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Review: The Notebook – A Familiar, Heartbreaking Love Story

The Notebook Noah Allie

The Notebook Review

Talking about The Notebook is a bit like talking about Titanic or The Princess Bride. Everyone has heard of it and usually has strong opinions about it.  So I approach this review with a certain amount of caution and respect for that fact. The Notebook is also the Nicholas Sparks film that seems to appeal even to those who do not like his style of romance.  I am one of those people.  So without further ado, here is my review.

The Notebook reading

An old man, Duke, reads from a notebook to a fellow care home resident every day who does not seem to know him very well. It is the story of Noah, a young working class man who sees Allie, a young woman from a well-to-do family at a carnival. Immediately taken with her, he sets out to win her over. Though initially scornful of his attentions, she finds herself beginning to fall for him. The world, however, does not seem content to let them be.  In the form of disapproving parents, love rivals and illness it seeks to tear them apart.

The Notebook Choice

Starring Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling pre-fame, with James Garner and Gena Rowlands playing the older couple, there is a fair amount of talent in this movie. James Marsden is winning as the alternative love interest whom, for once, is not hopelessly flawed to make the heroine’s choice easier. McAdams and Gosling play their roles with passion and intensity that really bring the film to life. Garner and Rowlands are more quietly heart-breaking, with the confidence that comes from decades in the industry. Commendation goes to Joan Allen for making a character that should have been wholly unlikable, utterly sympathetic.

The Notebook mother

The Notebook is a gloriously vibrant period drama and this is nowhere more obvious than in its visuals. The costumes take full advantage of the colors available during the time period and the glamour of Allie’s social class. There are also many scenes which are visually stunning like the scene when Noah rows Allie out into the middle of the lake. The music is also emotional and fast paced when it needs to be, using well beloved popular music from the time period.

RELATED POST – Ranking the Nicholas Sparks Movie Romances

The love story is as moving and exciting as it was the first time you saw it. The romance is told well and comes across as realistic. The chemistry between Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling is palpable. It really sells the lasting nature of their relationship. This has made them one of the most memorable on-screen pairings of recent years.

In short, The Notebook remains excellent as a portrait of a powerful love that lasted the test of time. It works as a romance, a period drama and an exploration of how love can grow and change throughout a life. If you have yet to see The Notebook then I can thoroughly recommend it.

Content Note: There is some brief sexuality in this film and some mild profanity.

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema


Five Corset Rating Lower Byte Size

“The stuff that dreams are made of.”


Five heart rating

You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.

I have loved none but you.”

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By on September 7th, 2016

About Elinor Cackett

Elinor is a writer and semi-recent graduate of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University. She has been writing ever since she could hold a pen but her love affair with fiction started when the entirety of David Eddings’ 'The Belgariad' was read to her at age four. She currently has a couple of books and half a dozen short stories on the go. She spends her free time writing, analysing media and knitting very colourful scarves.

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