From December 1 – 25, I will endeavor to watch a different Christmas movie each day and write about it on this blog. Here are the parameters:
- The movies I choose from cannot have been distributed in theaters for wide release (so no Elf, The Santa Clause, etc.). Movies made for TV, direct to video, streaming, or otherwise independent are up for grabs.
- I will only cover live-action full-length feature films. No reality shows or television shows (but again, made for TV movies are fine). I also won’t cover any holiday specials (ex. the Bob Ross special, Mariah Carey holiday special, Charlie Brown Christmas, etc.).
- All the available movies to stream (along with a Hallmark wildcard) are in a Google sheet, from which I’ll randomly choose one each day. If the movie turns out to be truly unwatchable within the first 10 minutes, I will redraw.
- Each movie will be rated based on a very strict set of Christmas criteria.
Got it? Let’s go!
The Knight Before Christmas (2019)
Directed by: Monika Mitchell
Written by: Cara J. Russell
Starring: Vanessa Hudgens and Josh Whitehouse
Synopsis: “A medieval English knight is magically transported to the present day where he falls for a high school science teacher who is disillusioned by love.”
Watch on: Netflix
Dead dad? Check. Disillusioned romantic lead? Check. Pretty people kissing? Check.
This movie, perfectly engineered to be an ABC Family/Hallmark rip-off, is Netflix’s latest high-production original Christmas feature. Gabriella–I mean, Vanessa Hudgens–stars as a science teacher who hits an English knight with her car and falls in love with him. Merry Christmas!
Sir Cole (the English knight) is sent to modern day Ohio to fulfill some kind of mysterious quest by an “old crone.” This is the shakiest part of the movie, and yet, it’s entirely what the movie hinges on.
How Sir Cole fulfills his quest and what that means is never really made clear to me or to him, I don’t think. And the Old Crone eventually lets him go back and forth anyway, so none of that really matters.
What matters is that a cute British guy wears sweaters and plays with a foam sword and we’re all okay with it. (And they let him become a cop for some reason?)
More importantly, Vanessa Hudgens does wear a lot of great high-waisted pants outfits in this movie, which I thoroughly appreciated. Other than that, the movie is pretty unremarkable and basic. Which is not a bad thing at all.
A real Christmas movie should be so full of snow that the characters are at risk of suffocating on it. The more snowflakes, the snowier (and more Christmasy) the movie.
Snowmeter: 10 out 10 snowflakes. There is constant snow all over the place in this movie, to the point that children almost get lost playing in it. Amazing!
What emotional cord is the movie trying to strike? Is it all about believing in the season? Or is it about the disillusioned bakery owner finding love once again? The higher the mistletoe, the feels this movie has.
The Feels: 7 out 10 mistletoes. I mean, we know he’s not going to go back to medieval times after he learns about Netflix right? (Cross promotion, yo!)
How good of a job does the movie do at getting you in the mood for Christmas? The more snowy white Santa beards, the more Christmas cheer.
Overall Christmas Spirit: 6 out of 10 Santa beards. It’s certainly not the most Christmasy movie ever, but it’ll do the job in a tight pinch.
Would I Recommend? As basic as it is, it’s a cute movie and not a bad way to kill a few hours.