The Notebook

New Line Cinema

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

Read the review of the novel that inspired the movie at:

            Presented by New Line Cinema, The Notebook, starring Ryan Gossling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, and Gena Rowlands, is a film based on the
romance novel written by Nicholas Sparks.  Throughout the movie, Duke, played by James Garner, reads to fellow nursing home resident, played by Gena Rowlands, out of a worn old notebook.  He tells her a tale of two star-crossed lovers Noah and Allie, played by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, and how their love stood the test of time.  As Duke reads his tale, we can see that it is very special to him.  There is something in the way that he looks at Mrs. Hamilton. that speaks of a silent yearning and hopefulness.  Little by little, viewers become personally invested in the outcome of events for both Noah and Allie and Duke and Mrs. Hamilton.

            Having watched this movie with members of both sexes, I can honestly say that there is something in this romantic tale that appeals to both.  While other films with romantic storylines might be dubbed chick-flicks, The Notebook transcends that fabricated notion and somehow works its way into the hearts of men and women alike.  The story is intriguing and engrossing.  Much like the readers of the novel, viewers of The Notebook get caught up in the tale and root for the happiness of all involved.  The powerful acting performances of the cast as well as the expert directing of Nick Cassavetes lend to a believability in both the characters and the story.  The cinematography is breathtakingly beautiful and puts us in the location, seeing and feeling just what the characters experience in a land that is beautiful beyond words.

            There are some differences between the movie and the book.  The movie switches the location of the story from North Carolina to South Carolina for aesthetics.  There are a few other minor differences to the film, but for the most part, the main story is unchanged.  The ending of the film is drastically different.  However, true romantics would prefer the ending of the movie over that of the novel. 

             The DVD version of The Notebook offers many enjoyable and informative extras for viewers who to know more about the film.  The platinum series DVD version enables viewers to watch the movie in either full screen or wide screen mode.  There are deleted scenes which show steamier love scenes that had to be cut from the film, as well as one scene that explains the origin of the notebook that Duke reads from.  All In The Family: Nick Cassavetes is a documentary featurette that discusses Nick Cassavetes, from his dedication to his directing style to his special relationship with actress Gena Rowlands.  Nicholas Sparks: A Simple Story Well Told gives us a special look at the life of the romance novelist.  Southern Exposure: Locating the Notebook discusses how the different locations that comprise the movie were selected.  We are taken on a tour of old plantations, movie houses, recreated streets, and more. Casting Rachel and Ryan discusses the selection of the actors that would play Allie and Noah in the movie.  Included with this featurette is Rachel McAdams’ screen test which gives us insight into why the casting crew decided to choose Rachel over any other actress vying for the role. 

            In addition, if placed into a pc, viewers are given even more extras, such as Script-To-Screen, where you can read the script while watching the film.  You can view a special image gallery, as well as read about New Lines latest movie promotions.

            The Notebook is a heartwarming romantic story, enjoyable by anyone of any age.  The extras available with Platinum Series DVD version of the film from New Line Cinema are informative and enjoyable, making purchasing the DVD a worthwhile investment. 


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