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Customer Review

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hopelessly sentimental and competely unforgettable, October 16, 2007
This review is from: The Notebook (2004) (DVD)
This is the kind of film where you cringe at one moment from the stilted dialogue and then burst into tears over a love that knows no bounds the next moment.

The story of young lovers forced apart by social class isn't new to literature or film and it's handled here with little regard to wanting to add anything new to the genre. The young lovers are played well enough by Gosling and MacAdams, who are nice looking and affable, but their cringe-inducing dialogue and teen angst-like behaviors get in the way of their acting abilities and the enjoyment of the story. It was all rather unbearable to start. This first third of the film nearly had me shut the DVD off, but the juxtaposed storyline of an older couple, terrifically played by Garner and Rowlands, was so well written and acted that they alone kept me interested in where the story might go and how the two couples might be connected.

The second third of the film focuses on both moving on after a break up and yet still not letting go (do we ever really?). All the characters grow and develop into believable people and we sincerely care about them. Both the young lovers and the elderly couple are faced with moving on without their significant other and they are juxtaposed brilliantly here. The storyline begins to take better shape, but it is still riddled with cliches and it still suffers from a bit of over acting by the young lovers; however, the improvements are significant in this second act.

The third and final act beautifully ties up the film and I really shouldn't discuss it and spoil the impact it will have on you should you manage to get past the awful first act of this film. This is one of those rare films where the ending portion truly does make up for any prior ills the film contained. The acting by both Garner and Rowlands in the final segments of the film are one of the most touching I have ever seen on film and my own eyes fill up with tears just thinking of them.

My wife and I met when we were a mere 19 years old and with us now in our mid 40's we have come to so appreciate the value of our shared life. We have both experienced the tragic possibilities of living a life without the other several times, and those moments were eye-opening and frightening. Nothing can take the place of a life built together. Nothing can take the place of memories. Nothing can take the place of a deep love, and although we may be able to fall in love numerous times in our lives, nothing takes the place of being with the one person you always knew you were meant to be with for life. I know I'm as cliche-ridden right now as much of this film had been for me, but cliches became such because they do reveal truths. This film, although flawed at times, contains some of the great truths about love.

Although this is an enormously uneven film with its teen angst, cliche-ridden, over-acted first third, it is followed by a more believable and better organized second third, and a final third that is unbearably touching, compassionate, and completely unforgettable. I can't think of too many films that had an ending that moved me as much as this one did. The final third makes up for any sins of the first third and that makes this one film you really must see.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 16, 2007 1:11:41 PM PDT
Excelent review Steven! Funny, my wife and I met when we were 16 and married when we were 18 so I know what it feels like (as do you) to meet that one person you can't live without, even at such a young age. It seems we have simular feelings on this film!

Posted on Oct 16, 2007 9:29:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 16, 2007 9:30:05 PM PDT
Like, "Hopelessly Devoted to You". Lovable, but corny. Unabashedly so. I loved this movie, and it works for me, too. Good defense. And, I must say, after reading your comments of my review, I'm really glad you gave it four stars. Nice review. JP

Posted on Oct 17, 2007 3:08:21 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 17, 2007 4:20:55 AM PDT
KerrLines says:
Hi Steven,
I had the opportunity to see Gosling's new film, LARS AND THE REAL GIRL last night at a screening.This is the best Gosling yet if you like his acting.He is utterly amazing beyond his years.
I wrote a review on THE NOTEBOOK when it was a "Theatrical release". I waited for the theatre to clear out so that they would not see how puffy and bloodshot my eyes were!
I have not seen it since, but I remember it vividly.Thanks for recalling a touching film to my mind with a wonderful review.( I need to buy this!)I did 5***** it, though.I was so bowled over in my own emotional blubbering at the thought of not being with my loved one.
Brian

Posted on Oct 17, 2007 6:17:28 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 5, 2008 2:30:07 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2007 8:36:04 AM PDT
Jenny says:
O Steven this review and your last post on here was just beautiful, I proudly own this disc cause one of my girlfriends persisted that I watch this and the film stood by me ever since. May I also add that your father's advice was a very wise one. I feel the same way with my husband and I was married at the age of 23 obviously not as young as you and Andrew but the feeling was right and natural. You've put a lot of thought into this review in particular the 2 main actor's performances. Never thought of it that way till you drawn it out plus it really makes sense. I already written a review unto this a while back but I will re-watch it sometime next month just to catch on to those points you just made, thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2007 6:29:34 PM PDT
Thanks for sharing. Generous and good advice. JP

Posted on Nov 6, 2007 12:48:17 PM PST
D. Pawl says:
This was a very well-written analysis of the film. I have yet to see it and it actually sounds pretty good! You are so lucky to have experienced a deep and lasting relationship with your wife.......How beautiful. No doubt, you really felt connected to the subject matter in this story....

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2007 4:54:35 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on May 5, 2008 2:30:18 PM PDT]

Posted on Nov 30, 2007 7:47:36 PM PST
Lady_C says:
i hope i could share some good luck from your pre-married r'ship with your wife.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2007 5:00:51 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 4, 2007 5:00:51 AM PST]
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