The Notebook

“Behind Every great love is a great story”

The Notebook is a timeless love story based on the novel written by Nicholas Sparks. The movie focuses on the young love of Allie Nelson and Noah Calhoun, played by Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. The film creates the perfect romance scene for the two to fall in love. What makes this story so amazing is that it goes back and forth from when they fell in love to later in their life. Allie is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and the distraught Noah reads his journal he kept of their love story back when they were young. The older couple played by Gena Rowlands and James Garner help create a story that is almost too beautiful. The story he reads take us back in time and we see how their relationship came to be. This movie is supreme when compared to other romance films because it not only tells a good love story but it makes you feel something, the emotions portrayed by the characters go beyond the screen and right to the audience.

Some romance films can be very predictable and a week after you see the film it is not something you you remember. The Notebook does the opposite of that, through the beautiful storyline this film becomes something memorable. This is thanks to the author of the book Nicholas Sparks, he truly knows how to write a good love story writing other romance stories like “A Walk to Remember”, “Dear John”, “Safe Haven”, and “The Lucky One”. He does not disappoint with any of these love stories and they have all made they way into becoming successful movies even so, The Notebook ranks at the top when compared to all of these. Sparks knows what is needed to make a good love story to impress audience, which could be anyone from a teenager to someones grandparents. He creates two characters that in many ways are forbidden from ending up together. Noah, a poor but thoughtful boy, and Allie, a daughter of a wealthy family, come from opposite sides. Allies parents were exclusive and Noah’s father was a humble man. This part of the story can be similar to other films, for example the classic story of Cinderella. A girl and a boy on the opposite sides of the social spectrum ending up together at the end. This idea is nothing new, however that does not keep Sparks from putting his own spin on it. Unlike Cinderella, Sparks makes this story more realistic. Putting the story of the young Noah and Allie in the 1940’s and the older version of themselves in present day. This allows for a much more relatable story. Whether you are a teenager or a parent, you could see this as a story for about your grandparents, or if you are the grandparent you could see this as a story about yourself. Thats what makes this story a relatable experience, it allows people to compare it to their own lives but also provides an escape which is one of the great things about movies and in my personal opinion for romance films this is one of the best escape movies.

Nick Cassavetes directed the film. He decided to take Sparks piece of art and turn it into a movie, which has been done many times before as I mentioned with previous Spark books. However with this film, Cassavetes really did seal the deal when creating this movie to make it one of the best romance films out there. He did an amazing job capturing the incredible story Sparks created and putting it on screen for everyone to see. Cassavetes also directed the movie My Sisters Keeper, and if you have you scene it you know it is a every emotional film. He is a director that is capable of portraying deep emotions. He created the most perfect 40’s romance scenes and did an amazing job with the cast. The chemistry of McAdams Gosling on screen is beautiful. He knows how to get those romantic scenes and the emotions with them on screen. Movie dates, dancing in the streets, jumping into creeks and ice cream dates are all played out in this movie just as you would imagine them to be. Another part of the The Notebooks strengths is how it shows the real parts of any love story, not only the romance but the hardships. This is where the theme of the film comes out. The movie captures the perfect metaphor about love, showing people how it can last. It also shows how love is closely related to memories. If you watch the movie you will see how these to things are crucial to the storyline and the fate for both characters.

The film brings up the question: is love still there if the memories are gone? The two work together and against each other. Memory is not the only component that makes love love however the film shows the theme of how memory plays an essential role. In a way having memories with a person is how you know them, and creating memories like Noah and Allie did is why they fell in love and what made their relationship so strong and beautiful to watch. If you think about your own relationships and the people you love, your mind often goes to the times that brought you happiness with that person. Love is built on memory. But the film makes you think about if all of those are gone for somebody is there any still any loved to be shared? If you think about the movie 50 First Dates you can see this relationship between love and memory has been seen on the big screen in other movies than just The Notebook. The movie with stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore is all about the these two themes working together. Throughout the entire movie Sandler’s character Henry takes Barrymore’s character Lucy on 50 first dates. Due to Lucy’s short term memory loss she never remembers any of these dates. Without having any memory of these dates the love between these two characters is not exactly real, or at least cannot be shared between the two, and with something like love between two people the feeling needs to be reciprocated. Luckily by the end of the movie Lucy remembers Henry and they are able to be together. The Notebook is able to show this same idea but in a more romantic and dramatic way.

As their older selves, Noah is at a crossroads, the love of his life does not remember the memories Noah has and cherishes. He doesn’t want to let go but with no improvement with Allies Alzheimer’s condition no hope seems to be found. Throughout the entire movie Noah attempts to draw Allies memory by reading passages from his notebook about their life when they were young, their story, their memories. This is where the theme is really expressed in the film. The couple cannot be themselves without their memories and it is what was missing for them to be in love. Memory is crucial for love to be as strong as it is like it is between Noah and Allie. Being a movie that one could watch from their teens all the way into adulthood it shows this unique idea that is simple to find when watching. When many people think about love they can sometimes exaggerate what love really is. It isn’t about the dramatic gestures, or hundreds bouquets of flowers or the glorious wedding. In the end all it really is is the time you shared with that other person. Although The Notebook is a romance film filled with many big gestures this point still comes across at the ending.

From the original book written by Nicholas sparks to the directing of Nick Cassavetes, The Notebook has achieved all that is needed for it to be called great movie as well as one of the best love stories on the big screen. Personally, it is my favorite romance film out there, and I am not sure if one could every replace it. No matter what new movie created whenever someone asks me “whats the best romance film out there? What one should I watch?” , I guarantee I will always say The Notebook. The love story between Noah and Allie sends a much bigger message than the two of them ending up together at the end. It shows us love and the memories that came along with it at the beginning and at the end, and at the end thats all that really matters.

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