Netflix is buzzing with a new feel-good Christmas movie that is guaranteed to have you heating up your cocoa and snuggling up by the fire while humming Christmas carols.
The Noel Diary tells the story of a successful author named Jacob Turner who goes back home after his mom dies. While there, Jacob meets a young woman, Rachel Campbell, whose mom used to work for Jacob's family before giving birth to Rachel and giving her up for adoption. Like any good Christmas-y romcom, the two decide to go on an adventure to find Rachel's mom, Noel.
Naturally, people are all over this one—it’s currently the No. 1 movie on Netflix. And perhaps most enticing of all (aside from the Christmas theme and romcom plot), are the cozy, wintery shots that accompany the story. It's total snowy-holiday-gorgeousness that feels like it’s straight out of Gilmore Girls. (Which, by the way, was filmed in the same state!).
Obviously, viewers want to know where The Noel Diary was filmed. So, I did a little digging. Here’s the deal:
Where is the story set?
First thing's first. The fictional story is set in a few (real) locations. It kicks off with a glimpse into Jacob’s high-flying life as a wealthy author in a city (allegedly Chicago), before segueing into his trip to Bridgeport, Connecticut, where his mom lived before her death.
After Rachel convinces Jacob to help find her birth mom, the two decide to take a road trip to snowy Vermont, and there are some pretty scenic shots along the road there, as well. The couple then stops in a very cute town called Maple Falls, but it's unclear which state, exactly, this town sits in.
Most of the shoot took place in Fairfield County, CT.
The shots really did come from all around Connecticut, which aligns with at least one plot point. CT Insider points out that Rachel and Jacob go to Griswold Inn in Essex, Connecticut, (dubbed the Maple Falls Inn for the movie), town hall in New Canaan (for the downtown scenes in Maple Falls), and a restaurant called Remo’s in Stanford (for Jacob and Rachel's first date).
Jacob had a book signing in Chicago at the start of the movie, but that scene was actually shot at the Mechanics & Farmers Savings Bank in Bridgeport. Additionally, the scenes outside Jacob’s mom’s house are filmed in Westport, which is near Bridgeport.
They used a main street in a small CT town.
Jacob’s mother’s house was supposed to be located in Bridgeport, but filmmakers used Westport’s Washington Avenue for the street shots, according to Ready Steady Cut.
Other shots were done in Vancouver.
While there was a lot of filming that took place in Connecticut, some of the snowier scenes were also completed in Vancouver. Filming initially started in the city, but had to move to Connecticut due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Cinemaholic. The crew did, however, go back to Vancouver later to shoot additional scenes.
Worth noting: The whole thing was filmed in the late spring and early summer, and fake snow was used everywhere. In fact, the director, Charles Shyer of Father of the Bride and The Parent Trap, told CT Insider that they “hit Connecticut in the middle of summer and there was a huge heat wave, and we’re shooting this Christmas movie with snow."
The Noel Diary is streaming now on Netflix.
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