The Notebook (2004 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Nick Cassavetes|
|Produced by||Lynn Harris
|Screenplay by||Jeremy Leven|
|Story by||Jan Sardi (adaptation)|
|Based on||The Notebook
by Nicholas Sparks
|Narrated by||James Garner|
|Music by||Aaron Zigman|
|Edited by||Carmen Yulin|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Running time||124 minutes|
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 1940. 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 an MTV Movie Award. The film became a sleeper hit and has gained a cult following. On November 11, 2012, ABC Family premiered an extended version with deleted scenes added back into the original storyline.
The story he tells begins in 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. When Allie visited Noah's home, he recited Walt Whitman's poetry. Noah takes Allie to an abandoned house, explaining 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. In a heated argument, Allie's mother calls Noah "trash, trash, trash" and Noah overhears. Upset, he walks out and Allie chases after him. The ensuing argument between the two ends in a break up and the next morning, Allie's mother, Ann (Joan Allen) announces that the family is returning home to Charleston. Allie attempts to contact Noah, but is unable to find him. She asks Fin to tell Noah that she loves him before driving home. When Noah gets Allie's message he rushes over to the family's house only to find it empty.
Noah and Allie have no choice but to move on with their lives. Noah writes to Allie every day for a year, but never receives a response as Ann hides the letters before her daughter can see them. Heartbroken, Noah enlists with Fin to fight in World War II. Fin is killed in battle. Meanwhile, Allie volunteers 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 Allie, whom he has neither seen nor heard from 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 to the specifications she'd made years prior, 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 to find Noah living in the restored house. The two renew their relationship and make love. In the morning, Ann appears on Noah's doorstep, warning Allie that Lon has followed her to Seabrook. She gives Allie the letters that Noah had written to her and reveals that in her youth she, too, had been in love with a lower class young man and that she still thinks of him. 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 briefly becomes lucid. She remembers that the story Duke is reading is the story of how they met. Duke tells her how she appeared at Noah's doorstep with her belongings, having left Lon at the hotel, and Allie suddenly remembers her past. At the onset of her dementia, she wrote their love 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. Duke - who is in fact Noah - is hospitalized with what seems to be another heart attack.
When he is released from the hospital, Noah visits Allie 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 that they have died peacefully in bed together.
- Ryan Gosling as Noah Calhoun
- Rachel McAdams as Allison "Allie" Hamilton
- James Garner as Old Noah Calhoun / "Duke"
- Gena Rowlands as Old Allie Calhoun
- Joan Allen as Ann Hamilton
- James Marsden as Lon Hammond, Jr.
- Jamie Brown as Martha Shaw
- Sam Shepard as Frank Calhoun
- David Thornton as John Hamilton
- Kevin Connolly as Fin
- Heather Wahlquist as Sara Tuffington
- Ed Grady as Harry
- Obba Babatunde as Bandleader
- Mark Johnson as Photographer
- Starletta DuPois as Nurse Esther
- William Sattelberg as Ryan Gosling's stunt double
Work began in March 1996, when the first screenwriter was hired to write the first draft and script. 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.
Cassavetes wanted someone unknown and "not handsome" to portray Noah; therefore, he cast Ryan Gosling in the role. 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.' " "It gave me an opportunity to play a character over a period of time - from 1940 to 1946 - that was quite profound and formative." 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. A nationwide search was conducted to find the right actress to play Allie. Actresses who auditioned for the role included Jessica Biel, Britney Spears, Ashley Judd and Reese Witherspoon, and Rachel McAdams was ultimately chosen. 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." Gosling commented that, "I think that it's pretty fair to say that we probably wouldn't have made the film if we hadn't found Rachel...Really, Allie drives the movie. It's her movie and we're in it. It all kind of depended on an actress." In comparison to the book, the role was extended. McAdams spent time in Charleston before filming to familiarize herself with the surroundings, and took ballet and etiquette classes. She had a dialect coach to learn the southern accent.
The Notebook was filmed almost entirely on location in South Carolina, in late 2002 and early 2003. Production offices for the film were set up at the old Charleston Naval Base in North Charleston.
