Over the years, Netflix has done everything in its power to join Hallmark as a producer of truly hilarious, ridiculous and bad Christmas movies. “A Christmas Prince” and its sequels (another is on its way!) were only the start. Vanessa Hudgens took bad Christmas movies to a whole new level with 2018’s “The Princess Switch” and came back again this year with another masterpiece: “The Knight Before Christmas.”
Brooke (Hudgens) is a high school teacher with a heart of gold who lost faith in true love after her boyfriend cheated on her. But everything changed when an actual medieval knight named Sir Cole (Josh Whitehouse) was sent to her time by an old crone (Ella Kenion) to fulfill his quest and become a true knight by Christmas Eve. Obviously, to anyone who has ever binged Hallmark movies, his quest is to find true love, even if he doesn’t realize that until the end.
Hallmark and Netflix love being cliché, and this movie was no exception. Brooke’s last name is Winters. Snow falls for pretty much the entire week before Christmas. There’s a character who both looks like Santa and probably is Santa in the canon. And, of course, Sir Cole can’t stop calling Brooke “Lady Brooke” or “Milady.” It’s really just a movie of blind flirting, weird medieval slang and cuddling.
Netflix’s Christmas movies exist in a special universe where characters from one movie can act as if the other movies are either fiction or reality. For instance, in “The Princess Switch,” Hudgens says her favorite movie is “A Christmas Prince.” Obviously, though, Hudgens cannot be real in a universe where other Hudgens characters exist, so in “The Knight Before Christmas” a passing reference is made to how Brooke’s grandparents visited the fictional country of Aldovia where “A Christmas Prince” took place. Thus, Brooke cannot exist in the same reality as her “The Princess Switch” counterparts. Yet, Brooke watches another new Netflix Christmas movie called “Holiday in the Wild,” during a day-long Netflix and chill session with Sir Cole (clear Netflix product placement). The web of reality and fiction in this Netflix Christmas universe is clearly very complex and possibly only truly understood by those making the movies, or by no one at all.
Sir Cole appears to exist only to be gentlemanly and handsome. He and Brooke don’t have complex personalities. The most complex part of Brooke is how she could possibly own the “manor” (Brooke’s words) that her parents left her. She is single and a high school teacher, so her income can’t possibly pay for the luxurious manor and guest house she lives in. While her deceased mother’s job is unknown, her dead father was a police officer. Again, he shouldn’t have had enough money to buy this house. The only explanation could be some sort of relation to the Aldovian royal family — based completely on the presence of a decorative acorn in her house from Aldovia. Beyond that, her sister who is married with a kid probably deserved the manor more and could more reasonably afford it.
As far as Hallmark-esque Christmas movies go, this one is pure gold. It has chivalry, romance, charity and hilariously unrealistic dialogue. This isn’t the kind of film you can rate against non-Christmas movies, it’s in a Hallmark/Netflix league of its own.
Rebecca Maher is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.