Connect with us
Justin Hartley and Barrett Doss look at each other in promo image for The Noel Diary - Copyright: Netflix Justin Hartley and Barrett Doss look at each other in promo image for The Noel Diary - Copyright: Netflix


The Noel Diary Review: Christmas Romance from Netflix



The build-up to the festive season typically sees the main streaming services bring out Christmas-themed movies, with mixed results. The Noel Diary is one of Netflix’s leading contenders for adding some romance to this time of year, but does it give us the feel-good factor we want from a Christmas movie?

The Plot and Cast

Justin Hartley plays Jake Turner, a best-selling author who goes back to his childhood home for Christmas following his mother’s recent death. However, when he gets there, he discovers a diary that could hold some of the secrets of his past.

The other main character is Rachel, who is played by Barrett Doss and is searching for her biological mother. Together, they need to delve into their pasts to find out what the future might hold in store for them. Released exclusively on Netflix on November 24, it’s described as a romantic comedy and was directed by Charles Shyer. 

Part of the plot revolves around Jake reliving the unpleasant memories he harbours from a difficult upbringing in which he never saw eye to eye with his mother. While getting to grips with his own feelings, he decides to help Rachel, whose birth mother worked as a nanny in his house, and they start to develop a relationship as they each try to come to terms with their lives.

It’s an enjoyable if fairly light movie that is undemanding to the viewer. If you’ve seen any romantic comedies before, there’s a good chance that you will guess what happens next at some points. However, for some people, it’s sure to be exactly the kind of film that they want to settle down with in the Christmas season.

Source: Pixabay

The Opinion So Far

Will this movie help Netflix to end 2022 on a high? By looking at this 2022 streaming wrap-up, we can see that the year started poorly as they lost subscribers at a worrying rate for the first time in a decade. Yet, things turned around later in the year, as Stranger Things and Bridgerton set new records. Amazon Prime Video also premiered its successful Lord of the Rings series, so it’s been a good year for streaming services.

While The Noel Diary has only recently been released at the time of writing, the early reviews are reasonably positive. Some critics suggest that Rachel’s character should have been more fully explored before the story was wrapped up at the end, as that would have made her actions more believable.

Yet, others like the smart dialogue sprinkled through the movie and the fact that it keeps up a decent pace without getting boring. Doss made her name on Station 19, and her performance here adds some much-needed charm as well as a suitable comedic approach.

As for Harley, his performance as Jake is solid, and the couple works well together, with their opposing views helping to drive the action along. Meanwhile, the supporting cast all do their jobs well, and the setting is suitably snowy.

Overall, there are no great surprises in The Noel Diary, but it’s a good option for adding some romance and a bit of comedy to this time of year.

Just For You