The Notebook (2004 film)

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The Notebook
Posternotebook.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNick Cassavetes
Produced byLynn Harris
Mark Johnson
Screenplay byJeremy Leven
Story byJan Sardi (adaptation)
Based onThe Notebook (novel) 
by Nicholas Sparks
Narrated byJames Garner
StarringRyan Gosling
Rachel McAdams
James Garner
Gena Rowlands
Music byAaron Zigman
CinematographyRobert Fraisse
Editing byAlan Heim
StudioAvery Pix
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release dates
  • May 20, 2004 (2004-05-20) (SIFF)
  • June 25, 2004 (2004-06-25)
Running time124 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$29 million[2]
Box office$115,603,229[2]
 
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The Notebook
Posternotebook.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNick Cassavetes
Produced byLynn Harris
Mark Johnson
Screenplay byJeremy Leven
Story byJan Sardi (adaptation)
Based onThe Notebook (novel) 
by Nicholas Sparks
Narrated byJames Garner
StarringRyan Gosling
Rachel McAdams
James Garner
Gena Rowlands
Music byAaron Zigman
CinematographyRobert Fraisse
Editing byAlan Heim
StudioAvery Pix
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release dates
  • May 20, 2004 (2004-05-20) (SIFF)
  • June 25, 2004 (2004-06-25)
Running time124 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$29 million[2]
Box office$115,603,229[2]

The Notebook is a 2004 American romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple who fall in love during the early 1940s. Their story is narrated from the present day by an elderly man (portrayed by James Garner) telling the tale to a fellow nursing home resident (played by Gena Rowlands, who is Cassavetes' mother).

The Notebook received mixed reviews but performed well at the box office and received several award nominations, winning eight Teen Choice Awards, a Satellite Award and a MTV Movie Award. The film has gained a cult following.[3] On November 11, 2012, ABC Family premiered an extended version with deleted scenes added back into the original storyline.[4]

Plot[edit]

At a modern-day nursing home, an elderly man named Duke (James Garner) begins to read a romantic story from his notebook to a fellow patient (Gena Rowlands).

The story he tells begins in June 6, 1940. In Seabrook Island, South Carolina, local country boy Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) is smitten with seventeen-year-old heiress Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) after seeing her at a carnival, and they share an idyllic summer love affair. Noah takes Allie to an abandoned house, which he explains that he intends to buy for them. Later that evening, she asks him to make love to her, but they are interrupted by Noah's friend Fin (Kevin Connolly) with the news that Allie's parents have the police out looking for her. When Allie and Noah return to her parents' mansion, they ban her from seeing Noah, whom they called "trash, trash, trash". The two break up and the next morning, Allie's mother announces that the family is returning home to Charleston.

Noah and Allie have no choice but to move on with their lives; Noah and Fin enlist to fight in World War II and Fin is killed in battle. Allie becomes a volunteer nurse in a hospital for wounded soldiers, where she meets an officer named Lon Hammond, Jr. (James Marsden), a young lawyer who is handsome, sophisticated, charming and comes from old Southern money. The two eventually become engaged, to the delight of Allie's parents, but Allie sees Noah's face when Lon asks her to marry him.

When Noah returns home from the war, he discovers his father has sold their home so that Noah can buy the abandoned house, fulfilling his lifelong dream to buy it for the departed Allie, whom by now he hasn't seen for several years. While visiting Charleston, Noah witnesses Allie and Lon kissing at a restaurant; he convinces himself that if he restores the house, Allie will come back to him. Later, Allie is startled to read in the newspaper that Noah has completed the house, and she visits him in Seabrook.

In the present, it is made clear that the elderly woman is in fact Allie, who is suffering from dementia and cannot remember any of the events being read to her. Duke, the man who is reading to her, is her husband, but Allie cannot recognize him.

