An epic love story centered around an older man who reads aloud to a woman with Alzheimer's. From a faded notebook, the old man's words bring to life the story about a couple who is separated by World War II, and is then passionately reunited, seven years later, after they have taken different paths.
This movie was one of the best movies I have ever watched. It showed so much compassion,caring and suffering. The love that the couple have for each other was so inspiring like no other. The sacrifice that the husband had to endure was so immense at the end of the movie that there is no word to describe it. This was a wonderful and unforgettable love story. I really enjoyed watching it and so did my whole family.
Not a bad review that the person before me wrote but goodness, did you really have to make it 3 days worth? You might as well have typed out the movie script. Now then, where was I? Oh yes! The Notebook. Amazing story, not that original but still amazing. Ryan Gosling delivers here. With the way he looks at his costar in those romantic moments, ALL MEN long for that. ALL MEN. The story will make you laugh, wonder, get upset and yes...yes... cry. Now on to the one and only, Rachel McAdams... Need - I - say - more? If you really want to get into actresses of Hollywood who deliver an Oscar-worthy performance and has the looks to go along with it - Rachel McAdams is that. She is what every man, black white or whatever longs for in a wife, partner and whatever else. Especially those of us who are Hopeless romantics. Along with Ryan - they deliver a performance that will strike you in the gut, and leave you down for the count. This movie does in it's entirety, what some that are out in the box offices today, can't even do in their opening. A must see, rent, buy... and have.
I don't think I've yet posted my American Beauty review, but I can proudly admit that American Beauty as a close second favorite movie of mine, makes me cry almost every time I watch it. At the plastic bag. Yep. It's a new definition of – something. Je ne c'est crois. But everyone cries at triumphant/tragic love stories. Everyone cries when they see The Notebook. I don't wanna admit that! But it's true. It got me. The damn melodrama got me. It is really, really good.
Maybe it's because I watched Married Life so many times I fell in love with Rachel McAdams (young Allie). Maybe it's all the amazing costumes from anywhere between 1920 to 1965 that never cease to make me drool. Maybe I was in a moment of weakness and in the overwrought string orchestra got under my eyes.
It's not though. What sets this movie apart, and ultimately puts it at the top of its class, is the all encompassing melodrama of the plot. Seriously, what I said about Bill and Ted being the pinnacle of stoner comedy? This is the be all end all of romantic melodrama. James Cameron, eat your heart out, Titanic only comes kinda close. I'm yet to read the novel Nicholas Sparks wrote that this movie is based on, so I don't know if the book is this tight, but the plot has all the stops pulled. He does not stop with their meeting.(See Serendipity) Or their marriage (Sense and Sensibility), or even their first kid (The Young Victoria). It stops at the end. Sparks does not shy from his heroes, Noah and Allie, having rough patches and fights and other relationships. He doesn't preserve one in pristine good looks (see Titanic and Love in the Time of Cholera). Sparks and Carravetes declare that shit happens and that a love preached about in romantic comedies can not only prevail, but champions over things and even knows the perfect time to quit. I live in contempt of movies that preach “great love” and then never show it to me. As much as I will watch Pride and Prejudice over and over, I feel cheated. No such loss of pain and loss of gain here.
So, plot. Each set piece eats the heels of the one before in sparky timing (sorry, I had to. I dedicate this review to my friend Faith, and she would appreciate a good pun). If ever there seems peace between the characters we can always flash forward in time to see the couple old and her gone with dementia. The heart strings get a-tugged lickety split. What's even better is we aren't told this right away, in fact we don't know factually she is Allie until she “meets” her children, and don't hear Noah's name until the third or fourth false ending, but if you haven't got that figured out within 15 minutes you have never interacted with Story. Normally I'd call the director out on this sort of easy tension, but here, there are so many tiny scenes building the characters that even I, the eternal cynic, thought Allie might choose The Guy Who Plays Cyclops. The Guy Who Plays Cyclops is a totally likable guy. She even loves him. Narrator tells us so.
(I could go off on a tangent here about meta narratives – turns out our narrator is Allie herself writing the title notebook so Noah can read it to her over and over until she remembers, and Noah is the one telling the story and so we don't know if she really did or if she is just writing that to make everyone feel better about her difficulty in choice between the two handsome men, but! This is a plot movie, it does not call for analysis. And I'm afraid analyzing it would ruin this warm feeling it gave me...)
I could yell about the intrusive music, or the sap upon sap, but I can't. It's not just the writing. The acting is great. I mean, they aren't finding new ways to express pain or joy, not really, but McAdams and Ryan Gosling (Young Noah) manage the gamut of emotions demanded by a life (short of the tragic loss of a child or something. Noah comes close with his best friend getting shot in the war, but it's not that sort of drama). Now, Gena Rowlands and James Garner, they find new ways to express those emotions. And damn are they good.
Also good about these characters is their roundness. Noah is not John Cusack or Tom Hanks or any Strong Romantic Lead. He's a lumberjack who reads Walt Whitman – more like Will Hunting, but without succumbing to cliché. Allie is a little closer to ruin. She's a manic pixie dream girl to be sure, but somehow stays fresh as a real person. She grows up, chooses things grown ups choose. She's not a stunted Natalie Portman in Garden State or Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown.
Sparks gives each a dream, a fear, and each a parent or two for developmental purposes. Most surprising is the lack of Noah's mom. Normally a writer would jump on that, exploit it, it's not even mentioned. I am now going to read this book and if it's in the book I'm going to be disappointed, but here, its spare and touching in a way that mentioning would have just gummed into soap opera. This, and many other details are all that harnesses The Notebook from being just another tearjerker with new actors. It is a fully functional romance unafraid of where the love it preaches may wander – in sickness and in health. Finally.