With Dear John coming out, this just had to be done.
Two young lovers (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) are torn apart by war and class differences in the 1940s in this adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’s best-selling novel. Their story is told by a man (James Garner) who, years later, reads from a notebook while he visits a woman in a nursing home (Gena Rowlands).
This film since the time it came out has had chicks all over the world, just crying their eyes out saying “I love this movie, it’s so sad and romantic”. For me, I never wanted to buy into this crap, but I did, and I’m actually glad I did.
Now when it comes to melodramatic romances, this film is pretty high up there. I mean there are plenty of times where I was reminded of some of the other great Romance stories, and this film does it very well. The film is a tearjerker and at some scenes I did get a bit emotional, not totally, but a bit. Just the general romance between these two and how they still are able to love one another, actually makes this film worthwhile.
While most of the movie is set in the 1940’s and gives you a feel for that era, I felt some of the language and actions were a little bit anachronistic — nothing major, but just enough to occasionally break the illusion (such as a very Joan Rivers-like finger down the throat gesture. Perhaps they did this in the ’40’s but it seemed out of place whether it truly was or not.)
The problem with this film is that it is a very predictable and obvious story. I mean the constant flashbacks kind of pissed me off cause they gave away the ending to the story which would have kept me wondering till the end what was going to happen to these two. Also, though it doesn’t matter to me in some movies, the score in this film just didn’t feel right. There were little pieces that could have been a lot more emotional if given the right type of movement within the music, I don’t know it’s just me though.
Much of the praise goes to the chemistry between its two stars. Gosling as always is great, and shows that he can play those toned-down roles like the back of his hand. But the best here is Rachel McAdams who much to my surprise here is given such a difficult role that calls for a lot of changes and emotion, and mostly on every note she hits it very well. Their love feels real by the end of the film and not just because the film is trying to tell you that, is cause when they talk they talk like real people.
Consensus: Though it has an obvious predictable story with an over-done score, The Notebook features enough emotional depth, and wonderful chemistry to keep me entertained throughout this sappy tearjerker.