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From the manufacturer
Behind Every Great Love is a Great Story
The Notebook tells the tale of local mill worker, Noah Calhoun, and vacationing rich girl, Allie Hamilton. The pair meet one summer in South Carolina and fall desperately in love. Allie’s parents don’t approve of the relationship because of the couple’s social differences, and they work to separate the two. When Noah leaves to serve in World War II it seems to mark the end of the love affair, and eventually Allie becomes involved with another man. But when Noah returns to the small town of Seabrook years later, on the eve of Allie's marriage, it soon becomes clear that their romance is anything but over.
Gena Rowlands, who plays the elderly Allie Hamilton, is director Nick Cassavetes’ mother.
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams were both born in the same hospital in London, Ontario, Canada.
For two months before filming began, Ryan Gosling lived in Charleston, South Carolina, rowed the Ashley River every morning and built furniture in the afternoons.
Entertainment Weekly has credited Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams for the Best Movie Kiss of All Time.
A Memorable Romance
- Based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks
- Directed by Nick Cassavetes
- More than two hours of heartfelt, romantic drama
- Bonus material includes deleted scenes, commentaries and more
- Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Meet the Cast
Young Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams)
From a wealthy, privileged background, Allie is spending the summer in Seabrook, South Carolina. There, she meets and falls in love with local boy Noah Calhoun.
Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling)
A young and carefree local, Noah has a low-paying job at the town’s lumberyard. When he meets Allie one evening at a carnival, he’s immediately smitten.
Allie Hamilton (Gena Rowlands)
Now living in a senior care facility, the elderly Allie is suffering from senile dementia and memory loss. She is visited every day by a co-resident, who reads to her.
Duke (James Garner)
A resident at the same facility where Ms. Hamilton resides, Duke gets permission to read to the elderly woman. The story he shares is always the same.
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 Allie's upper-class parents, who insist that Noah isn't 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). The romantic Nicholas Sparks movie, The Notebook, is available on DVD with special features.
When you consider that old-fashioned tearjerkers are an endangered species in Hollywood, a movie like The Notebook can be embraced without apology. Yes, it's syrupy sweet and clogged with clichés, and one can only marvel at the irony of Nick Cassavetes directing a weeper that his late father John--whose own films were devoid of saccharine sentiment--would have sneered at. Still, this touchingly impassioned and great-looking adaptation of the popular Nicholas Sparks novel has much to recommend, including appealing young costars (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) and appealing old costars (James Garner and Gena Rowlands, the director's mother) playing the same loving couple in (respectively) early 1940s and present-day North Carolina. He was poor, she was rich, and you can guess the rest; decades later, he's unabashedly devoted, and she's drifting into the memory-loss of senile dementia. How their love endured is the story preserved in the titular notebook that he reads to her in their twilight years. The movie's open to ridicule, but as a delicate tearjerker it works just fine. Message in a Bottle and A Walk to Remember were also based on Sparks novels, suggesting a triple-feature that hopeless romantics will cherish. --Jeff ShannonSee all Editorial Reviews
- 12 deleted scenes with optional director commentary
- All in the Family: Nicholas Cassavetes featurette
- Nicholas Sparks: A Simple Story Well Told featurette
- Southern Exposure: Locating The Notebook featurette
- Casting Rachel and Ryan featurette
- Rachel McAdams screen test and more
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Top customer reviews
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Two members of my congregation had been married for many years. They were special friends to all of us. Her health began failing, as did his. They ended up in rooms next door to one another in the hospital. He went first, and we could see her slipping away. She joined him two days later, and they were buried with a single simple ceremony.
So I now take this heartwarming story a bit more seriously.
The love story between the two main characters is the driving force of the film, and it's outstanding. I particularly enjoyed the love story between the elder versions of Noah and Allie more than the tumultuous origins of their younger versions, though the younger couple was certainly enjoyable. The comparison most people are bound to allude to is with the love story in "Titanic," with the poor young man and the well-to-do young lady finding their love across the chasm of society and class, and indeed, time itself. It works. This one can indeed put a lump in one's throat.
The only complaints that I have -- and they're not major complaints -- are for Nick Cassavetes' uncanny ability to turn a powerful scene quickly into melodrama; in my opinion, there are several times that he does this in "The Notebook," and it turns an otherwise very real, emotional scene into something unreal and plastic, like putting far too much makeup on to a lovely face; pretty soon, you no longer have a beautiful woman. You have Gene Simmons from KISS.
The other complaint is that the story is solidly two time periods; the young couple and the old, and I felt as if I was missing a great deal of the story by not having a very clear expose of the years in between. As James Cameron did in Titanic with the camera scanning a collection of photographs through Rose's life, Cassavetes does in The Notebook with Noah and Allie. It didn't really sate me. But again, I think this is a minor complaint.
Overall, I found myself very attached to the characters -- even to the sometimes unsettling quirkiness of the young Noah -- and to the film itself. James Garner, usually associated with his Maverick and Jim Rockford characters, really won a piece of my heart in this film for his performance in particular.
If you're looking for a good love story and a bit of a tearjerker, I certainly recommend The Notebook for a spot on your DVD shelf, and I'd be curious to know if anyone else feels the same way about my minor criticisms. Don't let them keep you from enjoying a very enjoyable film! :^)