Behind every great love is a great story. As teenagers, Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling) begin a whirlwind courtship that soon blossoms into tender intimacy. The young couple is quickly separated by Allies upper-class parents who insist that Noah isnt right for her. Several years pass, and when they meet again, their passion is rekindled, forcing Allie to choose between her soulmate and class order. This beautiful tale has a particularly special meaning to an older gentleman (James Garner) who regularly reads the timeless love story to his aging companion (Gena Rowlands). Based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook is at once heartwarming and heartbreaking and will capture you in its sweeping and emotional force.
The Platinum Series and Limited Edition DVD formats include a generous selection of bonus features including four making-of featurettes and Rachel McAdams' original screen test. The 11-1/2 minute "All in the Family" featurette examines director Nick Cassavetes' directing style and edgy sensibility and features commentary by Nick Cassavetes as well as lots of interview footage from a host of cast members including Sam Shepard, Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, and Gena Rowlands. "Nicholas Sparks: A Simple Story, Well Told" is a 6-1/2 minute look at the unassuming author and his literary success and "Southern Exposure" details the processes of locating The Notebook
in Southern Carolina and re-creating a bygone era. "Casting Ryan and Rachel" marvels at the instant chemistry present between Ryan Gosling and McAdams. Twelve deleted and alternate scenes (totaling 28-1/2 minutes) are offered with great optional commentary by editor Alan Heim about the collaborative and sometimes difficult process of editing as well as the reasoning behind specific cuts. Nick Cassavetes' director commentary offers insight into his commitment to creating a realistic world in which idealistic love flourishes as well as his down-to-earth attitude as a director. Novelist Nicholas Sparks' commentary offers a wealth of information about the writing of the book, the spirit of the story, and the openness to change resulting from his perception of movies and novels as distinct art forms.
The limited edition gift set is packaged in what looks like a hardback novel: an oversized box that contains a 5-1/2" by 7-1/2" color scrapbook printed with photographs and details of the main characters, major story points, and a selection of memorable quotes from the movie. In the back of the scrapbook are blank pages for viewers to create their own story and a holder for the DVD. Provided scrapbook embellishments include stickers, photo corners, and two laminated bookmarks as well as 16 printed cards and envelopes for corresponding with a loved one. Visually stunning in any DVD format, the Blu-ray version of The Notebook offers an additional level of clarity and brilliance that is indeed breathtaking. --Tami Horiuchi