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The Notebook (2004)

Behind every great love is a great story.

Directed by:

Nick Cassavetes

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 122 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12a

Country: United States

‘The Notebook’ is, without a shadow of a doubt, mushier than a mushed-up bowl of mushy peas that’s just been mushed in an industrial-strength mushifier. At no other time in my life can I recall seeing any movie where the film-makers make it so unashamedly obvious that their one and only aim is to make everyone in the audience cry.

Credit where it’s due, it certainly made the two women sitting along from me sob their little girlie hearts out. In fact, it even reached the point where I was considering putting ol’ Mr Pointy Finger to my lips and treating them to one of my emergency-use-only cinema shooshes. But, I’m afraid, the only emotion such overly-syrupy slush leaves this reviewer overcome with is outright nausea. While those two dames along the row were reaching for the hankies, I was going for the sick bag.

Perhaps I’m being too cynical though. After all, I’m not exactly in the target audience for this kind of crap. Just look at what it’s about – a young lovestruck couple in the 1940s (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams), their disapproving parents, the predictable enforced separation, the forlorn attempts at happiness with others, and of course the textbook reunion. It took writer Nicholas Sparks an entire novel to get this story out originally but – let’s face it – you or I could write it down on the back of a postage stamp and everyone would still get the gist. In short, it’s formulaic nonsense.

The gimmick with this one is that the whole thing’s being narrated by an old codger (James Garner) to his missus (Gena Rowlands) in a nursing home. She’s suffering from Alzheimers, and he tries to coax memories of their youth out of her by reading the story aloud from an old notebook (hence the title). So you could say you’re getting two batches of lovey-doveyness for the price of one.

Easily the best thing about ‘The Notebook’ is the believable chemistry between impressive leads Gosling and McAdams. McAdams, in particular, has proven herself to have genuine versatility over these past couple of years, and now she’s got this on release at exactly the same time as her comic turn in the preferable Mean Girls. But make sure you’ve got a nose-clip at the ready for Garner’s scenes, because his performance literally stinks. When even croaking your way through a couple of passages from a book starts to look like a chore, it’s surely time to quietly collect your bus pass and retire.

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It's Got: Hundreds of geese.

It Needs: More bread crumbs!!

Alternatives:

A Walk to Remember, Message in a Bottle

Summary

Goes straight past the heart-strings and hits you square on the upchuck reflex. It’s a sweet tale, but just far too sickly.

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44 Comments

  1. carolina
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    cannot believe you didnt like it
    it’s one of the best romantic movies ever!
    i love good romantic comedies such as this one, bridget jones’s diary 1 and 2, my best friend’s wedding, the holiday and so on…

  2. Irving
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    I really liked the movie although it could’ve done better. Two hours long and not enough put into it…The book does a lot better =)

  3. sara
    Posted October 16, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    the movie was so amazing!
    i wish it will happend in true life!
    i can’t believe that noah, still loved allie
    inspite of what he have seen in a place where allie is together with that another man!

    i really salute the two of them

  4. Uriel
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    You have to believe in true love -or at least have fallen in love- to like this movie.

  5. Laura
    Posted November 12, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    OMG! i absolutly positvely love this movie. i am pratically obsessed with it. its romantic and eyecatching. it is one of the best love stories out there. i rate it with a 10! you can put yourself in the actor/actress’ place which only makes it better!

