“The Notebook” – “I Will Come Back to You”

The Notebook


Title: “The Notebook”

Release Date: 2004

Director: Nick Cassavetes

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Sam Shepard, James Marsden




“The Notebook” is a delightful love story with captivating roles for Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, which captures the viewer with the truth of emotions. Together with the characters, we travel the long journey from the first moments of romantic infatuation to a mature bond that lasts despite all odds. If we look for a recipe for a good relationship in the story of Allie and Noah, it seems that it is already betrayed by the title of the film. Nick Cassavetes’ screen adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel shows, namely, that love, in order to last, needs memory – of beginnings, of erotic raptures, but also of hardships overcome. Love is a constant ritual of reminding how much we mean to each other.

“The Notebook” – the story of Allie and Noah

“The Notebook”, directed by Nick Cassavetes, depicts the love story of Noah and Allie, whose origins date back to the 1940s, when one memorable summer they met in a small town in North Carolina. He was a poor boy at the time, who managed to impress with his unconventional lifestyle, dreams and sensitivity to poetry. She, unkempt and beautiful, came from a wealthy household of parents pinning great hopes on the girl’s future. The relationship between Allie and Noah, although extremely romantic and saturated with strong feelings, was objectively doomed to failure. This is because the girl’s parents could not accept a possible misalliance. Nevertheless, great love found a way to overcome all odds and led to the reunion of a pair of lovers separated for many years. But was it too late?

This story is read daily by an elderly man to an Alzheimer’s patient in a care center for people with dementia. The woman can’t wait for the end of the romantic tale, stimulating her memory and providing many emotions. Eventually, the old lady recognizes in the fate of Allie and Noah her own history, which she wrote down with her own hands for her beloved husband.

The Notebook movie review

The movie “The Notebook” – a great script and wonderful acting performances

The script of “The Notebook” was based on Nicholas Sparks’ 1996 bestselling novel of the same title. Interestingly, the writer was inspired by the story of his wife’s grandparents, who were happily married for more than 60 years. Nick Cassavetes’ film adaptation is extremely successful, helped not only by the story’s plotline adapted for the film by John Sardi and Jeremy Leven, but also by outstanding acting performances. Ryan Gosling in the role of Noah showcased his talent in its full glory, and although he was already well-known for “The Believer”, “The Notebook” proved to be a milestone in his filmography.

Later nominated twice for Academy Awards (for “Half Nelson” and “La la land”), Gosling was able here to brilliantly portray the fiery elation of a young man experiencing great love, but also the bitterness of defeat and the gnawing depression after the loss of his beloved. Equally magnificent was Rachel McAdams as a slightly spoiled spinster from a wealthy home, who underneath the flawless candy image of the always carefully styled and made-up fluttery girl hides great sensitivity and willingness to sacrifice.

The two actors form a phenomenal duo on the screen, which does not seem for a moment to be hypocritical or oversweet. It is this ability, rare in romantic cinema, to keep the balance between the truth of the story and its nostalgic or pathetic dimension that determines the great success of “The Notebook”. We believe the on-screen characters and are moved by their fates, because there is nothing in them that we could not experience ourselves, including such difficult matters as coping with old age and illness.

The Notebook film analysis

“The Notebook” – love as storytelling and reminiscing

The movie “The Notebook”, although based on narrative strategies traditional in romantic cinema, at the same time captivates with its freshness and simplicity. For true love is simple, as Father Jan Twardowski, polish poet wrote: “it is or it is not.” In Cassavetes’ film it definitely is – the scenes when the characters meet years later in the house that Noah renovated especially for Allie are among the unmistakable ones. A boat cruise on the lake amidst white swans, eternal cultural symbols of love, captivates with beauty and romance. The storm and downpour, meanwhile, harmonize with the eruption of erotic desire between the lovers.

The image of affection is built in the film by analogy with the prose memoir. Like the novel, love develops over time and creates a story. In turn, its most important element is the cultivation of shared memory. It is she who makes the love experience something unique and intimate. The foundation of several decades of shared years turns out to be a beautiful ceremony of constantly telling each other stories of affection and recalling what brought two people together long ago. Recalling experiences from years ago is like a refrain between successive stanzas of a song. It provides a foolproof recipe for a successful relationship, according to the motto Allie put in “The Notebook”: “Noah, my love. Read this to me, and I will always come back to you.”