The Notebook

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(out of 5)


In this lovely romance, a nursing home resident () reads a story to a cognitively impaired friend () in order to ease the difficulty of her dimming capacities. The story he tells her is of a summer fling between a poor lumbermill worker () and a carefree heiress (), who fell in love in 1940 and were separated by circumstance; as the narrative progresses, we start to suspect that the tale being told is no mere fiction but has a lot to do with the storyteller and his captivated listener. This heartfelt film manages to include all the typical pitfalls of the genre: the class conflict between young lovers, the snooty rival (), the disapproving snobby mother (the ever so magnificent ), even a reconciliation in the rain, and yet with Nick Cassavetes’s strong direction it all feels rich and inviting instead of manipulative. The Notebook is real romance without the cheese (okay, maybe a little), a film that makes you want to believe in it even when your more cynical side is telling you to resist.  Gosling and McAdams have wonderful chemistry together in playing their amiable characters, while Garner and Rowlands’ story is heartbreakingly beautiful. The excellent screenplay by Jeremy Leven and Jan Sardi is adapted from the novel by schlockmaster Nicholas Sparks and is brought to life with beautiful cinematography by Oscar nominee Robert Fraisse (The Lover).


New Line Cinema, Gran Via

USA, 2004

Directed by

Screenplay by , adaptation by , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by


Notebook

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