Netflix Noel’s Diary brings the story of Richard Paul Evans’ 2017 holiday to life, with Justin Hartley (this is us) and Barrett Doss (Station 19) in leadership roles. These two have a lot of issues to unpack as well as bond – and knowing how these movies go, chances are they’ll find love along the way. So, it is Noel’s Diary Worth putting at the top of your Christmas list? Or you should keep it Noel’s Diary Locked in a Christmas box?
essence: Justin Hartley plays Jake Turner, a best-selling novelist who is extraordinarily handsome, and is also commented on several times throughout the movie because the guy is played by Justin Hartley. When Jake learns that he has suddenly become executor of his late mother’s estranged estate, he is forced to return to his hometown, sort out her affairs, and reconcile his own issues (if he can).
He’s not the only one hanging around at his mom’s house. A mysterious woman, Rachel Campbell (Barrett Doss), appears and says that her adoption papers led her to that address – and that her mother worked in that house as a nanny. From there, Jake and Rachel set out to get information from one person alive who might have a clue about this mysterious nanny: Jake’s more distant – but also very much alive – dad (James Remar). How will Jake deal with the man who abandoned him decades ago? Will Rachel ever find her mother?
What movies will remind you of?: Imagine the movie version of the grimly sentimental holiday song/ghost Christmas shoes — which was apparently made into a movie starring Rob Lowe by CBS in 2002. Or maybe that’s the case. Family room for two.
A performance worth watching: James Remar – who I remember from talking Miracle on 34th Street – does a really great job of humanizing a father who abandons his wife and child after a terrible tragedy. There is a sensitivity to his performance that doesn’t feel forced or as a cover for impending disappointment. This is a movie full of sad twists, so getting an honest performance from Remar feels like a respite.
Unforgettable dialogue: Jake to neighbor Ellie (a distinctive, warm performance by Bonnie Bedelia) about the task at hand: “What did Robert Frost always say? He said, ‘The best way out is always through,’ right? Although I’m sure he’s never met a hoarder.” .
Eid tradition: One of the towns that Jake and Rachel pass through on their road trip happens to have a Christmas pageant that includes a show. It’s a wonderful life.
Two turtle doves: If a marathon of holiday movies about kids reuniting with their estranged parents doesn’t sound like a total hassle to you, watch it Noel’s Diary followed by Kirk Franklin’s Night Before Christmas — about an estranged mother and daughter — when it premiered on Lifetime on Dec. 10.
Does the title make any sense?: The movie is about Rachel discovering her mom’s diary, and her mom’s name is Noel…so, yeah.
Our advice: There’s absolutely a place for romantic holidays that skip the com part entirely – perhaps a romantic holiday drama. The holidays are about feeling things in general, whether those feelings are joy or sadness, or nostalgia in all its pleasant and painful forms. Noel’s Diary It also hits all the feelings. There are some chuckles here and there, as well as some hilarious moments between Jake and his neighbor Ellie. There are also some big moments meant to have you reaching for tissues just like an episode of this is us. if you think Noel’s Diary 100 minutes of running time can last without Justin Hartley giving us life-altering decisions in the rain, think again.
Primary selling point Noel’s DiaryHowever, Hartley and Doss had a relationship. They do a solid job playing people who go from strangers to romantically intimate road trip partners in a matter of minutes. You know eventually they’ll hook up (how could they Not?), so the wrinkles Rachel shares instantly make the movie more scandalous than any Hallmark outing.
There is a point where Noel’s Diary More tips to drama Drama area, and this shift may undermine how you feel about the film’s central romance. This is when you really have to ask yourself what you want not just from your holiday movies, but from your Hartley movies. If you’ve turned this on expecting to see a magical romance between Justin Hartley and Barrett Doss, you should adjust your expectations. If you like being dazzled by the movie’s festive lights and then having a carol stuck in your head for the evening, this isn’t that kind of movie. If you want a sick journey movie about facing past traumas and some mild infidelity – this is more than the vibe.
Our call: skip it. this is us Fans might want to see Justin Hartley pull out their hearts for Christmas, however Noel’s Diary It may be pulled too hard.
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