Genre: Romance/Drama
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Starring: James Garner, Joan Allen, Gena Rowlands, Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Marsden, Sam Shepard
RunTime: 1 hr 55 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Rating: NC-16 (For sexual references)

Release Date: 5 August 2004


Based on Nicholas Sparks' best-selling novel, THE NOTEBOOK tells the achingly tender story of two young lovers whose passion is put to the test. Allie, elderly and ravaged by Alzheimer's, lives alone in a nursing home, the memory of her passionate youth all but lost. Duke, a fellow patient, reads to Allie the story of her life from her own tattered notebook. She and Noah fell in love in the 1940's, but her parents tore them apart. Years later, when fate brought them back together, she had to make a choice between her first love and a man she was betrothed to marry. Who did she choose? As the story unfolds, it is clear that Duke is more than a patient, and in her rare moments of clarity, Allie can see...Noah. Spanning six decades, this visually and emotionally sweeping romantic saga is a testament to the enduring power of love.


This is the third WB movie that is adapted from Nicholas Sparks' books. The first two being Kevin Costner's "Message In a Bottle" and Mandy Moore's "A Walk to Remember". Sparks' books have always been enticing to readers for their intimacy and romantic elements. "The Notebook" is no difference. Directed by Nick Cassavetes ("John Q") and starred Ryan Gosling ("Murder By Numbers") and Rachel McAdams ("Mean Girls") as two young lovers in the 40s being separated because of class differences. Honestly, "The Notebook" belongs to the run out-of-mill tearjerkers movies which many of us have seen on the silver screen countless times. As with most casesl, the lovers are torn apart by family interference and breakout of war. But the terrific chemistry between Gosling and McAdams brought out the passion and enduring pain of the young couple easily. To make the story interesting, there is a slight twist. James Garner portrayed the old Ryan Gosling, the movie actually opens with Garner reading from an notebook to an Alzheimer stricken lady patient in present times. And so the story goes to and fro, travelling seamlessly between the past and the present. I am not going to go any further or else i'm going to spoil the soup. You got to figure out yourself the relations between Garner and the poor old lady. It's not that hard to guess actually...

The cinematography by Robert Fraisse ("Seven Years in Tibet") is simply beautiful. Sunset, a simple boat ride down the river is amazingly captured with the right mood and angles. South Carolina where the movie is filmed is scenically shot. Although "The Notebook" doesn't boast a well-known cast, everyone including the leads and supporting members did a great job. Joan Allen's performance as McAdams' mum is astounding.

"The Notebook" is a tale of undying love and passion. It's pace is slow, full of clichés. Nevertheless, there are parts where tears are shed and sniffing can be heard. No men can live without memories which is why we used videocams, cameras and in this case a notebook to jot, take down every details and I don't think memories will be the same if Love does not constitute a part.

In conclusion, this movie is not just for romantic diehards but recommended to audience who simply desire a story of undying love and sacrifices.

Movie Rating:

Review by Linus Tee

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