‘Tis the season again for cliché stormed movies with a Christmas tree in every shot. December is still a little over a week away, but hey if the stores are going to put the decorations and merchandise out even before Halloween then I am going to review a Christmas movie before December. Also, because December is on the way I am going to be more busy than ever with finishing papers, decorations, gifts, cards…the whole lot. So, better early than never.
Four days before Christmas a Medieval knight Sir Cole is transported to modern day America and meets Brooke. She takes him under her wing and soon a romance blooms across time, but there’s a ticking clock as the knight’s quest must be completed before Christmas.
I couldn’t get through The Princess Switch (hence no review of it), but this movie really is the better one out of the two Vanessa Hudgens Christmas Movies (can that be a genre on Netflix on it’s own now? Twice in a row already). The camerawork is easy on the eye and flows well with one scene to another. The atmosphere is is full on CHRISTMAS as only an American film can be, with lights, pine trees, red and green all around with as much subtlety as a robber hammering on a window with a lawnmower. But it’s not in your face too much and the dialogue, though cliché sentences do appear, they aren’t hammering CHRISTMAS at you with every sentence and sounds very natural and there are minimal CHRISTMAS jokes to be had and instead its all heart. The movie is a very pretty imagining of the real world with the Magic of Christmas (TM) thrown in at EVERY SINGLE SCENE. And for once it doesn’t seem annoying, but actually beautiful in how they lit and composed (that is what it feels like) the scenes together with all the CHRISTMAS around, which can easily be made look too commercial, empty, cheap or just too much to handle, but here it is honestly just beautiful in its intimacy.
Vanessa Hudgens is perfectly charming as Brooke the woman with an ex and who has lost her hope of love and turned a little cynical because of said ex. Hudgens also was the executive producer of the movie, which I suspect adds to the reason this movie is as good as it is. Her clothes are pretty and now I want to mimic them this season because the sweaters and coats she wears with the typical seasonal minimal makeup look really good on her, just to get that out of the way. Smart, mature, helpful and kind she really is a joy to watch and there is no need for secondhand embarrassment with her character at all.
Josh Whitehouse as the charming chivalric romantic knight Sir Cole is for period drama fans a familiar face from Poldark. He is really pretty and is perfectly a starry eyed innocent, charming (of course), sweet and carried the comedic fish-out-of-water plot seamlessly with said attributes. He takes the role as seriously as Hugh Jackman took the role of Leopold in Kate & Leopold, which this movie seems to be taking from with the premise, only adding on the charm with Christmas lights and just handwaving the “science” in the original with magic, which makes it much better in that part.
The chemistry between Vanessa Hudgens and Josh Whitehouse is also wonderful as the script gives them moments of silence to just be comfortable and lets us see this undercurrent flowing through. It makes you smile because of its innocence, the natural chemistry of the leads and the natural dialogues and direction adds to it a lot. It’s both swoon and sigh worthy — starry love filled eyes abound on both counts — to watch these two adorable people fall in love who are so CUTE and obviously meant to be together! The ending made me tear up, enough said.
As for the medieval portions it looks like they borrowed the armour and capes from BBC’s Merlin. As for any real medievalism this comes only as close to being REAL Medieval England only in the way of Standard Posh “British” Accent that crops up in any movie not bothering to think of any specific accents for its casts — not that it matters in this movie at all. The knight’s are chivalric, the castle shown is big, but only a courtyard being shown and is mostly surrounded by mist (or fog?) and look right out of a Romantic notion of a “Medieval England” as one can get from a themed restaurant in America. And everyone is very much clean like they came straight out a shower and the armour glistens as much as a store bought costume for Halloween. Though I have to give credit for including the many layers of armour and its padding underneath, even if no cool looking helmets are involved for the protection of pretty hair.
Snarking aside I was smiling five minutes in to this movie five minutes in and it continued all throughout. It isn’t horribly bad or so bad its good material — IT IS ACTUALLY GOOD — just a fantastical premise which makes me want to lit the hearth, curl up with a blanket and drink hot chocolate and watch this movie again when the snow finally falls to the ground. I guess I will have to wait for the snow, but I will smile as I watch this and though I haven’t seen all Netflix Christmas movies yet, I am sure The Knight Before Christmas might just become my favourite Netflix Christmas movie.
Thank you for reading!