Back in the forties, Allie returns to Seabrook. She and Noah renew their relationship and make love at Noah's now restored house. In the morning, Allie's mother appears on Noah's doorstep, warning Allie that a jealous Lon has followed her to Seabrook. Allie confesses to Lon that she has been spending time with Noah. He is upset but says that he still loves her. Allie tells him she knows she should be with him, but she remains indecisive.

In the present, Allie becomes briefly lucid and remembers that the story Duke is reading is the story of how they met, as Duke tells her of a younger Allie appearing at Noah's doorstep, having left Lon at the hotel. After hearing this, Allie suddenly remembers her past; after finding out about her illness, she herself wrote their story in the notebook with instructions for Noah to "read this to me, and I'll come back to you". But Allie soon relapses, losing her memories of Noah. She panics, not understanding who he is, and has to be sedated. That same night, Duke, who is in fact an elderly Noah, is hospitalized with what seems to be another heart attack.

When he is released from the hospital, Noah goes to Allie's room to find her lucid again. Allie questions Noah about what will happen to them when she loses her memory completely, and he reassures her that he will never leave her. She asks him if he thinks their love for each other is strong enough to "take them away together"; he replies that he thinks their love could do anything. After telling each other that they love one another, they both go to sleep in Allie's bed. The next morning a nurse finds they have died peacefully together.

Production[edit]

Work began in March 1996, when the first screenwriter was hired to write the first draft and script, but it did not get off the ground as the studios wanted the film to be closer to the book. Another writer wrote a draft, but several years passed as they wanted several changes. Then Nick Cassavetes came aboard.[5]

Casting[edit]

Cassavetes wanted someone unknown and "not handsome" to portray Noah; therefore, he cast Ryan Gosling in the role.[6] Gosling was initially surprised by this: "I read [the script] and I thought, 'He's crazy. I couldn't be more wrong for this movie.' "[7] "It gave me an opportunity to play a character over a period of time - from 1940 to 1946 - that was quite profound and formative."[8] To prepare for the part, Gosling temporarily moved to Charleston, South Carolina prior to filming. During two months, he rowed the Ashley River and made furniture.[9] A nationwide search was conducted to find the right actress to play Allie, and Rachel McAdams was ultimately chosen.[8] On casting her, Cassavetes said: "When Rachel McAdams came in and read, it was apparent that she was the one. She and Ryan had great chemistry between them." She commented: "I thought it would be a dream to be able to do it. I read the script and went into the audition just two days later. It was a good way to do it, because I was very full of the story."[10] In comparison to the book, the role was extended.[11] McAdams spent time in Charleston before filming to familiarize herself with the surroundings,[12] and took ballet and etiquette classes.[13]

Filming[edit]

The Notebook was filmed almost entirely on location in South Carolina,[8] in late 2002 and early 2003. Production offices for the film were set up at the old Charleston Naval Base in North Charleston.[14]

Much of the film's plot takes place in and around Seabrook Island, an actual town which is one of the South Carolina "sea islands." It is located 20 miles inland, halfway between Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. However, none of the filming took place in the Seabrook area. The house that Noah is seen fixing up is a private residence at Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina,[15] which is another "sea island" locality situated 20 miles closer to Charleston. The house was not actually in a dilapidated state at any time, but it was made to look that way by special effects in the first half of the film. Contrary to the suggestion in the film's dialogue, neither the house nor the Seabrook area was home to South Carolina Revolutionary hero Francis Marion, whose plantation was actually located some distance northwest of Charleston.[citation needed] The Boone Hall Plantation served as Allie's summer house.[15]

Many of the scenes set in Seabrook were filmed in the town of Mt. Pleasant, (a suburb of Charleston). Others were filmed in Charleston and in Edisto Island. The lake scenes were filmed at Cypress Gardens (in Moncks Corner, South Carolina)[15] with trained birds that were brought in from elsewhere.[citation needed]

