Netflix Holiday Movie Reviews

Isabella Baker and Iman Owens

A Christmas Prince 

Ah, the holidays. A great time to curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and watch a terrible, sappy Hallmark-esque holiday movie. And thanks to Netflix, there’s loads to choose from. If you’ve browsed Netflix during the holiday season, I’m sure you’ve come across “A Christmas Prince”. This movie was released in 2017, and already has a sequel and third movie to follow. What’s your angle, Netflix? 

“A Christmas Prince” illustrates the heartwarming story of a journalist who falls in love with the prince of a definitely real country while trying to get the scoop on his upcoming coronation. Amber, our protagonist, pretends to be a tutor in order to write the story. But all is not as it seems, for she uncovers a family secret which will change the prince’s life forever. 

In general, the movie was sweet. The relationship between the prince and his disabled sister was loving and believable, and the setting was beautiful. The villains, Lady Sophia and Lord Simon, were convincingly conniving and brought a typical conflict to the story as they attempted to steal the throne and overthrow the prince. 

My qualms? The main character is not a movie actress. Her facial expressions rarely change, remaining in an odd stage of inquisitive and concerned at all times. Her acting (at times) could be likened to someone trying to convince their mother to buy them something expensive — why are you trying so hard? Other than the terribly cheesy life lessons given to her by her father and despite their underdeveloped relationship, the acting was decent. The only other major issue I noticed was the awkward audio input from the wide shots, where the directors were more concerned with getting the dialogue and the scene lined up rather than the acting involved. Overall, not a must-see, but if you’re bored on a wintery Saturday night, feel free to give “The Christmas Prince” a whirl.

The Knight Before Christmas 

If you think you’ve seen every possible cliche Christmas movie plot out there, you’re wrong. Have you ever heard of a 14th century night being sent forward in time to 2019 and falling in love with a high school science teacher? Probably not because that sounds crazy. Well, Netflix thought it would be an excellent idea for a movie. The Knight Before Christmas follows Sir Cole, a medieval knight, and his journey to navigate the modern world while on a quest to become a “true knight”. Brooke, a recently heartbroken high school science teacher, falls for Sir Cole and his knightly charm. 

Overall, it was a terrible movie with very few redeeming qualities. Brooke allowed a complete stranger with, what they believed to be amnesia, stay in her guest house. Stranger danger? Half the plot of the movie is Sir Cole learning to drive, work Bluetooth and instruct Alexa, a truly intriguing plot. To end it all Sir cole realizes he loves Brooke and when given the option to return to his time period he chose to stay with Brooke. Lastly, it ends exactly how you expect it to, the two love interests riding away on a horse on Christmas Day.

The only redeeming quality was how the movie covered the importance of giving back and depicted how charitable actions can make an impact. A heartwarming scene where Brooke surprises a widowed dad with multiple kids struggling to buy Christmas gifts was very well done and encompassed the spirit of giving back.

The Holiday Calendar 

I’m going to be honest, based on the description of this movie I did not have high hopes. The Holiday Calendar is about Abby, a Christmas photographer unsure of her next career move and a magical advent calendar given to her by her grandfather. The calendar predicts what will happen that day with gifts as symbols for significant events. Abby’s childhood friend, Josh, comes back from a photography trip overseas to see family and Abby. A newly single handsome single dad named Ty tries to win the heart of Abby but after lacking a connection and mocking her for believing in the magical calendar they quickly break up leaving an opening for Josh. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, besides the best friend being friend-zoned trope it had none of the traditional cliches of a Christmas movie. It offered an interesting take on relationships and surprised me a couple of times with plot surprises. In general, I wasn’t able to predict the story as it went along. The cast was diverse and the acting was up to par and the characters were developed nicely. The Holiday calendar is truly something special and will hopefully become a Christmas classic, well done Netflix.