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 southwest of Charleston, South Carolina. 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, which is another "sea island" locality situated 10 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. The Boone Hall Plantation served as Allie's summer house.
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) with trained birds that were brought in from elsewhere.
The nursing home scenes were filmed at Rice Hope Plantation, 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.
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. 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. It is the 14th highest-grossing romantic drama film of all time.
The Notebook received a mixed reaction from film critics. Based on 154 reviews on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 52% of critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 5.7/10. At Metacritic, which assigns an average 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."
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." 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."
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. 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." 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." 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."
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." 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."
In June 2010, Entertainment Weekly included Allie and Noah in its list of the "100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years." The periodical listed The Notebook in their 25 Sexiest Movies Ever. Us Weekly included the film in their list of the 30 Most Romantic Movies of All Time. Boston.com ranked the film the third Top Romantic Movie. The Notebook appeared on Moviefone's list of the 25 Best Romance Movies of All Time. Marie Claire also put the film on its list of the 12 Most Romantic Movie Scenes of All Time. 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. 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. The kiss in the rain was ranked no. 4 in Total Film 's 50 Best Movie Kisses list.
Awards and nominations
|2004||Golden Trailer Awards||Best Romance||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie of the Summer||Nominated|
|Choice Breakout Movie Star||Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|2005||Artios Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Feature Film, Drama||Matthew Barry and Nancy Green-Keyes||Nominated|
|Golden Satellite Awards||Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture||Gena Rowlands||Won|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Female Performance||Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|Best Kiss||Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling||Won|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role||James Garner||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Drama||Won|
|Choice Date Movie||Won|
|Choice Movie Actor – Drama||Ryan Gosling||Won|
|Choice Movie Actress – Drama||Rachel McAdams||Won|
|Choice Movie Breakout Performance – Male||Ryan Gosling||Won|
|Choice Movie Chemistry||Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling||Won|
|Choice Movie Liplock||Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling||Won|
|Choice Movie Love Scene||Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling||Won|
The soundtrack to The Notebook was released on June 8, 2004.
|1.||"Main Title"||Aaron Zigman||2:49|
|3.||"I'll Be Seeing You"||Billie Holiday||3:33|
|4.||"Alabamy Home"||Duke Ellington||3:02|
|5.||"Allie Returns"||Aaron Zigman||5:07|
|6.||"House Blues / The Porch Dance / The Proposal / The Carnival"||Aaron Zigman||8:04|
|7.||"Noah's Journey"||Aaron Zigman||6:03|
|8.||"Always And Always"||Benny Goodman & His Orchestra||3:17|
|9.||"A String Of Pearls"||Glenn Miller & His Orchestra||3:16|
|10.||"On The Lake"||Aaron Zigman||5:39|
|11.||"Diga Diga Doo"||Rex Stewart And The Ellingtonians||4:16|
|12.||"One O'Clock Jump"||Benny Goodman & His Orchestra||3:15|
|13.||"I'll Be Seeing You"||Jimmy Durante||3:13|
|14.||"Noah's Last Letter"||Aaron Zigman||4:32|
|15.||"Our Love Can Do Miracles"||Aaron Zigman||4:31|
- "THE NOTEBOOK (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 2004-05-25. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- "The Notebook (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
- Fleming, Michael (March 19, 2007). "Sparks adaptation is ‘Dear’ to Tatum". Variety. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
- Lyttelton, Oliver (June 25, 2014). "4 Ways 'The Notebook' Rewrote the Weepie and Changed Hollywood". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
- Greve, Joan E. (June 25, 2014). "9 Best Quotes from The Notebook". Time. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- "'The Notebook' director claims Ryan Gosling tried to have Rachel McAdams removed from film". NME. July 3, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- "The Notebook Special Edition on ABC Family This Sunday". Nicholas Sparks: The Official Website. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Leaves of Grass'SPONTANEOUS ME'
Beautiful dripping fragments—the negligent list of
one after another, as I happen to call them to
me, or think of them,
The real poems, (what we call poems being merely
The poems of the privacy of the night, and of men
This poem, drooping shy and unseen, that I always
carry, and that all men carry,
