The Hallmark Channel kicked off the 2022 Christmas movie season last night with Noel Next Door. Let's take a look at the new season of movies with a Noel Next Door review that sums it all up for you. Is this a skip or a must-see movie to add to your Christmas movie watching this holiday?
Hallmark Kicks-Off Christmas Movie Season
It's hard to believe that it's that time of year again. Time to get cozy and curl up on the couch to watch the best Christmas movies 2022. The Hallmark Channel usually kicks-off the new movie season with a good one. After all, they want to get viewers hooked from the get-go. But, I have to admit that I was worried about this Noel Next Door review. The clip they kept showing on TV focused too much on the scrooge-like behavior of one character and focused less on the beauty of the movie.
A Look at Noel Next Door
Noel Next Door is the story of Noelle (Natalie Hall). She is a newly divorced single mum who lives next door to Jeremy (Corey Sevier), the neighborhood scrooge. He is the type of guy who hates the Christmas season. He slams the door on a group of young carolers, makes the condo association take down it's Christmas lights, and is just an all around grump about the holiday season.
Noelle's son Henry likes to kick his soccer ball up against the outside wall of Jeremy's condo. A huge distraction as he's trying to concentrate on work. He scolds Henry for playing soccer and an ongoing battle ensues between the neighbors.
Noelle is a waitress at a local diner and Jeremy comes in one night to pickup his take-out order. The two chat for a bit and later bump into each other at the store. They have a natural ease with each other and Noelle's caring nature is evident from the start. Jeremy is living with some physical disabilities that are a result of a stroke he had. Where other people treat him unkindly, Noelle always brightens up his day and you can see his defensive shell chipping away each time they are together.
Noelle and Jeremy eventually end-up going on a date and have an amazing time together. They go ice skating outdoors and Jeremy opens up to her about his stroke and all that he's lost. His bitterness and anger comes from a place of grief, loss, and frustration. Grieving for the changes in his life, the loss of his wife, and the frustration of living with physical limitations he didn't have before.
The twist in Noel Next Door is that Noelle and Jeremy don't realize they are neighbors. Think She's Got Mail if you will. Noelle and Jeremy are separately complaining about their obnoxious neighbor who is making life terrible, while at the same time spending time together and becoming attracted to each other. They don't realize that the neighbor they are complaining about is the other person.
Noel Next Door Review: What's Nice
Natalie Hall and Corey Sevier work really well together and I loved the chemistry between them. They both did a great job making Noelle and Jeremy relatable. I especially liked how we got to know Jeremy and understand more about the feelings one can have after a tragic life event. Corey allows us to have empathy for Jeremy's situation instead of feeling sorry for him.
His life may not be what he planned, but he's trying to make the best out of it. I also appreciated that Jeremy knew his behavior needed to change. He was stuck in that place where we wallow in our misery. He wanted to change and get back to the person he had been before his stroke, but he's having a hard time seeing the good in life.
I really enjoyed watching the relationship blossom slowly between Noelle and Jeremy. Their relationship came naturally and developed slowly after bumping into each other on a few occasions. It was fun to watch them get closer. Of course we know that the issue as fighting neighbors will eventual come to light. It was like watching a car heading towards a crash and you want to see if everyone gets out OK. I liked how Noelle immediately ended their relationship to protect her son. But, it was nice to see Henry stand up to what he did wrong and set the path for Noelle and Jeremy to get back together.
Noel Next Door Review: What's Naughty
There is an underlying story going on within Noel Next Door too. Noelle's ex-husband is constantly bothering her about Christmas. He doesn't think that Henry should spend Christmas with her and that he should be in an environment that is more suited to celebrating the holiday.
While I understand that it's common for writers to show parents fighting for time with the kids at Christmas, what I didn't like about this storyline was how they portrayed Noelle. Apparently a single parent is not capable of making Christmas special for a child? I mean why would Christmas not be good for Noelle and Henry? They would be with each, with friends, and with family on Christmas day. Isn't that what Christmas is all about? As a single mother myself, I found it insulting the way they spun this and thought it was so wrong to show the Dad threatening litigation to Noelle.
Noel Next Door Review Recap
If the Hallmark Christmas movie season is anything like Noel Next Door then I think we're in for a magical season. No movie is perfect, but ultimately it's all about how it makes you feel. And this movie helped get me in the Christmas spirit and brightened up my night. I hope that my Noel Next Door review has helped get you in the spirit as well.