The Notebook, Review
2004, *****, Romance-Drama
There are so many love stories out there its not even funny, but this one will capture you over and over again. I think this is the best love story in the last decade. What do you think?
From writer Nicholas Sparks comes the coming of age tale of two soul mates in The Notebook. (James Garner, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood) who narrates the film, tells the story of true love to a dementia patient, (Gena Rowlands, Taking Lives).
In the 1940's Noah (Ryan Gosling, Murder By Numbers, The Believer), a poor country boy fell for a well to do girl (Rachael McAdams, The Hot Chick, Mean Girls). As they grow in love over one summer in the South, Allie's mother grows furious because she thinks Noah is a piece of trash and Allie deserves a more prosperous man.
As the summer ends they are torn apart, as Allie goes off to College. Noah begins to realize that it is best if they end their romance. This infuriates Allie and she gets extremely emotional and heartbroken. This is something everyone can relate to, a first love, a first loss.
Nearly 7 years pass, Noah and Allie have moved on with their lives physically, but not emotionally. From their perspective and the viewer's perspective they belong together. Now, think about this, would you hang onto your first love 7 years before moving on? Not many people could actually do that.
While Noah refurbishes a dilapidated riverside home that he planned on from the time he was a kid, it gives him faith that Allie will return for him. This home restoration is driven by pure and utter love and affection. The scenes of Noah rebuilding the home are inspiring for the viewer, not only that one can accomplish anything, but a determination for living even when you are ultimately at a low in your life. Building is a symbol of "starting over".
Allie has moved on and is soon to be married to Lon Hammond (James Marsden, Disturbing Behavior). The idea of being with Lon, throws her back in time to the summer filled with laughter, love, and happiness with Noah. She must make her decision between true love and financial stability.
When watching a love story we want the obvious to happen, everyone lives happily ever after, and this story in fact is this same cliché. But this cliché is a unique and enticing one. This film is so simple and to the point that you want to see more of Allie and Noah; you never want it to end, and you wish something this romantic would happen to you.
The idea of having a soul mate seems very farfetched, but hey it is definitely a possibility. If you love this film, check out another adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' Novel: Message in a Bottle, starring Robin Wright Penn & Kevin Costner.