- Wilson-Combs, Lana K. (June 27, 2004). "A chat with Nicholas Sparks". Ocala Star-Banner. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- Ravitz, Justin (December 12, 2011). "Ryan Gosling: Notebook Director Told Me I Wasn't "Handsome" or "Cool"". Us Weekly. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- Pickle, Betsy (June 25, 2004). "'NOTEBOOK' LOVE SCENES WERE 'EMBARRASSING,' SAYS ACTOR". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "The Notebook Production Notes". Movies Central. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- "The Notebook Trivia". Philippine Daily Inquirer. August 26, 2004. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "Jessica Biel: 'The Notebook' Is The Film That Got Away". The Huffington Post. November 2, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- "Valentine's Flashback: 'The Notebook'". Entertainment Tonight. February 14, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- "Ten things you never knew about The Notebook". News.com.au. November 13, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- Wloszczyna, Susan (June 24, 2004). "Hot off 'The Notebook'". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- Murray, Rebecca (2004). "Ryan Gosling Talks about "The Notebook"". About.com. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- Thompson, Bill (February 19, 2003). "'Notebook' pivotal for McAdams.". The Post and Courier. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "The gossip's now over Rachel". Thefreelibrary.com. June 18, 2004. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- Deziel, Shanda (July 14, 2005). "Rachel's all the rage". Maclean's. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "IGN INTERVIEWS RACHEL MCADAMS". IGN. June 23, 2004. p. 3. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- "Movies Filmed in South Carolina – The Notebook". South Carolina's Information HighWAY. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- McGuire, Judy (February 28, 2009). "Romance, Movie Style - Love on Location - The Notebook". Time. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "Francis Marion Foils the British". historynet.com. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- Exton, Emily. "Ryan Gosling Wanted To Kick Rachel McAdams Off The Notebook Set And More You Didn’t Know About The Film". vh1.com. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Rice Hope Plantation – Oatland – Georgetown County". Retrieved May 22, 2012.
- "The Notebook (2004) – Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 5, 2008.
- "Romantic Drama Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
- "The Notebook". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- "The Notebook". Metacritic. Retrieved February 5, 2008.
- Ebert, Roger. "The Notebook". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- Lowry, Peter (June 28, 2004). "The Notebook". Film Threat. Hamster Stampede LLC. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
- Holden, Stephen (June 25, 2004). "When Love Is Madness and Life a Straitjacket". The New York Times. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
- Hornaday, Ann (June 25, 2004). "A Tear-Stained 'Notebook'". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
- 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.
- Morris, Wesley (June 25, 2004). "Love shows its age in 'Notebook'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
- Winter, Jessica (June 15, 2004). "Old Pros Lend Credibility to Young Lovebirds' Magical Hysteria Tour". The Village Voice. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
- Koehler, Robert (May 20, 2004). "The Notebook". Variety. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
- 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.
- "25 Sexiest Movies Ever!". Entertainment Weekly. January 2, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- "30 Most Romantic Movies of All Time - The Notebook". Us Weekly. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- "Top 25 romantic movies". Boston.com. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- "Best Romance Movies of All Time". Moviefone. February 5, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- "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.
- 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.
- Kinnear, Simon (February 13, 2012). "50 Most Romantic Movie Moments Of All Time".
- Kinnear, Simon (February 14, 2013). "50 Best Movie Kisses". Total Film. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- "5th Annual Golden Trailer Award Winner and Nominees". GoldenTrailer.com. 2004. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "CA The Notebook.pdf". Horizon High School Drama. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "Artis Award Winners – 2005". Casting Society of America. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "2005 MTV Movie Awards". MTV. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "The 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". SAGAwards.org. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "'Notebook' Wins Eight Teen Choice Awards". Fox News. Associated Press. August 15, 2005. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "The Notebook - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Cavanagh, John (October 20, 2008). "The Notebook Comes In Blu Next January...". Inside Pulse. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Kaufman, Amy (February 4, 2010). "Nicholas Sparks is a master of romance". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- The Notebook Soundtrack TheOST. Retrieved January 7, 2014
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: The Notebook (film)|
- Official website
- The Notebook at the Internet Movie Database
- The Notebook at Box Office Mojo
- The Notebook at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Notebook at Metacritic