Romcoms are not my favourite genre. I prefer movies with a bit more flesh to them, you could say, and not the naked 18+ kind. I mean movies with depth, with profound ideas and with historical accuracy, where applicable.
Well, The Knight Before Christmas is not such a movie. It’s flat, kinda cute, very Christmassy and most of all: not serious. But, I wasn’t feeling that well. I wanted some easy to digest distraction, and I love time-travel stories. So I installed myself on the couch, the cat joined me, and I pressed play.
Suspension of Disbelief
One of the first things I told myself was: Suspension of Disbelief, Liz, suspension of disbelief. Ignore the historical mistakes that are being made. Whoever made this movie did not care about accuracy. They wanted to tell a romantic story with some fun elements. But I cringed nonetheless.
How the hell does the main male character from the 14th century speak RP Modern English? How can he read our script? How well does a knight from the fourteenth century even read? Why are his teeth so straight and clean? Why are his hands pristine?
Right. I placed all these concerns on the back burner and tried to enjoy the storyline. Which wasn’t great either. Why is this teacher at home all day? Has the winter-holiday already started? Why didn’t anyone tell me?
Why is there only one police officer in this town? Why does Brooke, the female lead, take a complete stranger into her house, only trusting her instincts? That makes no sense! It’s 2019, people. We don’t trust people on their word, and especially not if you think they’re a mental patient with amnesia.
Mead is not Hot Chocolate
One more rant. Mead is honey wine. It’s a golden coloured sweet liquid which looks like white wine, but instead of grapes is made of honey. There’s no way in hell that someone would mistake hot chocolate, which is brown in colour, for mead or call it by that name. They’re not similar! When you add enough sugar, they may be evenly sweet, but the one is milk-based and the other water-based. That’s not the same. Don’t tell me that just because he is from the fourteenth century, he has suddenly lost all his tastebuds and thinks: oh, this sweet milky drink is just like the golden wine I drank back at home. I don’t think the scriptwriters or those from the production team have ever tasted mead. Else they would not have made this decision.
Wrong, but Okay
But, you know what? I finished the movie. There was something about it that was cute. I liked to see Sir Cole struggle with modern technology. I wanted to see the end. I wanted, for once, to see a happy fairytale ending. And in a way the movie was amusing. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t accurate, but it certainly breathed the spirit of Christmas. It was fun to relax and enjoy an overly sweet snack, just as when you eat a too sweet Mars candy bar. You know it’s wrong, you know you’re gonna regret it, but when you sink your teeth into it, it’s just too good. For a quick get-me-up, it’s fine, just as with this movie. Watch it as it was intended: a sweet romance story without much body. It does that job just fine. But please, do yourself a favour and find a bottle of real mead, or gluhwein for that matter. Don’t settle for less. Merry Christmas!
Final verdict: Like
Another great analysis of this movie by Vulture: https://www.vulture.com/2019/11/a-serious-conversation-about-the-knight-before-christmas.html