The Notebook

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The Notebook
Review (7.5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

The Notebook is the story of two teenagers, Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) and Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams), whose summer affection turns into true, life-lasting love. The story is told through the weary eyes of a much older Noah (James Garner), as he recounts the story of their overwhelming passion to his wife Allie (Gena Rowlands). The two teens met one day at the carnival and their feelings blossomed from that point onwards, surviving through a difficult mother (Joan Allen), the Second World War, a wealthy fiance (James Marsden) and near insanity.

The movie is based on Nicholas Sparks' 1996 novel. Incidentally, Mr. Sparks also wrote Message in a Bottle and A Walk To Remember, two movies that I can almost guarantee you I will never watch, but with that being said, I have to admit I quite enjoyed The Notebook. I loved the chemistry between Gosling and McAdams and even the chemistry between Garner and Rowlands. The story was simple but sweet. All the characters in this movie were likeable with redeeming qualities, including the wealthyfiance (who in many cases ends up being an asshole), the rich father (who is always an asshole - but not here) and the meddling, evil and cold-hearted mother.

Sure, the movie's pace was a bit slow at times and there were a few scenarios that made you scratch your head (for example, Noah's children telling him to leave mother in the home and come live with us as hedesperately clings on to whatever he and his beloved wife have left - nice kids, I hope they got written out of the will) but in the end, The Notebook is a very good love story, chick-flick or whatever you want to call it.

I can almost guarantee you that after watching this movie, there will not be a dry eye in the house, even when you can see the tear-jerking ending coming from a mile away. I have to admit that even I got a bit teary-eyed from this one. I thought maybe that was due to my own woman problems that I have been dealing with, but as I was getting up to leave the theatre, half the dudes in the place were bawling their eyes out. Anyone who doesn't feel something after seeing this movie either has a heart of coal or has the heart of one of my ex-girlfriends. It is one of those happy/sad endings that we all could only wish for in our own lives. In fact, finding someone that you love as much as Noah and Allie loved each other is an accomplishment in itself.

Although The Notebook is not a movie for everyone, it is sure to be a hit amongst the hopelessly romantic female crowd and it is sure to hit a chord with the men who see it by choice or the men who see it because they are forced to go.

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