Another major portion of the film was set at an unnamed nursing home, presumably located somewhere in the Carolinas. The nursing home scenes were actually filmed at Rice Hope Plantation,[16] located in Georgetown County, South Carolina. The college depicted briefly in the film is identified in the film as Sarah Lawrence College, but the campus that is seen is actually the College of Charleston.[15]

Release[edit]

Box-office performance[edit]

The film premiered June 25, 2004, in the United States and Canada and grossed $13.5 million in 2,303 theaters its opening weekend, ranking number 4 at the box office.[17] The film grossed a total of $115.6 million worldwide, $81 million in Canada and the United States and $34.6 million in other countries.[2] It is the 12th highest-grossing romantic drama film of all time.[18]

Critical response[edit]

The performances of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, as well as chemistry between them, were particularly praised by most film critics.

The Notebook received a mixed reaction from film critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 52% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 154 reviews, with an average rating of 5.7/10.[19] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film currently holds an average score of 53, based on 34 reviews, which indicates "mixed or average reviews."[20]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times praised the film, awarding it with three-and-a-half stars out of four, calling the photography "striking in its rich, saturated effects" and stating that the "actors are blessed by good material."[21] Peter Lowry of Film Threat gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of five; praising the performances of both Gosling and McAdams, he wrote: "Gosling and especially McAdams give all-star performances, doing just enough to hand the reins over to the pros, who take what's left of the film and finish the audience off with some touching scenes that don't leave a dry eye in the house." About the film itself, he added: "Overall, The Notebook is a surprisingly good film that manages to succeed where many other "chick flick" like romances fail."[22]

Stephen Holden of The New York Times gave the film a positive review, stating that "the scenes between the young lovers confronting adult authority have the same seething tension and lurking hysteria that the young Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood brought more than 40 years ago to their roles in Splendor in the Grass.[23] Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post also gave the film a positive review, she also praised the performances of Gosling and McAdams, stating: "Never mind that McAdams and Gosling don't for a minute call to mind 1940s America; they're both suitably attractive and appealing. Gosling, who delivered a searing and largely unseen screen debut performance in the 2001 drama The Believer, is particularly convincing as a young man who charms his way past a girl's strongest defenses." About the film, she added: "Audiences craving big, gooey over-the-top romance have their must-see summer movie in The Notebook."[24] William Arnold of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer praised the performance of McAdams but criticized the performance of Gosling, stating that he "just doesn't have the kind of star power or chemistry with McAdams to anchor this kind of minor-league Gone with the Wind." He also added about the film that it "doesn't completely work on its own terms, mainly because its romantic casting just doesn't spark: It doesn't make us fall in love with its lovers."[25] Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe gave the film two-and-a-half stars, praising the performances of its cast members, writing about McAdams that "she's soulfully committed to the suds in the story and fiercely attentive to the other actors". He added about Gosling: "Gosling is adept at playing sociopaths and intense brooders, and there's reason to think, early on, that Noah might be similarly off, as when he threatens to drop from a Ferris wheel unless Allie agrees to go on a date with him." About the film, he wrote: "Considering the sunny, relatively pleasurable romantic business that precedes it, the elderly stuff seems dark, morbid, and forced upon us."[26]

Jessica Winter of The Village Voice gave the film a mixed review, stating: "Amid the sticky-sweet swamp of Jeremy Leven's script, Rowlands and Garner emerge spotless and beatific, lending a magnanimous credibility to their scenes together. These two old pros slice cleanly through the thicket of sap-weeping dialogue and contrivance, locating the terror and desolation wrought by the cruel betrayals of a failing mind."[27] Robert Koehler of Variety magazine also gave the film a mixed review, he however, praised the performances, writing that "already one of the most intriguing young thesps, Gosling extends his range to pure romance without sacrificing a bit of his naturally subversive qualities, and even seems comfortable looking beautiful in a manly American way. The head-turner is McAdams, doing such a different perf from her top bitch in Mean Girls that it's hard to tell it's the same actor. She skillfully carries much of the film's emotional weight with a free and easy manner."[28]

