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8 Movies Like The Noel Diary You Must See

November 26, 2022

Charles Shyer’s romantic comedy The Noel Diary tells the story of a famous author who learns of his mother’s death. He returns home around Christmas to settle her estate after being approached by her lawyer. In the things she left behind, Jacob finds surprising secrets and truths about the past in a journal. On his journey to learn more, he meets Rachel, who is searching for her mother and answers for herself.

Starring Justin Hartley and Barrett Doss, the Netflix film explores facets of grief, uncovering life-changing mysteries and the art of journaling, which is known to be a healing process for many people. If you want to see more movies where a journal or the written word helps the protagonist learn life-changing secrets, we’ve compiled a list for you! You can watch most of these movies comparable to The Noel Diary on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

8. Letters to Juliet (2010)

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In this heartwarming romantic comedy, Sophie finds a love letter from Claire Smith that goes unanswered. She decides to act and bring the two lovers back together. The film, directed by Gary Winick, is based on the 2006 non-fiction book Letters to Juliet by Lise Friedman and Ceil Friedman, which in turn describes Shakespeare’s writing style. The film shows the quest to rediscover a long-lost love and to reconnect with a part you thought was lost forever. This is very similar to The Noel Diary where Jacob and Rachel embark on a journey to discover the truth behind the diary they find.

7. Dear John (2010)

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Dear John is another touching love story that follows the romance of John Tyree and Savannah Curtis. When John joins the army after 9/11, they keep in touch through letters as the universe tests their love. The film is based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The chemistry between the leads, Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, was highly acclaimed and brought the story to life. Like The Noel Diary, this film uses the written word to convey the feelings between the characters.

6. The Diary of Bridget Jones (2001)

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The 2001 romantic comedy is based on Helen Fielding’s 1996 novel of the same name, which in turn is a retelling of Jane Austen’s 1813 book Pride and Prejudice. Renée Zellweger plays Bridget Jones, a 32-year-old British single woman who keeps a journal of the things she wants in life. Her world is turned upside down when two men, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), vie for her affections.

Directed by Sharon Maguire, the film explores the implications of the written word as anyone can find and read the journal of what is meant to be one’s deepest yearnings. It gives the reader a glimpse into the life of the title character as Rachel and Jacob learn about the events of the past from Noel’s journal.

5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)

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Mike Newell’s historical romance is based on a novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It revolves around the members of the book club, which begins as a fictitious escape but develops into a real club with literature enthusiasts. In the 2018 film, a young author named Juliet Ashton goes to the island, where the members regularly meet and talk to write about their adventures.

Lily James and Michiel Huisman star in the film and deliver strong performances. The film takes place in 1941 and therefore also deals with the situational wars and their consequences. The members communicate through letters, and the written word forms the basis for much of the film, much like Noel’s journal in the Justin Hartley film adaptation.

4. The Last Letter From Your Lover (2021)

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The British romantic comedy will be directed by Augustine Frizzell and is based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Jojo Moyes. The film tells the story in two different time planes – after the discovery of a series of letters from 1965 a contemporary journalist, Ellie Haworth, is striving , then to get to the bottom of their origins and find out the truth behind them. Similar to Rachel, who is searching for the truth, Ellie is trying to find out what happened to the writers of the letters. Although life is fleeting and ever-changing, we learn how to rely on journals and letters that stand the test of time and can give us a glimpse into the past.

3. The Notebook (2004)

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Directed by Nick Cassavetes, The Notebook is based on Nicholas Sparks’ 1996 novel of the same name. Nicholas revealed that the story is actually based on a real-life couple – the grandparents of his ex-wife Cathy Sparks. The film tells the story of the unconditional love of Noah and Allie, who are forced to separate due to life’s adversities. The story is told by Duke, who appears to be telling it to a woman Hamilton who is suffering from dementia. The film lets viewers experience the power of undying love with Noah and Allie as Rachel devotedly searches for her mother.

2. Dear Frankie (2004)

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The 2004 Shona Auerbach film, starring Emily Mortimer, Gerard Butler, Jack McElhone and Sharon Small, is about a young single mother whose love for her son leads her to tell a lie to stop him to learn the truth about his father. It is about the effects of a failed marriage and the consequences for the children. Similarly, Jacob is also confronted with not knowing his father when his mother’s death forces him to reconnect with his father. In both films, the ups and downs of the relationship between fathers and shown to sons.

1. PS I Love You (2007)

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PS I Love You Romance Movies

Directed by Richard LaGravenese, PS I Love You tells the story of a married Holly who receives letters from her late husband Gerry that help her deal with her grief and give her a push towards a better life. The film, which stars Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, is based on a novel by Cecelia Ahern. He conveys precisely how people deal with the grief of the death of a loved one. As Jacob grapples with his mother’s death, Holly is trying to face the impending grief, but at least she has her husband’s words of encouragement to deal with it.