The Notebook

Synopsis: Behind every great love is a great story.

As teenagers, Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling) begin a whirlwind courtship that soon blossoms into tender intimacy. The young couple is quickly separated by Allie’s upper class parents who insist that Noah isn’t right for her. Several years pass, and, when they meet again, their passion is rekindled, forcing Allie to choose between her soul mate and class order. This beautiful tale has a particularly special meaning to an older gentleman (James Garner) who regularly reads the timeless love story to his aging companion (Gena Rowlands).

Based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook is at once heartwarming and heartbreaking and will capture you in its sweeping and emotional force.

The Notebook 8.0

The title is vague enough. It could be a fantasy film, a period piece, a chilling ghost story, or any number of things. So, if you haven’t seen this already, or haven’t heard about it, then the film’s poster and DVD artwork might unexpectedly be triggering your “syrupy romantic drama” alarms and making you bolt for the nearest exits.

If you have yet to bolt and are still reading, then I say to you: don’t run. There’s really not much cause for alarm.

*minor spoilers follow*

Granted, the story is about two young ‘uns falling head over heels in love. Granted, it’s swimming in nostalgia – not just for a distant memory, but for a place, and a moment in time. Granted, it probably doesn’t cover this well-trodden ground in any particularly new ways; we’ve seen most of the elements here elsewhere before.

However, what distinguishes this film from the others is the way the story is told – from a senior who is revisiting his youth and trying to spark the long-lost memories in his beloved. And it’s this device that makes all the difference, actually; not only does it add tenderness to the film, but it gives a reason to tell the tale, as he reads from the titular Notebook.

Oh, sure, one has to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy it; if you were looking for ‘Faster and More Furiouser’ then surely you’d be disappointed. And you have to ignore the insurmountable fact that the older characters don’t resemble their youthful incarnations whatsoever. But, all in all, the script isn’t too sappy, the cast is credible, the performances feel genuine and the direction is solid.

So, in its genre, I’d have to say that ‘The Notebook’ is relatively noteworthy.

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