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The Notebook

Behind every great love is a great story.  

Year: 2004 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from The Notebook

The notebook in question is held in the hands of an old man (Garner) as he reads a story to an old woman (Rowlands) in a nursing home. The story he tells is of Allie Hamilton (McAdams) who meets a man called Noah Calhoun (Gosling) at a carnival one evening. A romance soon forms between them but they are not in each other's company long, because, Noah is from a poor background and Allie's parents disapprove of him, and so move her away. World War II breaks out and Allie stays at home writing to Noah and hoping that he will write back. The war ends, but Allie becomes engaged to a young soldier named Lon. However, she still has feelings for Noah and goes to find out whether she still means anything to him.

It's a classic rich-girl and poor-boy love story; therefore it's predictable and arguably cheesy. Yet Noah and Allie are not the normal perfect Hollywood match, they do bicker and the ending holds a depressing twist. But at heart this is a sappy love story, the thing is that it's a really good one. The acting is great all round, especially Garner and Rowlands who are seasoned pros, but McAdams and Gosling seem to have a real chemistry between them. The script, music and cinematography are all poignant and what with the ending this is one of the finest tearjerkers of recent years.

This film plays on the fantasy that a relationship can happily last forever. That even the relationship between first loves can endure social differences, an interfering mother, illness and even war. And yes it fits into the genre "chick-flick", but it's so good at what it does that it can move anyone with even the smallest appreciation of Love.

So go on, suspend your cynicism, and get immersed in a moving period tale of love lost and found.

Parker Bic

(Trivia: Today is Ryan Gosling's (Noah Calhoun) birthday.)

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Screenings of this film:

2004/2005 Autumn Term (35mm)
2004/2005 Autumn Term (35mm)