  6. Khalid Ahmad
    Posted November 17, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Do you know, the most lovely and romantic movie which I was searching for, was finally found by me, names Note book. It really brings you to the shore of love, which you want to put yourself into it and get drowned.
    Yes, I do love note book movie, because it has a very good taste of life, of course life’s taste is love, when you fall, you feel and taste how beautiful it is.
    I have nothing to say, but just I would like to say “Bravo” to the story writer of this movie and wish him best luck in his life. God bless him.
    Now I feel just like to watch that movie again, I don’t know why a sort of exciting feeling has become alive in my mind, and pulling me over to this movie, I think this movie needs a mighty heart and those people who really didn’t fall in love, but I had already fallen.
    I will urge all of my friends and relatives for watching this romantic movie, and taste the life and realize what it means.
    I really appreciate the performance of both, boy and the girl. The really did their best in order to grace the movie and its story, and also the two old man and woman really made the movie more attractive and more interesting. They showed that love can be alive up to death.
    Watching this movie, finally I have come to conclusion that this movie should have won 100 Oscars.
    If you are interested in my comments and my ideas, you can call or mail me.
    Phone: 0093-777-596060
    Khalid_ah_k@yahoo.com
    (Khalid Ahmad)
    Address: (Kabul, Afghanistan)

  7. Tiff
    Posted November 18, 2009 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    It is the Best movie I’ve ever seen!!! Love it Love it Love it!!!! But the book is always better than the movie… If you want to complain about someone else’s piece of spectacular work. Why don’t you try writing a book your self!!! haha Don’t complain people! peace not war!!!!!! haha!

  8. Melody
    Posted November 22, 2009 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    I just watched it for the first time and have to say it is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen!!! I made me cry and i’ve been thinking about it ever since…….It simply beautiful xXx

  9. kathy
    Posted December 13, 2009 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    i love the movie w/ all the….

  10. kamal
    Posted December 29, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    This is the best movie ever seen in my entier life (acting story …etc )

  11. LINDA
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    I do love this movie, and wish it could and would happen in a real life. Everyone needs true love. Love can do miracle.

  12. Roy
    Posted January 17, 2010 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    You have no idea what you are talking about
    it is a great movie,great story and a great cast
    PLEASE DO NOT WRIGHT ANY MORE REVIEWS ABOUT ANYTHING EVER!!!!!!!!!!1

  13. Rayvine
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    This movie changed my life. It is so beautiful, and the love is pure and innocent-just a breath taking story. Everyone should watch this. <3

  14. Hopeless Lover
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    Every time i watch the movie THE NOTEBOOK, i just wonder why i can’t have a love like the one that Allie and Noah shared. Am I the only one who feels the same way? I don’t believe that love like theirs is real. But this movie is amazing, and i would rate it a four out of five stars. Amazing job ladies and gentleman. You were part of the best love story of our time. It was honestly way better than the titanic, and that movie has a place very dear to my heart. <333

  15. Lexi Tamho
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    This is the best movie to ever exist. It’s so beautiful and they show what true love really is. It is so deep and touching that if showed to a 6 year old, knowing the basic concept of sex, they wouldn’t say a word for the entire 122 minutes.

  16. Neha
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I loved this movie very much… I hardly cry while watching any movie but this movie made me cry … such a pure and true love the movie has portray, its a beautiful love story… Loved the entire cast of this movie and wish all the best to them especially the writer and director of this movie…

  17. wtf lol
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    When I saw this, I was like, wtf?

    Cause she just ditches the other guy Lon, who legit loves her, for Noah. And at the end scene, I was like, wtf. Because Lon was like, “Ima go and let you do what makes you happiest, so it’s your choice; I’ll understand.”, and Noah is like “Dont you dare leave me! I’ll kill myself and it’ll all be your fault! Now go make me a sandwich!”. And i was like, wtf, when she decided to stay with him. I guess in the end, he’s a good guy for helping her through alzeihmers and all, but like before all that crap – it totally sends the wrong message.

    And in the end, its like, wtf.

    The twist with the old couple and stuff sorta ups the value from formulaic nonsense, but even then, its very shallow, and too predictable. Also, it’s used as an excuse to ‘tell’ instead of ‘show’, which just a slap in the face to the audience as if the audience needs to be spoon fed everything that’s happening instead of figuring it out themself.

