Ten Years of Loving The Notebook

“We did it! We made it on to GWW!”

As we here at GWW reflected on the Red Sox fantastic 2013 campaign, we realized that October 2014 will mark ten years since our beloved BoSox broke the Curse in the fateful fall of 2004. As a result, we felt old. In an attempt to feel even older, we will from time to time remember other favorites celebrating their tin anniversary in 2014. Remember, the next ten years could be even better, but don’t get your hopes up.

If we are being nitpicky, The Notebook does not celebrate the tenth anniversary of its release until June, but I could not wait that long. The Nicholas Sparks book that inspired the film (Yes, I have read it. Loved it. No judgment.) came out in 1996, and Allie and Noah have been filling our hearts with love and eyes with tears ever since. I unashamedly admit to being able to spew out lines from the movie, and to be honest I can tell you that I was heartbroken upon learning a favorite — “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird” — does not even appear in the book! The movie has earned as much playful mocking as adoration over the years, but we are here to celebrate, not to jeer, because LOVE IS BEAUTIFUL, AND THIS MOVIE IS WONDERFUL, OK?!

In all seriousness, or at least as much seriousness as this subject matter allows, there are reasons this movie stands out above most other romantic comedies. By this I do not only — just partially — mean this magical moment at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards. Yes, that passion makes us all dream of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams sharing an eternal love like that of their characters, but the movie itself does give us evidence for it being among the great romantic comedies of all time. Personally, I speed through the “old people parts” as much as possible so as to dig into the meat of the story, but the nursing home scenes do augment the beautiful nostalgia as Noah relates the story of their love. From there, the score and scenery make us believe that love was inevitable for these two, that something special hung in the air in mid-20th century South Carolina. Ryan Gosling quickly establishes himself as a modern-day Casanova, assuring that we the audience will be rooting for the couple to succeed for the rest of the movie.


You may still be wondering why we are commemorating a movie that thrived in the realm of the Teen Choice Awards, the stomping grounds of teenage girls and their Hollywood crushes. I am not here to retroactively build up the movie’s Oscar campaign or something of that nature, but rather to simply celebrate its commitment to being a hyperbolic love story, and nothing more. Ideally, we should not have to look to rom-coms to learn profound truths about love in the real world, should not expect our breezy theater fare to provide poignant commentary. There is no denying the cheesiness of The Notebook, but there is also no denying how effective and entertaining its melodrama truly is, given the hundreds of times I have been compelled to tell people of all sorts, “It wasn’t over. It still isn’t over.” I’ll give you a few minutes to watch that scene repeatedly…

How are they not together/taking over Hollywood?!

To be fair, The Notebook did have a little more to it than your typical love story, with James Marsden’s Lon offering a worthy adversary and Allie resisting Noah as long as she can, rather than caving in right upon seeing him again. Gosling and McAdams of course show off their chemistry throughout, in the good times and the bad, able to create a fictional relationship filled with both Hollywood hyperbole and raw emotion, a formula movies like The Vow have since tried to replicate.

Anyway, let us appreciate The Notebook fulfilling its role perfectly, for dates and dreamers and Gosling-stalkers. I have had to defend my appreciation liking love for this movie for several years, but today I am letting it show, naysayers be damned. The movie touches my heart and makes me want to fix up a house, makes me wish I could rock that beard and this look. As an admitted lover of all things rom-com, I can confidently state no other movie has appealed to the hopeless romantic within more than director Nick Cassavetes’ ode to the idealization of love made believable by McAdams and Gosling, forever Allie and Noah to me.

No words.

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About Author: Brian McMahon

Brian is an author and co-founder of GoodWillWatching. He likes to write and is deathly afraid of bugs. His Great American Novel, not yet titled or existent, will be shocking the world some time or another. He once stayed up for two days straight because of poor information regarding the arrival of Halley’s Comet, which was not due for approximately 57 years. You can follow him @bm1313 on Twitter, or in real life from a safe distance.