In June 2010, Entertainment Weekly included Allie and Noah in its list of the "100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years."[29] The periodical listed The Notebook in their 25 Sexiest Movies Ever.[30] Us Weekly included the film in their list of the 30 Most Romantic Movies of All Time.[31] Boston.com ranked the film the third Top Romantic Movie.[32] The Notebook appeared on Moviefone's list of the 25 Best Romance Movies of All Time.[33] Marie Claire also put the film on its list of the 12 Most Romantic Movie Scenes of All Time.[34] In 2011, The Notebook was named the best chick-flick during ABC News and People's television special Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time.[35] The scene where Noah climbs the Ferris Wheel because he wants a date with Allie made the list of Total Film's 50 Most Romantic Movie Moments Of All Time.[36]

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardCategoryRecipient(s)Result
2004Golden Trailer Awards[37]Best RomanceNominated
Teen Choice Awards[38]Choice Movie of the SummerNominated
Choice Breakout Movie StarRachel McAdamsNominated
2005Artios Awards[39]Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Feature Film, DramaMatthew Barry and Nancy Green-KeyesNominated
Golden Satellite Awards[38]Best Supporting Actress – Motion PictureGena RowlandsWon
MTV Movie Awards[40]Best Female PerformanceRachel McAdamsNominated
Best KissRachel McAdams and Ryan GoslingWon
Screen Actors Guild Awards[41]Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting RoleJames GarnerNominated
Teen Choice Awards[42]Choice Movie DramaWon
Choice Date MovieWon
Choice Movie Actor – DramaRyan GoslingWon
Choice Movie Actress – DramaRachel McAdamsWon
Choice Movie Breakout Performance – MaleRyan GoslingWon
Choice Movie ChemistryRachel McAdams and Ryan GoslingWon
Choice Movie LiplockRachel McAdams and Ryan GoslingWon
Choice Movie Love SceneRachel McAdams and Ryan GoslingWon

Home media[edit]

The Notebook was released on DVD on February 8, 2005[43] and on Blu-ray on January 20, 2009.[44] By February 2010, the film had sold over 11 million units of DVD.[45]

Music[edit]

The soundtrack to The Notebook was released on June 8, 2004.

