If you like charming and bittersweet holiday movies, then Netflix has you covered this year. Along with several other upcoming releases, they’ve also announced the premiere of The Noel Diary — based on the best-selling novel by best-selling author Richard Paul Evans. This marks the sixth time that one of his novels has been adapted for screen, and the first feature-length film version. And with a Thanksgiving release date, it just might be the sweetest way to kick off the holidays.
The Noel Diary: About the Film
According to the official Netflix logline, The Noel Diary closely follows the novel’s original storyline. And aside from a few changed names, the book’s fans can expect the same twists, turns, and blossoming romance that they love to read about:
When best-selling author Jake Turner returns home at Christmas to settle his estranged mother’s estate, he discovers a diary that may hold secrets to his own past and that of Rachel — an intriguing young woman on a mission of her own. Together, they embark on a journey to confront their pasts and discover a future that’s totally unexpected.
The film stars Justin Hartley from This is Us in the lead role. He is joined by Bonnie Bedelia — a.k.a. Holly McClane from Die Hard and Die Hard 2 — and renowned character actor James Remar. Station 19 star Barrett Doss plays Rachel, the young woman who joins Jake on his Christmastime journey. Leading the production is Oscar-nominated director Charles Shyer, who’s best known for Father of the Bride, The Parent Trap, and Alfie. He also adapted the script alongside Rebecca Connor and David Golden. This is Shyer’s first ever Netflix movie, with his second script — Best. Christmas. Ever. — debuting near the end of December.
Although the novel itself takes place in Utah and Oregon, reports showed that filming took place in Stamford, Connecticut in May and June of last year. Furthermore, some additional shots took place in Vancouver, B.C. shortly after. It’s unclear yet if the setting changed or this is just where they chose to film. But we can certainly expect a charming and very festive little town to serve as a backdrop for this special story.
The Noel Diary Trailer
Netflix clearly wants to prepare viewers to have a box of tissues ready while watching The Noel Diary. While the trailer shows a lot of promise, it also reveals a little too much. If you are onboard with the film based on the story or actors alone, we'd suggest just waiting to watch The Noel Diary when it is released Thanksgiving weekend.
The Noel Diary: About the Book
With a career spanning almost three decades, author Richard Paul Evans is known and loved across the country for his uplifting holiday novels. In fact, the original Noel Diary novel is Evans’ twelfth Christmas work, as well as the first in his four-part Noel Collection:
- The Noel Diary (2017)
- The Noel Stranger (2018)
- Noel Street (2019)
- The Noel Letters (2020)
Each one follows a different protagonist as they sort through a personal crisis in the days leading up to Christmas. Whether it’s divorce or the death of a parent, they all lead them on challenging-yet-meaningful journeys with . They’re also based in Evans’ home state of Utah, where he still lives with his wife and five children to this day. Aside from his long list of published works, he also runs the Christmas Box House International, which builds shelters and provides services for abused and neglected children.
The Noel Diary will begin streaming on Netflix on November 24th, 2022 — making it the perfect film to watch after Thanksgiving dinner.