A knight in shining plot holes

TyYonna Kitchen, Copy Desk Chief

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“The Knight Before Christmas” (2019) is a movie for those searching for cheesy Christmas plot holes. This gem of a movie stars Vanessa Hudgens and Josh Whitehouse as Brooke, a high school teacher, and Sir Cole, a medieval knight, respectively. 

This movie was irritating. It was too “middle.” The average Hallmark Christmas movie has amped up everything from the acting to the script. A regular romantic comedy will engage audiences with the usual two characters meet and end up together by the time the credits roll equation. This Netflix movie fell in between these two structures.

If a movie has a premise such as a time traveling knight that falls in love with this teacher who is no longer enchanted by love, I expect it all. The classic romcom over acting, an over the top reason for the witch to send Cole into the future and threat to the relationship between the two protagonists. The movie is called “The Knight Before Christmas.”  If your pun game is that strong, your movie has to back it up. It just doesn’t live up to the expected tackiness, and this only made the plot holes shine brighter.

The beginning of the movie seemed normal enough. Brooke was set up to be a heart broken, and therefore unwilling to ever love again. She tells one of her teenage students that love is for fairytales and that her academic goals are all that should matter to her. 

Though I disagree with her handling of her student, Brooke was reasonably skeptical. She had recently been cheated on by her long term boyfriend. Brooke’s character was a bit misguided, but at least she kind of had a reason to be the way she was. The character, however, was also lackluster. She seemed more embarrassed by her ex than jaded for the most part.

The movies plot depended on Sir Cole’s quest, which was bestowed upon him by a strange old woman in a forest. A quest that required him to open his heart and eyes. As cheesy as that already is, it only takes three seconds to guess that knight plus wounded high school teacher equals Brooke being Cole’s quest. This quest wouldn’t have seemed so stupid if there hadn’t been equally good scenes that would have made better quests without ruining the romcom plot. The good knight rescued Brooke’s niece from a life threatening ice incident, stopped a thief from stealing a purse and gave an underprivileged family a beautiful Christmas full of presents for the kids. But no, the quest was to fall in love and stay with Brooke, never to see his brother ever again.

The movie struggled with stakes and overall reasoning the entire time. At one point Cole said staying in present day Ohio with Brooke wouldn’t be bad. As a watcher, I couldn’t help but think about that moment. If he truly no longer felt like going back to his appropriate time period, then why was I still having to watch the movie? What was the point after that? I get that the point is the quest, but Cole basically threw that out the window to be with Brooke (which was the point by the end of the movie anyway). It was confusing, but the movie continued on anyway.

A question that I have for the magical forest lady is this: why Cole? In the movie, he does say that he chose his knight ship over a woman. That one incident does not warrant a ticket into the future. He should have been a total love scrooge. At least Brooke had her slight cringe face and inappropriate advisory moments to show that she “needs” love. Cole was hunting and found a cupid wannabe that forced him into this “quest” without a warning or permission.

To make matters worse (spoiler alert), the woman gets to Cole’s younger brother during the end credits. Cole had a flimsy reason, but his brother had just been knighted seconds before the rip off of a lifetime was offered to him. Honestly, a better movie would have followed the witch as she tricked every knight in the kingdom into going to the future for love. After completing that task she would probably murder the king or something.

“The Knight Before Christmas” was a soft Christmas romcom that was supposed to force those feel good holiday feelings. Instead, it showed off middle tier script writing, an underdeveloped plot and a few cute scenes that felt buried because of my mounting questions.