The Notebook – A Love Story Movie Review

The Notebook is one of the most moving and emotionally successful romantic movies released in the last 20 years. It frequently appears as a top contender for most popular movie amongst women. It was directed by Nick Cassavetes and is based on the bestselling novel, of the same name, by Nicholas Sparks. It was produced on a surprisingly low budget of only $30 million.

The structure of the movie adds considerably to the story’s successful development as the plot deals basically with the fate of two young, star-crossed lovers along the lines of ‘Romeo and Juliet’. In ‘The Notebook’, 17 year old Allie (Rachel McAdams), the daughter of a wealthy family, falls in love with a local country boy, Noah (Ryan Gosling), while on vacation in the early 1940s.

However, the narrative is told from the perspective of an elderly male patient in a nursing home (James Garner), named Duke, who is reading the story of the two young lovers to a fellow patient (Gena Rowlands). She is suffering from dementia and has lost her memory.

The story of Noah and Allie begins at a carnival on Seabrook Island in North Carolina. After well-meaning friends help them to get better acquainted, their feelings deepen throughout the summer they spend together.

During one scene, they visit an abandoned house called the Windsor Plantation and Noah reveals his intention to one day own and renovate the property.

Allie’s parents are less impressed with Noah’s prospects as a likely husband for their daughter and forbid her to see Noah, who reluctantly believes her parents to be right and that he is not good enough for her. As a result, they break up and Allie returns to her home.

Noah is devastated by the separation and writes to Allie every day for a year, without receiving a reply. Eventually, he enlists to fight in World War II, while Allie attends Sarah Lawrence College in NY State.

After the war, in 1947, Noah manages to buy the Windsor Plantation and sets about restoring its earlier splendor. In the meantime, has met an injured soldier named Lon, a handsome young lawyer from a well-connected family. He also impresses Allie’s parents and the two young people get engaged.

The story of Allie, Noah and Lon is deftly woven and the emotional tension is high throughout the movie as the viewer identifies and sympathizes with the plight and reluctant acceptance of their fate which descends on both Noah and Allie.

The tension is skillfully raised again when Allie reads an article in a newspaper about the work Noah has carried out on Windsor Plantation.

The director handles the feelings of those involved with careful craftsmanship and sensitivity. The focus is strong, without distracting sub plots as the characters’ lives unfold. The young actors – as well as the older ones – handle the roles with an ease and grace that the story demands.

The Notebook probably doesn’t attract many of the fans who would rather be attending films from the ‘Terminator’ saga. However, for its intended audience, it is a winner.

The final closing scenes of The Notebook are among the most moving and satisfying to be found on film and deserve the tears and cheers of the viewers.

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