The dawn of the holiday season calls for one thing and one thing only: a new Netflix Christmas flick starring Vanessa Hudgens. If we cannot have “High School Musical 4,” at least we can rely on an annual romcom starring Hudgens to spread tidings of comfort and joy. Last winter, we were gifted with “The Princess Switch,” where Hudgens plays a successful baker who trades places with her princess doppelganger and winds up falling in love with a prince.Though not exactly the “The Princess Switch” sequel we asked for, “The Knight Before Christmas” offers the same cheerful spirit and fairytale romance that we’ve been yearning for all year.
The movie starts with Sir Cole (Josh Whitehouse “Poldark”) who, at one moment, is a medieval English knight preparing for his younger brother’s knighthood, and the next, is magically transported by a wise old witch into a small town in Ohio in the year 2019. Heeding the witch’s advice, Cole is determined to search for his life’s “quest” before Christmas day. Upon his arrival to the modern world, Sir Cole bumps into Brooke (Vanessa Hudgens “High School Musical 3”), a kind, but romantically skeptical high school science teacher. After an awkward, yet pure encounter, the pair meet again later that night, when Brooke nearly runs Sir Cole over with her car during a snowstorm. Out of both guilt and intrigue, upon learning that Sir Cole has no place to go, Brooke offers him a bed in her guest house. As the days leading up to Christmas go by, Sir Cole and Brooke prepare for the holidays together, Sir Cole teaching Brooke about the customs in his world and Brooke sharing the traditions in hers. A friendship between the two soon develops, which of course, quickly begins to morph into something more.
Though at surface level “The Knight Before Christmas” is intended strictly for a preteen, female audience, the movie is arguably enjoyable for anyone in search of a little holiday pep with a sprinkle of romance. Unsurprisingly, this movie follows a similar framework to “The Princess Switch”: a twist of fate, followed by a meet-cute, which ultimately leads to a budding romance. The unpredictable elements of “The Knight Before Christmas” are far and few in between, and the film certainly does not pack a whole lot of cinematic punch; however, it does successfully invoke a sense of nostalgia for the most wonderful time of year.
With the majority of their time together filled with bread-baking, tree-chopping and hot chocolate drinking, Brooke and Sir Cole are certainly no Kate and Leopold, but their love story is sweet and seasonal, which is a box that all holiday movies should check. I’ve seen my fair share of low-budget Netflix films — some are truly awful, without purpose or direction. But, despite its lack of originality or spunk, “The Knight Before Christmas” is a wholesome reminder that the holiday season is around the corner and maybe that is all that it needs to be.