A New Orleans Noel (2022 Lifetime)

A New Orleans Noel

A New Orleans Noel (2022 Lifetime)

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Cast: Tim Reid, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Patti LaBelle,

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Grace Hill (Knight Pulliam) and Anthony Brown (James) could not be more different. Despite having gone to college to study architecture together, their lives took them on completely separate paths. But when they’re both hired to work together on the home of Loretta Brown (LaBelle)—a New Orleans praline icon— the two find themselves stuck working together at Christmas… and butting heads over more than just architecture. When Anthony and his family discover that Grace will be celebrating Christmas alone, they invite her to take part in their traditions and their celebrations. Soon, fiercely independent Grace begins to learn the importance of family and community, while modern Anthony learns to embrace tradition and the magic of Christmas. And when Grace is offered a new job far away from New Orleans, she’ll have to decide if she’ll leave or follow her heart.

Recap/Wine Thoughts

The movie starts off in New Orleans with a lot lot lot of establishing shots.

Rudy is in town for work, and her Jewish but Christmas-obsessed friend, Alexis, gets her a cajun eggnog coffee with “bourbon extract.” to get her in the holiday spirit. Rudy is playing an architect and is working for Loretta Brown, AKA Pattie LaBelle. 

While they walk downtown, they see a handsome man named Anthony, who is Rudy’s ex from college. He is also doing the renovations on Patti LaBell’s house. (He is also her grandson.) Could this be a romantic setup? Seems so!

Rude eats PRAWleans while she tours the house. They have different views on the design. He wants modern, and she wants to update the traditional. 

More establishing shots, this time with Rudy walking around. She sketches a church, who knows why, and Jordan (Anthony’s niece) comments on the photo. Patty LaBelle shows up with a fascinator on, which is all I can focus on during the scene. (She looks great!) 

Antony’s family invites Rudy over for brunch. They treat her like family. It means something to her because her family all died in a fire or something tragic. Rudy has to leave the meal because she is so overwhelmed with emotions. Anthony notices and tells Rudy that you’ve got to love your family while you got them. 

Tim Reid shows up and goes on a coffee date with Patti LaBelle. I love that an older widow is out there dating because she deserves to find love and a partner too! Later they eat gumbo, and she tells him not to fall in love with her. (Which is the way you make someone fall in love with you.) 

Loretta owns a confectionary where she sells her famous pralines. She tells Rudy that if she ever needs a family, they are there for her. (But also they are paying her to do a job!!)

Next is the Jingle Bell Hop, a scavenger hunt that is kind of like the Amazing Race, but you get bells as a prize. (That is not $100,000.00) Rudy and Anthony go around town doing touristy things.

The clock strikes whatever time Jordan’s Christmas Pagent; Anthony asks Rudy to join him. Which she does. Jordan has stage fright, and Rudy coaches her through it from behind a set piece on stage. Then she joins her onstage, stands next to her, and mouths the words.)  

Rudy is starting to feel like she is a part of a family, which causes inner turmoil for her because she got offered a job in Toronto. (Is the relationship even like that? She would stay in town for this family she just met and can’t even make it through a meal with?)

Back to the design for the house, they settle on classic meets modern. (Anthony also has a side mission to re-create his grandmother’s PRAWlines.) 

Rudy mentions making snow angels with her family, and Anthony makes a winter wonderland with paper snow that is sooooooo over the top. She loves it and does paper snow angles. He asks her if she wants to live in New Orleans. Rudy avoids the question but invites him to Alexis’s party.

At the party, Rudy hides in the kitchen, worried that her date won’t show up. When he does, he shows up in a bowtie with praline. (They are not a hit, he is missing something from the secret recipe.) Alexis asks all her party guests to write a letter to Santa. Anthony asks Santa for Rudy for Christmas. They almost kiss, but a second line passes by… I should have known this was coming. 

Patti tries to close out the cash drawer, and Tim Reid shows up. They kiss. It is never too late for love. I guess things do get better with age. 

It is time for the family Christmas party, and everyone is dressed formally! Rudy’s dress leaves Anthony speechless. 

A live Jazz band plays at the party. There are so many people at the party, and they don’t all seem like family. Patti LaBelle gives Rudy an engraved blanket, so she feels like she is part of the family. 

Charlee, Jordan’s mother, a military vet comes home. Rudy overhears them talking about putting family first. She tells Anthony that her job is done. (How? We didn’t see anything.)

Patti LaBelle tells Anothny the secret ingredient is salt. She tells him to go out and get Rudy back. It is a metaphor for his life; he is all work and no play.

Anthony brings the family on a streetcar or something to Rudy’s house. She asks her to take him and his family into his heart. He gives her the pralines, and Rudy tells him that he has nailed the recipe. They kiss as the family cheers them on. 

Side Note

Minority Report: The cast features BIPOC actors. 

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Christmas Trees represent Christmas vibes. *** I’ve updated the rating system. Wine is overall enjoyment (NOT a value judgment) on a 1-5 scale.

 I will use the following tags for those who want to know if they should watch or skip: Pour it Up (Would Recommend) or Put A Cork In It (Would Not Recommend). 

Overall rating

Christmas Feels

🎄🎄 (2 Christmas Trees)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷🍷 (2 glasses of wine.)

What did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments or on social media @LifetimeUncorked

*Photo Credit: © 2022 Lifetime

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2 Comments

  1. This is a predictable, but decent lifetime movie. If you were to drink every time you heard the word/s “praline” or ‘pralines”, you would be drunk within 20 minutes. They say it a lot. I’m sure if I search Google, there will be somebody who actually counted. It’s worth the watch just for Miss Patti LaBelle herself and Ms. Rudy Huxtable all grown up was a treat.

    The chemistry on screen cannot be denied. The cast works well and forms a true little family. Is there some overacting? Absolutely? Does it bother me? Absolutely not. Within minutes you’re transported to New Orleans at Christmas time. I’m here for it. Well worth a watch

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