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The Noel Diary hits the big screen  

Himika Akram reporter 

But before you start, I must tell you; if you are a fan of popcorn or candy-floss kind of entertainment, then stop reading further; because this movie does not fit that category of entertainment. It is a romantic comedy film, plotted with the post-Christmas holiday in the backdrop. 

This movie is a film adaptation of the same-named novel by Richard Paul Evans. The main character is Jacob Turner (Justin Hartley), a best-selling author, a very handsome guy who can make his female fans go weak in their knees with his charm. And yet at the end of the day, a lonely guy who loves to do his own things and is dealing with his childhood trauma alone. Things were going well for him until he received a call from the executor of his mother’s estate a couple of days before Christmas, who let him know about the news of his mother’s death. 

Even though Jacob has many bitter memories about his mother; being the only heir he needs to clear things up from his mother’s home who found her solace to deal with her mental problem in hoarding. Better than spending Christmas alone, Jacob decides to go there.  

When he was in the middle of digging through the clutters, he found some items such as a diary written by a woman named Noel. The diary seemed to be written at the time of her pregnancy, she is guilty of getting pregnant at the age of 17 and her parents are upset with her and her unborn child; so, she decides to leave. 

When Jacob was in the middle of packing, a visitor named Rachel (Barrett Doss) showed up. It turns out, her birth mother was a nanny to Jacob. She lived with Jacob’s family a long time ago and eventually abandoned Rachel for adoption. The author of the diary named Noel is actually Rachel’s mother. 

Rachel always kept wondering why her mother abandoned her; she wants to find her. On the other hand, there are many scars on Jacob’s heart too since his childhood. After finding the diary and with the help of a neighbor, both of them figured out, their father is the best person to answer all the questions both had. 

In a quest to reunite with their past, both started a road trip. During the trip, both of them gelled together really well. But what happens after that? Could they finally reach Jacob’s father? Was there any emotional breakdown? Could Jacob and Noel put all the pieces together? What happened to Rachel’s mother finally? Well, that is for you to find out, no more spoilers from my end. 

I really liked the fact that this movie did not go overboard with the Christmas vibe throughout. The story takes place at such a time, when Christmas is coming, but not in the middle of it. The pieces of Jazz are brilliant and created nostalgia perfectly whenever needed. The audience cannot tell that this Christmas movie was shot in the middle of a hot summer in Connecticut, kudos to the cinematographer.  The chemistry between the two lead characters was a delight to watch. The only issue is, some aspects of this movie were predictable. The moment they got into the car for the long, shared trip, the audience would know they would be romantically involved. The ending was a bit abrupt and somehow does not make much sense, but life does not go on according to logic all the time, does it?  

So, if you want to watch a family movie that shows us optimism, hope, rediscovering the past, and forgiveness, and ends with a pensive tone that can be healed with the happy spirit of Christmas; make time for this refreshing movie. It was released on Nov. 24 by Netflix. My personal rating of this movie would be 7/10. 

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