Noel

"Weak"

Noel 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.



Noel

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th November 2004

Distributed by: Convex Group

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 29%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 25

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Rose Harrison, as Artie Venzuela, as Mike, as Nina Vasquez, as Dr. Matthew Baron, Maurizio Terrazzano as Tom, as Charlie Boyd, as Holly, as Jules Calvert, Sonny Marinelli as Dennis, as Marco, as Arizona, Rob Daly as Paul, as Randy, as Dr. Batiste, as Debbie Carmichael, as Glenn, Una Kay as Helen, Sonia Benezra as Aunt Sonya, Marcia Bennett as Nurse Stein, Howard Rosenstein as ER Doctor, as Karen, as Barton (as David Hirsh), Marguerite Kinh as Mrs. Lee, as Piano Player, Maurizio Terrazzano as Tom, as Holly, as Merry, Charles Rosenblum as Coffee Vendor, as Young Mother, Scott Faulconbridge as Man in Front Row, Budd Mishkin as NY1 Reporter, Carmen Echeverria as Young Girl, Gianpaolo Venuta as Young Guy, Nicholas Haze as Waiter, Ruth Chiang as Nurse Woo, Kevin Ryder as Bartender, Andy Bradshaw as Security Guard #1, Robert Newton Brown as Security Guard #2, Bill Corday as Meek Man, Jennifer Seguin as Young Woman, Lindsay Owen Pierre as Friend, David Schaap as Man with Head Injury, as Head ER Nurse, as Heather, James Callaghan as Extra, Isabelle Champeau as Party Guest, Lucinda Davis as Nurse Gomez, Anthony Ferriso as Santa Kid #2, Loren Ferriso as Santa Kid, Chantal Lonergan as Joy, Dante Palminteri as Boy in Hospital, Adrianne Richards as Nurse Kline

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