EntertainmentNutz.com        What Are You Nutz About?

Daily Basics

  Home | News | Sports | Finance | Weather | Email | Calendar | Get Local

People & Places   Yellow Pgs | White Pgs | Maps | Directions | Chat | Community | Messenger
Entertainment   EN HQ | Games | TV | Movies | Music | Jokes | Horoscopes | Personals | Men
Shop   Store HQ | Posters | eBay! | Amazon Shop | Free Stuff | Free2Try | Coupons

Free Ecards  |  Free Web Pages at NutzWorld.net

EntertainmentNutz Feature Film Review

The Notebook

Release Date: June 25, 2004
Studio: New Line Cinema
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Jeremy Leven
Starring: James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Joan Allen, Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Marsden, Heather Wahlquist
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for some sexuality)
Official Website: TheNotebookmovie.com

Plot Summary: Based on the acclaimed best seller by Nicholas Sparks and directed by Nick Cassavetes ("John Q"), "The Notebook" is an epic love story starring Academy Award nominees James Garner, Gena Rowlands and Joan Allen opposite young breakout actors Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. As a man (Garner) reads from a faded notebook to the woman (Rowlands) he regularly visits, his words bring to life the story of a couple (Gosling and McAdams) who are separated by World War II, then passionately reunited 7 years later, after they have taken different paths. Though her memory has faded, his words give her the chance to relive her turbulent youth and the unforgettable love they shared.

Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers © 2004
- Take a pot shot but be warned

Dramatic middle does not have legs

 The Notebook, based on the Nicholas Sparks’s novel, has a promising premise, a movie that has authentic teenage characters falling in love. This has an intense emotional edge of raw and real feelings, and those of an ethereal substance, but when the drama is hot it turns lukewarm.

 Consider the material, some of which is engaging drama.

 The perky Allie (Rachel McAdams) and the serious Noah (Ryan Gosling) start a dreamy summer love which happens all very suddenly. That has been seen before in Hollywood cinema in various ways – the guy gets the girl in spite of her protestations, but she really does love him underneath.

 There are class distinctions between Noah and Allie circa the rural South, 1940s. Allie contests her parent’s dreams for her – to be higher educated at a New York school – while she wants to settle down with Noah at a house by a lake he’s inherited.

 He serves in World War II while she gets engaged to a soldier (James Marsden) into the same social class, but would sooner marry down, such as marry her summer love.

 This storyline is interwoven with an elderly man (James Garner) reminiscing over the Noah and Allie love story from his notebook (told in flashbacks) to the ears of a dementia sufferer, played by Gena Rowlands.

 The Garner and Rowlands affair is a dead duck, like a dreary bedtime story, only worthwhile as a support for the second plot involving Gosling and McAdams. Between Garner and Rowland’s characters nothing appears at stake, except this affable retelling. Until the explanation of how these stories work together. 

 The absorbing and involving middle with war, sex, family conflict, status anxiety, and angst, comes before this revelation. Speculation is satisfied but comes too early and weakens the drama and suspense of the young couple’s developing story and disaffects the Garner-Rowlands set-up, which are both connected. The two sets of circumstances create distance and they intersect jarringly although both have an intimate relationship.

 The performances and characterisations are strong, which bulwarks and sustains the well scripted and directed middle, including support from Marsden and Sam Shepherd (Noah’s father) and Joan Allen is perfect as Allie’s mother.

 Gosling and McAdams are sincere, sympathetically directed by Nick Casevettes (John Q), son of the late independent director John (Husbands). The romantic attachment is more intelligently represented in several scenes and images than in some callow Hollywood movies, expressing the ethereal nature of first love; however the effect is more smooch than profundity or beauty.

 Garner and Rowlands, who are pivotal to the story, don’t have the emotional quality and strong dramatic portraiture that the young actors do. The montage edit at the end communicates, but apart from seeing Garner’s anguished look over Rowland’s deteriorating health, there is not a compelling empathising with them.


QuickTime, Hi-Res
QuickTime, Med-Res
QuickTime, Lo-Res

Clip 1 - 'She's With Us':
Windows Media Player

Clip 2 - 'Breaking Up':
Windows Media Player/Real Player, Various

Clip 3 - 'Go Out with Me':
Windows Media Player

Clip 4 - 'I Know Me':
Windows Media Player

Full Length Scene:
Windows Media Player

The MovieNutz Store

The Notebook
The Notebook
Buy this Double-sided poster at AllPosters.com


About NW   Advertising   Contact NW   Get Involved 
  Link to NW   Spam Policy   Privacy Policy   Mission Statement

©1997-2004 NutzMedia, Inc