The Notebook is based on a book of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. All things considered it is a good depiction of the book and is pretty much faithful to it. The film tells a love story containing all the classic themes – a love affair between two young people frowned upon by the girls’ rich parents, letters never received, and there is even a “lovers song” (I’ll be seeing you in old familiar places). It is however more than just a love story and has an added dimension by taking a look at the heartbreak and helplessness that Alzheimer disease brings to its victims and also the victims’ families. In the film the victim’s distress and bewilderment is strongly portrayed.
The story starts in North Carolina in the 1940’s when Noah and Allie meet. The scenery is spectacular. There are some very romantic shots of a sunset over a lake and one particular scene with white geese on the lake is breathtaking. This romantic imagery all adds to the story.
Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams) are the two young lovers. The acting is good. Gosling is strong as the young Noah. His smile is infectious. You want to smile along with him. Allie is well portrayed by McAdams as a spontaneous, sassy, young woman full of laughter with a love of the piano and of painting. She comes from a wealthy background and her parents, played by Joan Allen and David Thornton, are not pleased with her choice of boyfriend.
James Garner of ‘The Rockford Files’ fame is the older Noah.
A sentimental old-fashioned romance, this tender love story is best described as a ‘weepie with style’.