Pop Culture Recaps

Is it just gender-swapped Enchanted? We watched Netflix’s The Knight Before Christmas and had SO many thoughts…


Is it just gender-swapped Enchanted? We watched Netflix’s The Knight Before Christmas and had SO many thoughts…

Netflix’s Christmas movies are definitely one of our Romance.com.au highlights of the year, and given the *cough* success *cough* of The Princess Switch last year we were very excited to see Vanessa Hudgens’s next foray into Christmas movie land. Suffice to say, our writers Eloise and Courtney has a lot of things to say…

Recap: THE PLOT?

Eloise: Gender-swapped Enchanted. But worse because there were no musical numbers. Actually Gender-swapped Enchanted, but worse because no musical numbers OR cool villains, AND stuffed full with every Christmas movie/ romance movie cliché.

Let’s count them;

  • Heroine wore entirely Christmas palette (red, green, white, gold)
  • Meet cute in the street
  • Precocious child character
  • Snowstorm/blizzard
  • Heroine slips on ice and is caught by Hero
  • Heroine struck dumb by hot hero’s abs while he is changing clothes
  • Heroine falls asleep and hero covers her with a blanket
  • Baking montage that has sexual tension when hero slips his arms around the Heroine to help her knead (also known as ‘Ghost sequence’)
  • Heroine comes down stairs in gorgeous dress, hero is dumbstruck at her beauty
  • Mistletoe causes first kiss
  • Magic of Christmas saves the day

Also, there was a magical quest. And the quest was love. Sigh.

Courtney: Look, I got what I expected. We knew a HEA was coming, we knew Vanessa would look perfect at all times, we knew the Hero would save the Heroine, etc etc. I did not expect hot chocolate to be featured so heavily though – did Netflix recently buy shares in Nestlé or something? The production value wasn’t terrible, but the CGI was atrocious and made me laugh every time the medallion glowed blue (they clearly focused the budget on Vanessa’s sparkly outfits, not the special effects). BUT the gorgeous Sherwyn was assuredly real, so I’ll let it slide. The Saddle Club girl in me was very excited about the horsies.


Eloise: I didn’t hate it. In fact I had quite a good time watching this movie (and harrumphing wildly every time the old ‘confused Knight Man is confused by modern things’ cliché was wheeled out (approx. 1 billion times)). Vanessa Hudgens was there. She’s ok. The main dude was passably attractive. Shrug.


The quest was LOVE?! Grr if you’re going to include a non-historically-accurate medieval knight AND magic at least also give me a dragon or two.

Courtney: Honestly I wouldn’t have minded the entire movie being set in 1334. Give me a castle and a medieval Christmas and I’m a happy girl. However, once I got stuck into the story, it was sufficiently safe and cozy enough to be enjoyable. I snickered FAR too much at every Renaissance-style exclamation (BEJABBERS!) and sighed with frustration every time Vanessa appeared in perfect hair, makeup and outfit – even when having a Netflix marathon on the lounge – but despite this, it wasn’t too bad. At least I actually made it to the end of the movie, unlike The Princess Switch last year, which I smoothly exited after about 3 minutes of Vanessa’s fake English accent.

*Us @ this movie*


*A shirtless Knight Man*


  • Knight Man had to get his quest fulfilled by midnight. He is Cinderella.
  • Love at first vehicular accident.
  • The ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ subplot was cute.
  • Also I like a movie that says ‘let people be who they want to be even if that is a man who thinks he’s a medieval knight on a mysterious quest’.


  • Old Crone has hair goals wow. Beauteous indeed.
  • Mr Ginger Snaps
  • ‘By that logic, only things that you comprehend are possible.’ I know this is just a line but I actually really like it. This is a mysterious world we live in and not all things can be explained by our limited minds!
  • I love how it seemed like the cliché ‘girl helps boy tie his tie’ moment was ruined because actually, she did not know how to tie a tie. Made me feel better about my lack of tie-tying skills.
  • The Aldovia easter egg!



  • Within the first few minutes we had references to ‘kissing frogs’ ‘knights in shining armour’ and ‘fairytale endings’. The script was very ON THE NOSE.
  • The old lady was actually called ‘Old Crone’ in the credits. Love that for her.
  • Knight Man is baffled by normal things = plot.
  • When Knight Man tried to eat a skunk.
  • Knight Man shows off masculinity with tree slaying abilities? Cool.
  • Whenever the sister spoke it sounded like an innuendo. Which was ok when she was referring to the “hot” knight man. Weird when talking to her small child.


