Knight Before Christmas
This winter, Netflix added another holiday original to its supply with “The Knight Before Christmas.” Starring Vanessa Hudgens, a romantic comedy icon, this movie promises everything a rom-com lover wants: a feel-good, cozy ninety minutes of pure romantic bliss.
The story follows Sir Cole (Josh Whitehouse) as he finds himself transported from his 14th-century knight life in England to the suburbs of modern Ohio. The old crone who sent him gives him until Christmas Eve to complete his quest, a challenge which every knight must conquer. High school teacher Brooke Winters, played by Vanessa Hudgens, accidentally hits him with her car when he arrives. Out of guilt for causing his apparent amnesia, she decides to take care of him.
It’s not hard to predict the rest of the plot. The two fall in love, and Cole realizes that his quest is opening his heart. He returns to the 1300s only to turn right back around, appearing before the briefly heartbroken Brooke in a dramatic flurry of snow and chain mail. It’s exactly what audiences crave as the holidays draw near, hitting every cliché line and cheesy scene with sleigh bells and snowflakes in the background. It brings nothing new to the table, but it’s lovable anyway.
“The Knight Before Christmas” may be absolutely predictable, but it’s the perfect movie to warm you by the fireplace. The two leads hold the film together. Whitehouse’s scruffy hair and doe eyes complement his dog-like character perfectly, and his acting brings life to the kind and innocent Sir Cole. Hudgens’s smile seems patentable, and her line delivery as Brooke is impeccable.
The characters are generic, but the actors’ charm shines through the screen. Sir Cole provides ample comic relief as he blunders through the modern world with his sword loyally strapped to his side; the inevitable secondhand embarrassment, however, is kept surprisingly tolerable. His general cluelessness and goofiness keeps the movie itself from being too dumb. While his character arc is bland and largely ornamental, viewers still find themselves cheering for him.
Although Cole’s journey is somewhat half-baked, Brooke’s is far more so. She’s advertised as a disillusioned lover, but she doesn’t act like it; she is as eager for a relationship as Cole is from day one. The pain she previously experienced in love is only shown through two conversations with a student of hers and three scenes in which she nearly encounters her ex. For the rest of the movie, she smiles through all her problems, lips never resting for more than a couple seconds.
The movie relies heavily on the lead actors to leave an impression on the audience, while the characters and plot are as crowd-pleasing as possible. Whitehouse’s endearing silliness and Hudgens’s cheekbones carry the movie. While this movie might not be the right fit for those who don’t have a history of enjoying romantic comedies, “The Knight Before Christmas” is perfect for anyone who wants to relax and get into the Christmas spirit.