The Noel Diary is based on a novel by Richard Paul Evans, and teams up two TV actors we know and love in an original streamer that “sets itself apart” given the many holiday movies to choose from this season, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Netflix film stars Justin Hartley of This Is Us fame, and Barrett Doss, who, yes, you are right — you recognize from Station 19. Justin portrays an author, Jake Turner, who is summoned home during the holidays upon finding out his estranged mother has died.
Barrett plays Rachel, who is intent on finding her birth mom, who used to work for Jake’s family. The Noel Diary finds Jake and Rachel setting off on a road trip in an attempt to figure out their complicated pasts. Where was The Noel Diary filmed? Keep reading for all the details.
So, where was ‘The Noel Diary’ filmed? The plan changed along the way.
This holiday flick was initially supposed to film in another country. More on that in a moment. First, per HITC, The Noel Diary takes place in the winter wonderland-ready state of Connecticut. Justin, Barrett, who films Station 19 in Los Angeles, and the rest of the cast actually traveled to The Constitution State to film the movie as well.
If you are a Connecticut native or travel to the seaside state, you may recognize Westport’s Washington Avenue, which is where Jake’s family home is located. The Mechanics & Farmers Savings Bank in Bridgeport is where Jake does a book signing — although, as HITC points out, the signing happens in Chicago in the movie.
Other spots that Connecticut-loving viewers may appreciate include the filming locations of Madison’s RJ Julia Booksellers, The Griswold Inn in Essex, and New Canaan’s town hall. Stamford’s Remo’s Italian restaurant hosts a memorable date between Rachel and Jake. Meanwhile, The Noel Diary takes place in a fictional town, charmingly known as Maple Falls.
Although Connecticut provided the perfect filming location for The Noel Diary, originally, the Netflix original was supposed to be shot in Vancouver, Canada. So, what happened?
Filming for ‘The Noel Diary’ was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Director Charles Shyer didn't count Connecticut as his first choice for where to film The Noel Diary. But when Canada-based production was shut down over pandemic-related concerns, he took his team to the state where the actual story takes place.
Interestingly, per CT Insider, The Noel Diary was actually shot over a year ago. “We hit Connecticut in the middle of summer and there was a huge heat wave, and we’re shooting this Christmas movie with snow,” Charles told the outlet.
Despite the contradictory weather, Charles enthused, “I thought the experience was lovely. The people were great. The food was great.” He further noted that filming The Noel Diary in Connecticut was “financially good for Netflix,” and that “the neighborhoods and the feeling of family really worked for this movie.”
The Noel Diary is streaming on Netflix.