When a woman hires two architects to collaborate on the renovation of her house, will their past get in the way? Or, will they be able to build something special together? A New Orleans Noel stars Patti LaBelle and Keshia Knight Pulliam. Here's my review, including a snapshot of the storyline.
A New Orleans Noel Synopsis
Grace (Keshia Knight Pulliam) is a world-renowned architect who spends her life traveling and going from one project to another. When she gets a chance to work on a project in New Orleans, it's an opportunity to stay with her friend and enjoy the holidays with others.
When Grace goes to visit her client Loretta (Patti LaBelle), she is surprised to learn that she'll be collaborating on the project with Loretta's grandson Anthony (Brad James). Grace and Anthony went to college together and were known for butting heads over their different style and design asthetics.
Knowing that Anthony had a crush on Grace in college, Loretta puts the two of them together on the project so that they can learn from each other. And, see if there's still an attraction between them. But being around Anthony and his family is challenging for Grace as she is used to being alone.
Grace's parents passed away, so she is used to her independence. The large family gatherings that Anthony's family have are overwhelming for Grace and send her retreating back to her friend's house. But with love and patience, Loretta, Anthony, and the entire family help Grace feel what it's like to be part of a family again.
With Grace and Anthony having different design ideas for his grandmother's home, they have to work together to come up with a blend of both styles. She wants to preserve the heritage and history of this home, while Anthony wants to modernize it. Just like their relationship, they'll learn that their styles can complement each other and work well together.
A New Orleans Noel Cast
I've already mentioned the stars in the movie, so you're probably wondering do their performances live up to their names and the answer is a definite yes. You know I recently saw Patti in an interview on Good Morning America and she said that she doesn't really enjoy acting. I think when she stacks it up against all the other things she enjoys, acting ends-up pretty far down on the list. But, luckily for us she said yes to this movie because she really is wonderful as Loretta.
I think part of the charm of watching Patti on screen is that she just seems so authentic. She really does sound like a grandmother dishing out advice to her family. And I know, that's what good acting is all about. But I guess with Patti it doesn't even seem like she's acting. I feel like I'm getting a glimpse of life with the wonderful Patti LaBelle.
As for Keshia and Brad, of course the chemistry between them is perfect. It better be since they are married in real life, but I just really liked this pair on screen and it was fun watching their romance blossom.
And behind the scenes, we had Whoopi Goldberg as executive producer and Alys Murray wrote the screenplay. She wrote another one of my favorite Christmas movies this year, My Southern Family Christmas on Hallmark.
My Review of A New Orleans Noel
A New Orleans Noel has a lot of heart and charm. I loved Anthony's family and how welcoming they were to Grace. Ms. Loretta knew that Anthony needed to loosen up a bit and enjoy life. And, she knew that Grace needed to open up as well and consider the possibility of what being part of a family could feel like. That she didn't need to go through life all on her own, and that friends and the community can be there for you.
The Verdict: Sweet. In a movie about a family that has a famous pralines business, it seems only fitting to give it a “sweet” score. But in all honesty, it is a good way to describe this movie. The Christmas activities like the jingle bell scavenger hunt are a lot of fun. And, the family dynamics with Anthony's brother, sister, and niece are great to watch. A New Orleans Noel will get you in the Christmas spirit, and make you want to get out and celebrate the holiday with friends, family, and neighbors.
Watch A New Orleans Noel on Lifetime. The movie first aired on December 3rd.