by forfeit, which is not a real win, but since Craig is sort of a tool I guess it sort of balances out.


Jenny’s book will be published! How surprising.


Craig looks for Jenny, but he won’t find her until after the wedding since the script writers want them both to be dressed up for their big kissy scene.


The ceremony scene is pretty funny. I am going to take a guess that the extras (wedding guests) were told to look down, sit quietly and not speak, because that is exactly what they are all doing. It looks super awkward.

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Wedding happens. Here are the Leads at the reception all dressed up and ready to play kissy face. Craig tells Jenny that Lana is gone and that she brings him joy. Then they both decide to go to New Zealand which I think is an overstep for two people who haven’t even dated yet.


They kiss, they dance, and I am sure they are all freezing their a**** off.

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● This movie will literally make you belly laugh at how stupid some of the scenes and expressions are.

● Now I want to go to Korea to find that ice castle that was shown for two seconds in this movie.


● The over acting by Emilie Ullerup is really terrible (however, this can also be a pro)

● Both Leads are not very likeable. Since there are no adult characters to root for in this movie I’ll root for Snowball.

● I have no desire to visit this ice jail hotel. Sorry Canada.




Credits: All photos, unless otherwise indicated, have come from the Hallmark Movie “Winter Castle” which can be viewed on the Hallmark Channel

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Vector Art Link:

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