Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Film Night - Noel

This Friday, The Pink Heart Society's very own Trish Wylie, introduces us to an impulse buy now that she's out of the deadline cave. A Christmas film for grown ups; it's Noel...

"Miracles are Closer than you Think..."

So, figuring that all these bright shiny lights and decorations must mean something as I look around outside of the cave - I took myself off for some retail therapy and decided to purchase a Christmas film to help put me into that Christmassy mood...

And lo and behold, a film called Noel. One I hadn't even heard of - let alone seen!

The cast alone is enough to make you look at the film. Susan Sarandon, Penelope Cruz, Paul Walker, Alan Arkin, Marcus Thomas - and even an uncredited Robin Williams!!! And I read the back - it mentioned Christmas - it mentioned love - it mentioned miracles. Aha, I thought. Now there's one to review for the gang....

Now as Christmas movies go if your preference falls to The Santa Clause, Christmas With the Kranks, Miracle on 34th Street or any of those that can be watched with the children - then this film won't do it for you. It's a grown -ups film. It takes three story threads and follows them through and for a long time I thought - okay - it's funny in places but man is it depressing!!!

We have Rose (Susan Sarandon), an over forty divorcee alone at Christmas who has been nursing her mother who has Alzeimers. She's the kind of person who looks after others all the time, who loves Christmas but has no-one to share it with. And every day when she visits her Mother she sees the man lying in the room opposite - no visitors - a stark room without Christmas decorations - so she hangs up a single angel and meets the man (Robin Williams) who is sitting silently in a chair behind the door...

Jules (Marcus Thomas) is also alone. The best Christmas he ever had was when he was fourteen and broke his nose. He spent that year in the hospital and they had the best Christmas party ever! So, he hatches a plan to get himself back into the hospital again for another party - only things don't quite go to plan...

Then we have Mike (Paul Walker - a Male on Monday candidate if you ask me!) - a cop who is engaged to Nina (Penelope Cruz) and they are due to marry the week after Christmas. They are happy, they are obviously in love - but he's a hot head, he's jealous, and his bursts of jealous anger push them apart. So we then follow their seperate stories as Nina tries to decide if she can live with Mike's jealousy and Mike, unable to change, has another problem in the shape of Artie (Alan Arkin) who claims to know him because he's the reincarnation of his dead wife!

Not very Christmas-y you have to agree! But the humour interspersed with the sadness soon attaches you to these characters. Watch Rose as she tries to decide whether or not to have sex with a younger man (Daniel Sunjata - another potential Male On Monday!), watch Mike's reaction as his partner discusses which one of them Artie fancies more and listen to Charlie (Robin Williams) tell Rose he does things because they're the right thing to do - but it' s a bad habit...

But underneath it all there is a sense of hope. There's even a hint or two of miracles being possible. And that's what makes you to watch it to the end and leaves you with a lump in your throat and a discussion with the friend you forced to watch it with you about things like reincarnation and angels...

If you want a Christmas film a little out of the ordinary, with real people facing Christmas with some of the real problems that people everywhere face, and then with a little Christmas type magic thrown in at the end - then you may well enjoy this film. If you want talking reindeer, jolly elves and lots of singing - then you'll hate every second of it....

If you want you can even visit the rather snazzy website and have a look at a trailer here...

I have to say, I'd watch it again. And it has encouraged me to think about maybe putting up the tree... So that has to be a good thing, right???

Warm & Fuzzy Rating: 7/10

So, what's your favourite Chrismas movie? Or do you have a new one to recommend to us? Pop by and let us know.... we are but a purchase away...

Trish's latest releases are out in Australia right now - White-Hot! is her first Sexy Sensation release and is kept company by Project: Parenthood in the Sweet line!

To find out more you can visit her Website or pop by her Blog


  1. B-b-but TRISH, I want to know - does it have a happy ending???? I'm not sure 'lump in the throat' ending is quite reassuring enough for me!

  2. Oooh, a first timer nominee. That was very brave!

    My fave Chrissy film.... Love Actually has become a must watch every year. As has the Grinch!!! We watch it every Xmas Eve now. Just lovely.


  3. Trish,
    This sounds like a real tear-jerker...I'm with does it end?
    I love Christmas Comes To Willow Creek...White Christmas...and Mircale on 34th street...a little magic and a lot of love.
    Off to chech this one out...


  4. I'm hassled Trish some more via msn - and she won't tell me, Carol. Says it will spoil it. The best I got was - one poignant and two happy.


  5. Hmmm...I haven't seen this one...I don't believe I have even heard of it. Sounds interesting though.

    I enjoy It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, Santa Claus: The Movie (had Dudley Moore in it...was a fave as a child), etc. I enjoy the animated holiday films as well...Frosty, Charlie Brown, etc.

  6. Sounds good, will have to keep an eye out for it.

    I love watching White Christmas, Holiday Inn, Santa Claus - The Movie, Flintstones Christmas (took me years to find that one!), The Grinch and Christmas Vacation. there's muppets christmas carol too which I always fast fwd past the sad parts to make it watchable :o)

  7. Where can I buy the angel hung up by Susan Sarandon?? THanks for any help.

  8. Our family loves National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. We watch it every year.

    A new one for me this year and a real tear jerker is The Family Stone with Diane Keaton and Sara Jessica-Parker. Excellent movie!