Noel Movie Review

Susan Sarandon starring in your movie ought to guarantee a box office bonanza, no? Well, not always. This terribly ill-advised film (which got only the barest of theatrical releases) is a textbook example of just about everything that guarantees disaster. That includes putting Robin Williams in a non-comedic role, giving Penélope Cruz too much dialogue, having Alan Arkin believe that Paul Walker is his reincarnated wife, and, worst of all, setting your Christmas movie among the horrors of an urban hospital.

The idea here is that our central characters (including all of the above, plus one guy who breaks his own hand so he can relive his Best Christmas Ever as he did as a kid in the E.R.) have problems. You know, New Yorker problems: Walker is a jealous cop (and Cruz is his flirtatious girlfriend), and Sarandon's geriatric mother is an a sort of dazed funk -- just staring at the walls, refusing to eat. Sarandon is the centerpiece of the film: She's a mopey creature who's faced endless disaster in her life (a stillborn baby, even), but she's trying to keep up appearances.

In another world, Sarandon's house of cards could have been fodder for a really solid movie on Lifetime, but as a feature film -- and especially a Christmas movie -- it simply doesn't wash. With minimal exception, there's nothing at all to feel good about in any of this, and even Sarandon's dénouement offers questionable uplift. Chazz Palminteri (remember when he was going to be a big star?) directs this all with a workmanlike hand. There's nothing at all surprising about Noel, except for the fact that it was ever made.

The last supper.


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MARIA32's picture

MARIA32

NOEL HAD A VERY NICE STORY BAD NOT WELL FILMED AT ALL!! THE DIRECTOR IS MOSTLY TO BLAME FOR THAT!!ROBIN WILLIAMS WAS SUPERBBBBBBB MAGNETISING US TO THE SCREEN!! I SHED LOTS OF TEARS WITH THIS FILM EVEN THOUGH PAUL WALKER WAS NOT THE PROTAGONIST!! IT WAS EXCEPTIONAL, YES THAT'S WHAT IT WAS!!PAUL WALKERRRRRRRR YUHUUUUUUUUUUU I LOVE U!!!(I GUESS THAT IF PAUL WALKER SEES MY MESSAGE HE WILL PROBABLY THINK I AM NUTSSSSS!! HIHIHI!YESSSS NUTSSSSSS ABOUT HIM!!)

7 years 10 months ago
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Noel Rating

" Grim "

Rating: PG, 2004

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