Cheesy rom-coms are a tried and true trademark of the holiday season, but “The Knight Before Christmas” takes that tradition to the next level.
Netflix’s recently released original is full-length movie with a plot built from a pun. Essentially, Sir Cole (Josh Whitehouse), a knight cleverly named after a shape, travels through time to 2019. He ends up in a Christmas fair and is mistaken for an actor.
Then, Brooke (Vanessa Hudgens) arrives.
After having a brief conversation with the seemingly in-character Sir Cole, Brooke, her niece and sister leave the fair. On their way out, Brooke manages to hit Sir Cole with her car as he crossed a snowy street.
Classic rom-com stuff.
He’s brought to the hospital but is unscathed, thanks to the 14th century armor he’s wearing. Brooke offers to let him stay in her guest house thinking he has some form of amnesia and that his knight fantasy will wear off in the morning.
Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.
Spoiler alert: they also fall in love.
The whole reason Sir Cole time travelled is very vague, but by the end it's understood that he needs to fall in love in order to be sent back, and he has to do this before Christmas Day. It’s all part of some knight’s quest he has to go through for an unexplained reason. This further explains the “before Christmas” part of the title.
It’s clear the backstory isn’t important here— it’s all about the romance and the true meaning of Christmas. The couple does cute wintry activities together and drinks a lot of hot chocolate, all while Sir Cole deals with the fact that he is quite literally hundreds of years in the future with utmost ease.
The knight fulfills his quest, Brooke gets over problems with her ex using a Middle-Age rebound and everyone bonds over giving and family and other nice things. My heart is warmed just thinking about it.
It’s everything you would want out of a bad holiday movie, and nothing you would want from a good one. It’s like a weird medieval sci-fi Hallmark mash-up, and there is very little about it that is good from a critical standpoint. Despite this, it was deeply enjoyable.
If it’s examined under too critical a lens, the plot immediately falls apart, but “The Knight Before Christmas” is never going to be something discussed in a film class. Instead, it’s something to entertain you while you sip on hot chocolate and relax over winter break. That’s what happens when you base a movie on a pun.