In search of the perfect romance movie that would satisfy the hopeless romantic inside me I stumbled upon Nick Cassvetes’ “The Notebook” in 2004. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks one of my favorite authors. The movie follows a passionate but poor young man Noah, played by Ryan Gosling, as he falls head over heels in love with a rich young woman, Allie, played by Rachel McAdams. As it switches between the present day and flashbacks from the 1940’s Allie and Noah’s love story unfolds full of twists, turns, and obstacles the young couple go through before being reunited in the end. The Notebook uses its chemistry between the cast-mates, the idea that true love always finds a way to prevail along with beautiful cinematography to become a true romance movie you’ll never forget. One very important ingredient in a romantic drama is the chemistry between the leading lady and leading man.
There is a special way in which McAdams brings her character Allie, the well known rich girl, to life while Gosling embraces his character of Noah, the poor but hard working southern gentleman, with ease. Together their chemistry convinces the audience they are watching two star crossed lovers fighting all obstacles to reach their happy ending. As Thomson states (2004) “It’s hard not to like these two or begrudge them a great love together”. That instant spark that is seen on screen between McAdams and Gosling makes you want to stand up and cheer for their love until the very end.
The concept of finding true love and going on to live a long blissful life with that one special person is not a foreign one especially in the business of cinema. Writers, directors, producers all seem to have an understanding when it comes to selling the idea of love prevailing no matter what the obstacles to an audience with plenty of films, The Notebook being no different. While you are likely to find yourself lost during the scenes of the present day and the flashbacks to the 1940’s there are distinctive similarities and differences to all other romantic films that have come before and after it. Being a true romantic I can appreciate Cassavetes’ attempt at displaying a love similar to even the love that I myself have experienced but so very different due to the tragic circumstances but according to Hornaday (2004, June 25) “Nick Cassavetes does everything he can to milk the maximum amount of tragedy from what, properly understood, qualifies as a reasonable happy ending”.