  • Threatening to skewer ‘the douche’ in the diner
  • When Knight Man(what was his name again?) sees regular people being affectionate and then he glances longingly at Vanessa. Very reminiscent of Wall-E and Eve.
  • He learnt and understood how to do a perfect American accent and use phrases like ‘lit AF’ overnight???
  • When they were first officially introduced and he knelt and kissed her on the hand. Not gonna lie, I wish all men greeted me this way.
  • ‘Prithee, what is a selfie?’

*Confused Knight Man is confused *



  • I’ll say it again. There should have been at least 1 dragon.
  • Netflix has a HUGE budget. The interior sets for the houses were SO BEAUTIFUL. So why was the time travel sequence so LAME?  There was a puff of smoke and the Knight Man crouched? Then a cut to medieval land, another puff of smoke, and he stood up????! At least do a sad 80’s fade in. L.A.M.E.
  • Again, on budget. Why did the Old Crone have such a terrible wig? WILD THEORY, she was actually FROM the future, realised last minute her modern haircut was not going to work and had to buy a wig at a discount party store for $5, then she travelled back in time, sent Knight Man into the future, and followed herself. That, or Netflix spent too much money on interior decorations and therefore had to scrimp on the rest of their budget.


  • I wanted to see the scumbag cheating ex-boyfriend get what he deserved! A snowball to the head, at least!!

  • More horse rides, please. I wish to gallop through the forest with a medieval knight, thank you.
  • Could have done an Anna/Elsa moment wherein Vanessa is FAR too eager to trust this man she barely knows, and invites him into her house. He could have been a psycho, Vanessa. Look at Prince Hans. Elsa had it right when she said you can’t marry a man you just met – or invite him into your house WHERE YOU LIVE ALONE JUST AFTER YOU HAVE HIT HIM WITH YOUR CAR.



  • Ok so if Aldovia is a real country in this world we can assume Montenero is real too. Does that mean the Vanessa Hudgens in this movie is the rumoured triplet for the Princess Switch sequel? Are we going to see a Knight Before Christmas/Christmas Prince crossover? In the (limited) world of Netflix’s romantic Christmas movies this could be VERY EXCITING.

  • However even in this world, where we accept that all the other movies are ‘real’, Holiday in the Wild is STILL a Netflix movie? This confuses me.
  • In romantic movies why does the crowd clap when the hero and heroine kiss? Is that not weird and creepy. If people start making out (on a horse) in front of me I usually awkwardly avert my eyes and pretend to be on my phone. PDA is not clap-worthy.
  • Tbh tho someone repeatedly calling me a ‘fair maiden’ would defs have me swooning.

*Eloise Swoons*

  • If it isn’t snowing is it even a Christmas movie? (@Holiday in the Wild)
  • Why is everyone ok with a RANDOM STANGER WHO IS VERY WEIRD AND CARRIES A LITERAL SWORD EVERYWHERE STAYING AT HER HOUSE? Is it just cause he’s “handsome” and has a British accent?

  • Ok have to have a *nerd moment*. I don’t think Knight Man was from the 1300’s. In the 1300’s people a) did NOT speak or read the same language as us, b) were super unhygienic and diseased (his teeth were too nice, and did we miss a scene where she explained about deodorant and shampoo?), c) had wildly different values systems and legit burned women at the stake for being independent (see: witch trials) and, d) did NOT make bread if they were nobility – i.e. from the class of people that got to be knights.

SO my theory is that Knight man was NOT from the past. He was from an alternate reality fantasy land. Ergo Netflix really missed a trick by not having dragons, or evil magic subplots. THIS WHOLE MOVIE IS JUST A WORSE VERSION OF ENCHANTED. Nuff said.


  • I would looove a proper The Christmas Prince/Knight Before Christmas crossover. PLS NETFLIX.
  • How rich were her parents because I am 100% certain that a school teacher and housewife (the sister) cannot afford the upkeep on that mansion. Even with big money lawyer daddy helping.
  • Her father was a policeman actually… so what about the mum????? ARE THEY SECRET DESCENDANTS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY IN ALDOVIA AND THAT’S WHERE THEIR MONEY COMES FROM???

  • At the very end, when they ride off into the sunset on the horse – why are people clapping as they leave??? Literally everyone in the weird Christmas village stops what they are doing to clap as two strangers ride away on a giant black horse???
  • Clearly Amazon sponsored the hell out of this movie. ‘Alexa, define product placement’
  • There better be a sequel where they both go back to medieval times, and Vanessa gets a cute medieval costume. Like when Natalie Portman went to Asgard with Thor. V cute.

Eloise: My final thought… I should go watch Enchanted again.


** Superior movie **

By Eloise Plant & Courtney Lunn

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