Joining in on the parade of Christmas movies, Disney Plus releases Noelle on their streaming service. Directed and written by romantic comedy enthusiast Marc Lawrence, this feature tries to tap into that holiday buzz.
Noelle Kringle (Anna Kendrick) is trying to teach her brother Nick (Bill Hader) to take over the business of being Santa Claus after their father passes away. Despite encouragement from their mother (Julie Hagerty), Nick cannot seem to capture the spirit of Christmas. Noelle suggests that he go on a weekend getaway. However, he does not return, throwing the North Pole into chaos. Along with the reindeer and her childhood elf nanny Polly (Shirley MacLaine), she travels to Arizona to find him, allying herself with private detective Jake Hapman (Kingsley Ben-Adir) to find him. Meanwhile, the Elf Council appoints Nick’s tech-savvy cousin Gabriel (Billy Eichner) as Santa, causing even trouble.
Around the holidays, several networks release Christmas movies. Some of them are similar to romantic comedies with lots of hokey comedy, holiday cheer, and lots of repetitive themes and dialogue. This is Disney Plus original tries to match that standard and offer its own magical twist on the genre. Normally, even I can find something to enjoy with these films, since I like movies that are just for fun. However, this movie overdoes it with the cheese factor.
Nothing in this movie is original. Santa Claus passing on his mantle, his heir not wanting the responsibility, a replacement who does a terrible job, an annoying Elf who’s secretly wise, a chance encounter with a decent human, and on and on and on. It takes the best of many Christmas movies and just pastes them together into one movie. Oh, it does throw in some politically correct feminist tropes to get a few critics on its side.
I was also not impressed with the performances. Kendrick, Hader, and Hagerty were all major disappointments. The only one who put in a decent performance was MacLaine. Everyone else seemed to just sort of “try,” but ultimately failed.
Lastly, the humor was so flat. All of the Christmas jokes and the Kringles being ignorant of “human” society were not very funny. Plus, the jokes about kids wanting iPads were way overused. It got old really fast. Probably after the second time.
Bottom line, most cheesy Christmas films have at least some kind of enjoyment or charm. This one does not.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Mild violence
FAVORITE QUOTE: Snowcone!
Check out the trailer below:
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