The Notebook


Writers: Jeremy Leven and Jan Sardi. Based on The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Released: 2004
Starring: Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

If you haven’t watched this movie, it is basically about a wealthy girl, Allison (Rachel McAdams), who fell in love with a poor country boy, Noah (Ryan Gosling), whom her parents did not approve of. She was taken away and after a few years was engaged to marry a more ‘appropriate’ man of wealth and status.

That is until Noah comes back into the picture which forces Allison to choose between a respectable, kind young wealthy man or a free spirited, kind young poor man.


As I have mentioned many times in previous posts, romance is not my cup of tea. I don’t enjoy the predictability of them, the smooching, the overly-perfect and much-too-good-looking characters, as well as the either typically happily ever after or tragic endings.

NoahTheNotebookOR the mamsy-pamsy emotional blubbering characters who through the fog of their infatuation are unable to reach logical decisions.

For example, when Noah writes to Allie every day for 365 days after she leaves (he could have just said ‘one year’, but he kept having to make a point of saying “365 days” – for effect I suppose).

Surely, after two weeks maximum, he would have rung her, visited her or at least double checked the address. I. Mean. Seriously! You silly love drunk people…


The Notebook is no exception to my lack of support for the romance genre.

Although I do think that Rachel McAdams is what many women want to look like, and Ryan Gosling is the pin-up boy for Hollywood’s ideal.

He’s not me though; apparently he waxes his whole body on a regular basis because he doesn’t like body hair. Also, he’s too muscley, like, to the point where he looks uncomfortable to hug. Like a rock would be.

MOULINI know what you’re thinking; “but Jodie, you gave Moulin Rouge! – the most romantic film – 9.5/10. Isn’t that hypocritical?”

Well, no, because Moulin Rouge! has integrity making it more believable with various other themes other than love. Plus, its whole basis of ‘the denial of true love’ is ironic since the Bohemian era that it was based in promoted that very thing!

The Notebook and Moulin Rouge! are two very different story lines that are portrayed completely differently with various depths and convincing content. Although their genres overlap, they are apples and oranges.

The Notebook is a Nicholas Sparks story, who has written romance novels including Dear John and The Lucky One. I am lead to believe they all strive to follow very similar story lines with similar characters.


Admittedly, for a romance genre it is a tasteful portrayal of the characters falling in love – it’s no 50 Shade of Grey! It’s more intimate than a chick flick but still tame enough for most people to enjoy.


I can definitely agree that the era that The Notebook was set in was pretty awesome. It was based in the 1940s so the dresses, shoes and hair-dos were rather spectacular! I love all of Allie’s wardrobe for sure.

The sets are beautiful, from the house referred to as the “Labour of Love”, to the incredible dream-like lake. The town looks like it is straight out of the forties too.

However, the ridiculously short war scene let the authenticity down. The director obviously forgot to take down notes from the shocking war film Saving Private Ryan. But I guess romance films don’t like having accurate fighting scenes as it may loose their audience who want to be taken away to a land of perfection.

I like having to think about story lines and The Notebook is two dimensional and too simple/predictable – almost cringe-worthy at times.

But, if you love romance, I’m sure you’ll love The Notebook too. It plays out very idealistic love interests with people who are certainly easy on the eye.

Jodie’s rating: 5/10

About NZ Film Freak

I am a journalism graduate (2014) from New Zealand. Currently working in marketing, and writing fiction in my spare time. I love to write about movies on this blog when I can. I also do paid reviews and voiceovers via Fiverr (nzfilmfreak).
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4 Responses to The Notebook

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