There are thousands of love stories in the world and an even larger amount of books and movies that talk about them. With Romeo and Juliet being the ultimate example, many movies have followed this model, the story of an impossible but undying love. And before the audience got bored watching the actors die of cancer (think Love Story) or freezing to death (Titanic), the genre of romance as a whole started to grow. Now, in many cases, the great love survives till they finally get together or they get married. Though statistically, half of all marriages end up in divorce and no one is bothered to show what happens after the wedding.
This is what The Notebook did and did successfully. The critics praised it and the audience loved it so much that they even verbalized it: “she notebooked you”. Originally, The Notebook stands as a novel written by Nicholas Sparks in 1996, inspired by his wife’s grandparents true love story. Eight years later it was adapted into a movie, directed by Nick Cassavetes.
It’s the story of a young couple that fall in love during summer. The all-time classic cliché is right there: Allie is a wealthy girl; Noah is a simple, southern boy. The parents, naturally, don’t approve and after her summer vacation she finds herself going back to the city, while he is forced to carry on making an honest living. And as is expected, they are deeply and crazily in love with each other. The summer ends and they separate. Their lives are taken in different directions. In the meantime the Second World War erupts and they totally lose track of each other. As time passes and while both of them try to get on with their lives, they never seem to get over the summer of their lives. But a few years later they reach a point where they have to deal with their past in order to move forward.
The book is written in a very simple, yet interesting way. The film is carried through time, with flashbacks followed by flashbacks without confusing the reader. It’s like watching this story closely, participating in its narration. The main story is set in the present, sixty years after their initial meeting, in a nursery house where Allie and Noah are currently living after a long-lasting marriage. They are both sick. Allie has Alzheimer’s and Noah ‘meets’ her every day, reading to her from a notebook. This notebook tells the story of their love.
The film was adapted by Jeremy Leven and Jan Sardi. As always, there were many alternations in several parts of the plot. Some of them worked just fine, while others bothered me a bit. Nevertheless, the movie managed to show how these two characters loved each other in a unique, sincere and deep way, perfectly. Of course the actors played really well, while both couples had a remarkable chemistry between them, convincing the viewer of their passion and love. The younger generation was portrayed with the help of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, while the later was taken by James Garner and Gena Rowlands.
It’s a story of a great love; one that everyone wishes to be lucky enough to have. Noah and Allie managed to spend fifty years together, in sickness and in health caring for each other with real love and undying passion. In just a few words, The Notebook is the definition of a romantic film.
The Notebook (film) at IMDb
The Notebook (film) at Rotten Tomatoes
The Notebook (film) at Wikipedia
The Notebook (novel) at Wikipedia
The Notebook (awards won and nominated for) at IMDb
Nicholas Sparks official website at nicholassparks.com