No.TitleArtistLength
1."Main Title"  Aaron Zigman2:49
2."Overture"  Aaron Zigman6:16
3."I'll Be Seeing You"  Billie Holiday3:33
4."Alabamy Home"  Duke Ellington3:02
5."Allie Returns"  Aaron Zigman5:07
6."House Blues / The Porch Dance / The Proposal / The Carnival"  Aaron Zigman8:04
7."Noah's Journey"  Aaron Zigman6:03
8."Always And Always"  Benny Goodman & His Orchestra3:17
9."A String Of Pearls"  Glenn Miller & His Orchestra3:16
10."On The Lake"  Aaron Zigman5:39
11."Diga Diga Doo"  Rex Stewart And The Ellingtonians4:16
12."One O'Clock Jump"  Benny Goodman & His Orchestra3:15
13."I'll Be Seeing You"  Jimmy Durante3:13
14."Noah's Last Letter"  Aaron Zigman4:32
15."Our Love Can Do Miracles"  Aaron Zigman4:31
Total length:
66:53[46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "THE NOTEBOOK (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 2004-05-25. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Notebook (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 16, 2010. 
  3. ^ http://www.deviantart.com/?q=%22the+notebook%22
  4. ^ "The Notebook Special Edition on ABC Family This Sunday". Nicholas Sparks: The Official Website. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  5. ^ Wilson-Combs, Lana K. (June 27, 2004). "A chat with Nicholas Sparks". Ocala Star-Banner. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  6. ^ Ravitz, Justin (December 12, 2011). "Ryan Gosling: Notebook Director Told Me I Wasn't "Handsome" or "Cool"". Us Weekly. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ Pickle, Betsy (June 25, 2004). "'NOTEBOOK' LOVE SCENES WERE 'EMBARRASSING,' SAYS ACTOR". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c "The Notebook Production Notes". Movies Central. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  9. ^ "The Notebook Trivia". Philippine Daily Inquirer. August 26, 2004. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  10. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (June 24, 2004). "Hot off 'The Notebook'". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  11. ^ Thompson, Bill (February 19, 2003). "'Notebook' pivotal for McAdams.". The Post and Courier. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  12. ^ "The gossip's now over Rachel". Thefreelibrary.com. June 18, 2004. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  13. ^ Deziel, Shanda (July 14, 2005). "Rachel's all the rage". Maclean's. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Movies Filmed in South Carolina – The Notebook". South Carolina's Information HighWAY. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b c d McGuire, Judy (February 28, 2009). "Romance, Movie Style - Love on Location - The Notebook". Time. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Rice Hope Plantation – Oatland – Georgetown County". Retrieved May 22, 2012. 
  17. ^ "The Notebook (2004) – Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 5, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Romantic Drama Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  19. ^ "The Notebook". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 2, 2010. 
  20. ^ "The Notebook". Metacritic. Retrieved February 5, 2008. 
  21. ^ Ebert, Roger. "The Notebook". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 7, 2010. 
  22. ^ Lowry, Peter (June 28, 2004). "The Notebook". Film Threat. Hamster Stampede LLC. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  23. ^ Holden, Stephen (June 25, 2004). "When Love Is Madness and Life a Straitjacket". The New York Times. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  24. ^ Hornaday, Ann (June 25, 2004). "A Tear-Stained 'Notebook'". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  25. ^ Arnold, William (June 24, 2004). "Touching 'Notebook' overcomes flaws to satisfy romance fans in need of a good cry". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  26. ^ Morris, Wesley (June 25, 2004). "Love shows its age in 'Notebook'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  27. ^ Winter, Jessica (June 15, 2004). "Old Pros Lend Credibility to Young Lovebirds' Magical Hysteria Tour". The Village Voice. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  28. ^ Koehler, Robert (May 20, 2004). "The Notebook". Variety. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  29. ^ Adam B. Vary (June 1, 2010). "The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years: Here's our full list!". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  30. ^ "25 Sexiest Movies Ever!". Entertainment Weekly. January 2, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  31. ^ "30 Most Romantic Movies of All Time - The Notebook". Us Weekly. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Top 25 romantic movies". Boston.com. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Best Romance Movies of All Time". Moviefone. February 5, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  34. ^ "The 12 Most Romantic Movie Scenes of All Time Read more: The Most Romantic Scene from The Notebook - Marie Claire". Marie Claire. Hearst Corporation. February 1, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  35. ^ Cox, Carmen (March 22, 2011). "Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time Read On ABC News Radio: http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/best-in-film-the-greatest-movies-of-our-time.html#ixzz2H7iFHqtN". ABC News Radio. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  36. ^ Kinnear, Simon (February 13, 2012). "50 Most Romantic Movie Moments Of All Time". 
  37. ^ "5th Annual Golden Trailer Award Winner and Nominees". GoldenTrailer.com. 2004. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  38. ^ a b "CA The Notebook.pdf". Horizon High School Drama. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Artis Award Winners – 2005". Casting Society of America. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  40. ^ "2005 MTV Movie Awards". MTV. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  41. ^ "The 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". SAGAwards.org. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  42. ^ "'Notebook' Wins Eight Teen Choice Awards". Fox News. Associated Press. August 15, 2005. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  43. ^ "The Notebook - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  44. ^ Cavanagh, John (October 20, 2008). "The Notebook Comes In Blu Next January...". Inside Pulse. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  45. ^ Kaufman, Amy (February 4, 2010). "Nicholas Sparks is a master of romance". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  46. ^ The Notebook Soundtrack TheOST. Retrieved January 7, 2014

External links[edit]