Notebook
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Notebook

4.5 256
Director: Nick Cassavetes

Cast: Nick Cassavetes, Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner

     
 

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Directed by Nick Cassavetes, this adaptation of author Nicholas Sparks' bestselling novel revolves around Noah Calhoun's (James Garner) regular visits to a female patron (Gena Rowlands) of an area nursing home. Rather than bore her with the inanities of everyday life, Calhoun reads from an old, faded notebook containing the sweeping account of a young couple (Ryan… See more details below

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Overview

Directed by Nick Cassavetes, this adaptation of author Nicholas Sparks' bestselling novel revolves around Noah Calhoun's (James Garner) regular visits to a female patron (Gena Rowlands) of an area nursing home. Rather than bore her with the inanities of everyday life, Calhoun reads from an old, faded notebook containing the sweeping account of a young couple (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) whose love affair was tragically put to a halt after their separation in the midst of World War II. Seven years later, the couple was reunited, and, despite having taken radically different paths, they found themselves unable to resist the call of a second chance. The Notebook also features Joan Allen, Sam Shepard, and Kevin Connolly.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
If you enjoy a good old-fashioned “weepie,” this dreamlike adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks bestseller ought to be right up your alley. Simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking, The Notebook tells a deceptively simple and, indeed, familiar tale. It’s all about the star-crossed romance of small-town boy Noah (Ryan Gosling) and pampered princess Allie (Rachel McAdams), who are thrown together one summer just before World War II. Allie’s upper-class parents insist that Noah isn’t right for their precious daughter and whisk her back to their hometown, where a dashing young lawyer (James Marsden) sweeps her off her feet. Fate reunites Noah and Allie after the war, and that’s when the story really gets interesting. We see this intimate tale being spun in a present-day retirement home, read from a notebook by an old gentleman (James Garner) to a friend suffering from Alzheimer’s (Gena Rowlands). Viewers won’t be unduly strained to figure out how the current narrative relates to the 1940s part of the plot, but it doesn’t matter because that’s not what’s important. Director Nick Cassavetes (Blow) gives this timeworn material a contemporary spin, eliciting naturalistic performances from Gosling and McAdams and building to a predictable but nonetheless affecting climax. The period portions of the story have the same rich texture found in such nostalgic romances as The Way We Were and Summer of ‘42, with which The Notebook compares favorably. At one time movies like this one were called “three-hanky jobs” by cynical critics, and with good reason: When the closing credits rolled where we caught it, there wasn’t a dry eye in the theater.
All Movie Guide
The only way The Notebook resembles anything on Nick Cassavetes's resumé is that it features his mother, Gena Rowlands. But this departure is a good thing. Too fixated early in his career on (poorly) imitating the gritty mannerisms of his father, iconoclast filmmaker John Cassavetes, the younger Cassavetes gives himself over here to a lyrical romance that takes place mostly in the 1940s. The clean production design of a period piece suits him well, and while it may not be grubby-fingernails real, The Notebook carries with it an undeniable believability. Nicholas Sparks's novel contains plenty of pat scenarios, but they possess a wonderful third dimension in the hands of the film's two exciting central performers: Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. Both are effortlessly charming and likeable, giving fine personage to the young lovers who struggle against society's expectations of them. McAdams in particular is a revelation, proving as effective a flawed protagonist as she was an icy backstabber in Mean Girls -- though this is much subtler work. Adults who see The Notebook as a teen romance, despite its wartime setting, should be heartened by the Oscar nominees who fill out the cast, as Joan Allen and James Garner join Rowlands to add credibility. Although the framing story involving Garner and Rowlands sometimes seems like a distraction, it has a fulfilling enough resolution to work in concert with the main narrative. The constant between both time periods is Cassavetes's camera, which has the liberated feel of a child breaking free from his father's influence. John Cassavetes may not have shot many rowboats on swan-filled lakes, but his son seems to have matured to the realization that this, too, is a legitimate form of honest storytelling.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/08/2005
UPC:
0794043749728
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
PG13
Source:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:04:00
Sales rank:
11,344

Special Features

Twelve deleted scenes with optional director commentary; 4 fascinating featurettes that take you behind the making of The Notebook: "All in the Family: Nick Cassavetes profile"- a look at the director of the film and his roots; "Nicholas Sparks: A Simple Story" - a candid insight into the author who wrote the best-selling novel, "Southern Exposure: Locating 'The Notebook'," "Casting Rachel and Ryan"; Rachel McAdams screen test; Director Nick Cassavetes commentary; Novelist Nicholas Sparks commentary; Theatrical trailer; DVD-ROM content: script-to-screen; Image gallery

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- P&S
1. Main Titles [3:16]
2. No One Special [1:51]
3. First Sight [5:31]
4. The Late Show [8:32]
5. An Improbable Romance [9:04]
6. Dream House [8:32]
7. "He's Not for You" [6:24]
8. A World of Change [10:47]
9. Noah Returns [3:39]
10. Labor of Love [3:51]
11. The Past Returns [3:17]
12. Lost and Found [10:22]
13. Lake Outing [6:10]
14. Out of the Rain [3:54]
15. She's the One [3:09]
16. Morning Drive [7:03]
17. "What Do You Want?" [6:39]
18. Happily Ever After [9:03]
19. "I'll Never Leave You" [7:00]
20. End Credits [5:28]
Side #2 -- WS
1. Main Titles [3:16]
2. No One Special [1:51]
3. First Sight [5:31]
4. The Late Show [8:32]
5. An Improbable Romance [9:04]
6. Dream House [8:32]
7. "He's Not for You" [6:24]
8. A World of Change [10:47]
9. Noah Returns [3:39]
10. Labor of Love [3:51]
11. The Past Returns [3:17]
12. Lost and Found [10:22]
13. Lake Outing [6:10]
14. Out of the Rain [3:54]
15. She's the One [3:09]
16. Morning Drive [7:03]
17. "What Do You Want?" [6:39]
18. Happily Ever After [9:03]
19. "I'll Never Leave You" [7:00]
20. End Credits [5:28]

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