The Notebook Reviews
It reminds us of what's most important.... Finding your soulmate and loving them to the day we die.
There's a Noah & Aly out there for all of us, you just have to be patient and find them......
Excellent movie, and I've seen it many times over.
The movie offers some very beautiful picture - when Noah and Allie are rowing the boats, it is just breathtaking and some remarkable acting. Though, the actors that did impress me were not the young Noah and Allie, rather the old man reading the Notebook and the old woman who seemed to have lost her memory.
How the two stories are tied up together could have been shared through the movie without becoming such a trivial revelation, but despite that the jumps between the present and the 40s is smoothly made.
This should be a movie perfectly likable for Valentine!
Naturally, this is a very sappy and sweet film about true love and looking beyond your differences to be with the one you love. It has an added layer though because it combines a young love story with a story of elderly love. The emotion definitely hit me with the older couple, and I admit I had to blink back a few tears (James Garner crying is tough to make it through, that's for sure.) I wasn't as connected with the young ones, probably because I've seen that same story so many times before.
Gosling and McAdams have some decent chemistry. I appreciated that they had a more realistic relationship with some arguments, and bickering instead of artificial perfection. It was easy to root for them to make it, because you could sense their connection. Poor James Marsden gets another role as stick-in-the-mud, which I feel bad about because I think he has more range than that. And Joan Allen is stuck in one of my least favorite movie character types: disapproving mother.
But as I was alluding to, in my opinion, the strength of the movie is in the scenes with James Garner and Gena Rowlands. The emotion was stronger there, the expressions of love were more powerful, and the heartbreak was harder to take. Sadly, this is the part of the movie that gets less screentime. The movie is effective and will give you the warm fuzzy feeling you want from a good romance film. There were elements that I found a bit stale and derivative, but the themes of love and devotion are timeless.
The only reason I am watching this is the director is Nick Cassavetes. Not a director of many movies but the critics' darling.
I am not at all prepared for the movie. Read the tagline, 'Behind every great love is a great story.' How very persuasive...
... I cried several times during the movie. How could I? The story plotline is nowhere close to original. Boy meets girl in summer. Had great fun. Alas. The girl is from a rich family with snobbish parents and the boy is poor. Girl's mother forces her to leave the boy. The boy writes to her but her big evil mother keeps all the letters away from her. The girl meets and likes another good man but deep down inside she still loves the boy. The boy went to the war to forget the past but deep down inside he still loves the girl. They finally meet up and rekindle their relationship. They relive the happy days again and promise not to part again. But when things are looking up, big evil mother appears again to dash all hopes. Yawn. Sorry if I sounded very cynical but, hey, that is the storyline.
We all know the material is either going to be passable tearjearker or a corny tearjerker. And by the way tearjerker is not really a compliment.
Nick just has a way to tell the age-old story with so much elegance and heartbreaking poignancy that you must be a jerk not to be moved by the age-old tale all over again. It's like a spell casted. The very cynical side of me is telling me it is just a love story but the sensual side of me is sobbing away.
The performaces are first-rate. That bitch from MEAN GIRLS playing a loverlorn damsel? Just when I really thought she is a bitch in real life. Well I cried with that 'bitch'.
Now, I also notice something. We are told that veteran actors play the younger leads in their old age. But Nick seems to pretend that we do not know. Yeah. Hullo, some of us actually read the reviews before we come here. What is the mystery for? I guess he expected that and he is only teasing us. He has saved a few surprises at the end. At one point, I thought the ending is the fade-in after when James Garner's Noah is looking at the old photos, thinking all is lost again. Nope, the movie goes on. I was fearing a tagged-on forced ending. Nope, Nick gives us a happy ending that is both satisfying and very moving. Now who says a love story with a tragic ending will touch audience more than one with a happy ending?
Maybe I didn't have high expectations for this movie. Maybe I was in the right mood for romantic stuff. But I simply love this movie. It is not out to make you cry but make you believe love conquers all, and it can be anything.