Movie reviews

The Notebook (2004)

The Notebook. - 2004

The Notebook is an American romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on the 1996 book of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple that fall in love in the 1940s. Gosling plays Noah Calhoun, a poor country boy and McAdams plays 17 year old Allison “Allie” Hamilton, an heiress.  The story starts out in 1940 in Seabrook Island, South Carolina.

Noah falls in love with Allie after seeing her at a carnival. At first Allie refuses to go on a date with Noah, but after being coaxed by friends, she follows through.  They end up falling madly in love and spend nearly every waking hour together, although Allie’s parents do not approve the relationship due to Noah’s lack of money.

Noah takes Allie to an old rickety house that he intends to buy and fix up for them. They try to make love but are interrupted by Noah’s friend Fin who tells them Allie’s parents have the police looking for her. When they arrive at her parents’ mansion, Allie’s mother Anne calls Noah trash and says he is not good enough for her and bans her from seeing him again. After Allie protests and confesses her love for Noah, she runs out of the house after him. They have a coarse argument and the next morning Anne announces that they are going back home to Charleston. When Noah hears the news, he races to her house, only to find it empty.

Noah writes Allie every day for a year, but Anne hides them from her. Noah enlists in World War II, where Fin dies in battle. Allie volunteers while in college at a hospital for wounded soldiers, hoping one of the men might be Noah, but instead she meets Lon Hammond Jr., a lawyer with Southern money. After being together for a few years, Lon gets permission from Allie’s parents to ask for her hand in marriage.

Noah returns home from the war to find that his father had sold their house so that Noah could buy the old rickety house. While in Charleston Noah witnesses Allie and Lon kissing; he convinces himself that if he repairs the house, she would come back to him.

After finding out about the restoration of the house, Allie drives back to Seabrook to find Noah is living in it. After making love, the next morning Anne arrives at the house, giving Allie caution that Lon had followed her to Seabrook. Anne gives Allie Noah’s letters. After fighting with both Noah and Lon, who both love her, she is forced to decide who her heart is telling her is the one.

Although I’m really not much of Nicholas Sparks fan, this is one of his better stories. This is truly one of the best romantic films I’ve ever seen, so well done. Everything from the scenery to costumes to the music is a true representation of the 1940s. Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling are outstanding as Noah and Allie. James Garner and Gena Rowlands are equally great as old Noah and Allie. Joan Allen is excellent as Anne Hamilton. James Marsden is superb as Lon Hammond Jr., his accent is perfect.

Yes, this is a chick flick, but this is also one of the best love stories ever told. It is more than a date movie, more than just a movie for chicks, it is one that will warm your heart, make you angry and make you cry, but you will want to watch it over and over for years to come. This story teaches you to follow your heart, that money isn’t everything and that true love is real. I’m normally not big on chick flicks, but I give this one two thumbs up. 13+ 4.5/5

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