September 12, 2011
The Notebook (2004) Poster
The Notebook is a 2004 romantic film directed by Nick Cassavetes, based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple who fall in love during the early 1940s. Their story is narrated from the present day by an elderly man played by James Garner, telling the tale to a fellow nursing home resident, played by Gena Rowlands.
Allie and Noah break up, but immediately regret the decision. Allie's family leaves Seabrook the next day and Noah, devastated, writes her one letter every day for a year. Allie's mother intercepts and hides them. When Allie does not reply to the letters, Noah moves to Atlanta, Georgia. When Pearl Harbor is attacked, he enlists in the army for World War II while Allie attends college.
While in college, Allie volunteers as a nurse's aide for wounded soldiers and meets the injured Lon Hammond, Jr. (James Marsden). He is handsome, charming, and from a wealthy family. Lon and Allie get engaged; meanwhile, Noah returns home. Noah's father tells him that he is selling out so that Noah can purchase the Windsor Plantation (the abandoned Antebellum house, which Noah had promised Allie he would restore for her). While visiting Charleston, South Carolina, Noah sees Allie in the street. He watches her and sees her kissing Lon. Noah restores the old house, believing that if he keeps his promise to her, Allie will come back. Once he is finished, he tries to sell it, but cannot bear to part with it.
In the present, it is evident that the elderly woman is Allie and the storyteller is Noah. She does not recognize their children and family due to Alzheimer's disease.
In 1947, while trying on her wedding dress, Allie reads about Noah's house in the paper and decides to visit him. They talk over dinner, and Allie tells him she is getting married. They reminisce, but when it is time for her to leave, Noah asks her to come back the next day. He takes her to a picturesque setting by a pond with geese, and they begin to talk. On the way back in the rain, Allie demands to know why Noah never wrote after their first summer. Noah tells her he wrote her every day for a year. He says "It wasn't over for me. It still isn't over." They make love.
After two days, Allie’s mother appears while Noah is out and says that Lon has followed Allie to Seabrook. As her mother drives Allie to see the lumberyard, she tells about her own summer romance. On the drive back to Noah's house, Allie's mother returns his letters to her daughter, saying that she hopes Allie makes the right choice. Allie tells Noah that Lon is in town and how the past few days had been wonderful, but very irresponsible. Noah accuses her of loving Lon for his money, and says that if she leaves, he will hate her. He tells her to think about what she really wants. Confused, Allie drives off.
Distraught, Allie stops her car and reads Noah's goodbye letter from their first summer. She drives to the hotel to see Lon. Although she tells him she knows that she should be with him, she returns to Noah.
In the present, Allie realizes that she and Noah are the people in the book. It is only a few minutes until she fades and pushes Noah away as a stranger. Later Noah looks at the book- Allie wrote, "Read this to me, and I'll come back to you."
The next morning a nurse finds Noah in critical condition. He is saved from a heart attack. After returning from the hospital, he goes to see Allie. She wakes and recognizes him. She asks if their love is strong enough to take them away together. Noah says that their love can do whatever they want it to do. In the morning, they are found dead, lying together on her bed and holding hands. The film closes with a flock of birds flying over a lake.