Every Christmas, my gal pals and I get together to drink wine, gossip, share presents, and watch a truly awful Christmas romcom that either solidifies our friendship of 12 years or ends in tears. Last year it was The Christmas Prince, and they’re still not forgiven. This year it’s got to be nothing but Netflix’s freshly-announced offering, The Knight Before Christmas.
This film really needs no explanation. In modern-day Ohio, Vanessa Hudgens plays Brooke, a beautiful science teacher who’s disillusioned by love. Poldark’s Josh Whitehouse plays the titular Sir Cole, a 14th century knight who’s been transported to the present by a sorceress. Fate brings them together and — well, you know the rest.
Half High School Musical, half Enchanted, it’s a knock-off of these and so many more. Kate and Leopold. The Time Traveller’s Wife. The Lake House. A Christmas Prince. A Christmas Prince 2. A Christmas Prince 3. Believe me, I have endured a lot of rom coms. A lot. The comparisons will never end.
Like any conscientious studio, Netflix has its holiday season formula down to a T. Market research is vital, and if years of churning out holiday releases has taught the giant anything, it’s that the Christmas romcom will always do well. In fact, the worse the better. And there’s a reason we schmucks go along with it every year. We love the cosiness. We love the warm, fuzzy feeling it gives us. We want Vanessa Hudgens’ wardrobe and most importantly, we want it to snow at Christmas like it does in the movies, dammit.
I like to think I’m a reasonable critic, but even reasonable critics have exceptions. Of course I will be watching this. Vanessa Hudgens is adorable in everything she’s in, and who’s to judge you if you’re partial to a British knight? It’s not cinema but it will make a fabulous drinking game, and almost certainly make some of the group a bit misty-eyed.
The official synopsis is as follows:
After a sorceress transports medieval knight Sir Cole (Josh Whitehouse) to present-day Ohio during the holiday season, he befriends Brooke (Vanessa Hudgens), a clever and kind science teacher who’s been disillusioned by love. Brooke helps Sir Cole navigate the modern world as he tries to discover how to fulfill his mysterious one true quest — the only act that will return him home. But as Sir Cole and Brooke grow closer, so do their feelings for each other. Can their love overcome all the odds?
Rather than finish this post, I should just give you a flavour of our group chat when I let them know this film existed. Suffice to say that it involved disproportionate hype and not a little excitement at that too-good-to-be-true co-starring knight. Watch this space to find out how we get on at out annual gathering — or if you can’t wait until then, The Knight Before Christmas will be premiering on Netflix on November 21.