    Not to mention, in general, the movie’s believability is appalling (Or maybe it’s just saying that hooking up to controlling relationships is good, i dunno, your call i guess), and its too predictable.

    3/10 from a critical standpoint, but I gotta admit, I’m sure they did reach their target audience, and achieve their goal of making money in the end.

  18. nys
    Posted April 25, 2010 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    you’re an idiot not to like the movie, thos os the most beautifull movie I’ve ever seen in my life, it made me see again how my first love is my one and only love, till the day I die. My greatest wish is what he says in the beginning of the movie, I am no one special,…..I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul and for me that’s always been enough

  19. Posted May 4, 2010 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    I completely agree. The whole thing was a piece of crap, and completely predictable. I was thinking, “whens’ the part when I cry?” the whole time, right up to the end. Then, I said, “oh” as I saw them laying dead in bed. Nice.

    I disagree however. The old guy reading the book was good. Liked his voice.

    –Jake

  20. shama
    Posted May 13, 2010 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    This movie THE NOTEBOOK, when i saw that i cried b’coz before watching it i never believed in love but after watching it, i feel that love is reay their. now i have watched it again after 6 years. and i feel the same when i saw it first. love is a very importent part of our live, without love, our life is empty and incomplet

  21. sach
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    its a great love story….watch this with your babe..

  22. Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    i love this film:)

  23. muhamed ali
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    hi libby

  24. Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    heey muhammed ali:)

  25. muhamed ali
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    are u ok?:)

  26. Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    yeah thanks:) you?x

  27. gertrude on the blare
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    hey you guys! i want to be your friend. im special

  28. Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    hey gertrude :) you can be our friend x

  29. muhamed ali
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    yes thanks wuu2? :) hey gertrude

  30. gertrude on the blare
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    maybe i dont want to be your friend anymore, your raping me under the table mate. why oh why oh why? haha gemma has clocked on that im using her email account :)

  31. muhamed ali
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    lol :( :)

  32. gertrude on the blare
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    haha you got blocked mate.

  33. muhamed ali
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    :P ;)

  34. eunice
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    `i really love this story, now i just realized that its true that it feels like heaven when you are inlove .. Ü

  35. Posted August 2, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    wow..i just watched it yesterday.and it makes me cry..especially on the last part..its sad..

  36. Dell Rey
    Posted August 2, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    I can relate to this story, because I recently found my first love again, after many years! I hadn’t seen her in over 30 years, I didn’t know where she was, but she is the only one that I have ever truly and deeply loved all of these years. Like in Notebook, there is just one woman that owns my heart, since I was a teenager, and that is okay with me. I love this movie, and I love her, even though she is married to another man!

  37. lara
    Posted August 11, 2010 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    ITS A GREAT STORY I LOVEEEE ITT !!!1

  38. shiko
    Posted November 6, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    very nice

  39. Emma
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    can i be your frwend? i want to feel special to.

  40. Rachel
    Posted December 12, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    TITANIC WAS BETTER!

  41. Nashmina
    Posted February 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    i saw d movie just few days back and hand down its ma favorite now i thought titanic was the best romance movie ever but i guess notebook even beats that
    i loved the movie

  42. Karen
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    OMG I love this movie is the best movie I’ve ever seen is just so good it makes me cry :)

  43. Ben
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    The movie made me want to vomit. This is not a guy movie

  44. Hans
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Ok’ so here’s a specific view on this movie that I developed having been with a borderline girlfriend who loved it. It is a codependent /borderline couple relationship (Noah resp. Allie). He spends most of his life in dreadful misery missing her, reallly stopping his own life for her and prepared to give his own life away to get just a glimpse of her and her love. She just leads her life, almost gets married to another guy, and does not even remotely put in what this guy is offering her. So it’s really onesided to the point of being masochistic on Noah’s part. He will only get her to loose her again and again.”..but will never quit chasing her. This is a codependent/borderline wet dream (nightmare) and association with true love may be dangerous.

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