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A Heartaching work of Staggering Genius
The Notebook (DVD)
Member Name: huggy2009
The Notebook (DVD)
Advantages: Utterly beautiful, well paced, beautifully shot, well acted, great costume and location
Disadvantages: It made me blub like john terry after a penalty shootout!
Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling) begin a whirlwind romance when they meet and fall utterly in love as teenagers. Unfortunately as Allie is of a higher class than Noah and this is America in the 1920's, Allie's parents have a huge say in who she does and doesn't see so they insist that she must stop seeing Noah and although he writes to her every day to tell her how much he loves her, her parents hide these from her in an attempt to ensure she meets somebody more suited to her social standing.
Whilst parted Noah endeavours to build a perfect family home whilst Allie is now engaged, however when returning to her hometown she meets Noah again and is forced to choose between her true love and the life that has been set out for her.
The story is narrated by an old man in an old peoples home (James Garner) to his aging female companion (Gena Rowland).
Ryan Gosling ... Noah Calhoun
Tim Ivey ... Rower
Rachel McAdams ... Allie Hamilton
Starletta DuPois ... Nurse Esther
James Garner ... Duke
Gena Rowlands ... Allie Calhoun
Sam Shepard ... Frank Calhoun
Anthony-Michael Q. Thomas ... Nurse Keith
Joan Allen ... Anne Hamilton
Ed Grady ... Harry
James Marsden ... Lon Hammond Jr.
Heather Wahlquist ... Sara Tuffington
Jennifer Echols ... Nurse Selma
Geoffrey Knight ... Barker
Kevin Connolly ... Fin
My Take on this film:
I had no expectations of this film at all, I knew it was adapted from a book by Nicholas Sparks but that was pretty much it. I also knew that the cast looked pretty damned good and a cast this good wouldn't generally sign up for an awful film.
From the opening shot I was beguilled, the 20's era America is created beautifully, the director Nick Cassavettes has created a wonderful backdrop for this classic romance, the use of James Garner as the narrator is awesome as he has a wonderful lived in voice and tells the tale with emotion and empathy and he is wonderful acting his part with the excellent Gena Rowland too.
Rachel McAdams plays her role well as a woman who has a pure love for Noah but is duped by family to believe she is destined for something else, Ryan Gosling is simply excellent as Noah and must have a female fan club of millions after playing what is pretty much the perfect romantic lead. Their chemistry is fantastic and utterly believable and if your not willing them onto a fitting end or blubbing then you are a robot.
The film is romantic, touching, evokes an era beautifully and brings back something of old Hollywood to film. It doesn't rely on big name leads or sex appeal it relies on two people (ok maybe 4, oops!!), convincingly playing out a love affair that is honest, believable and evocative.
The music is excellent and captures the mood of the film perfectly. The director paces the film brilliantly and the use of narration puts it in perspective and builds mood and emotion at all times.
I really do think that along with Before Sunrise this is possibly my favourite romantic film of the last two decades, it has the melodrama and story to match it of old classic films.
I am sure most of you have already seen this film, but it is the kind of thing I always recommend to friends and will definitely watch many times over my lifetime, it is life affirming and although slushy and a bit corny in parts it portrays love in a way that is almost lost in the knowing quirkiness of modern films or the stupid notion that actors and actresses have to get their thrups out to titillate an audience (i'm sure there is a time and a place for those films but other reviewers capture these much better than I do). This is a good old fashioned story with marvelous acting, great plotting and a central couple who are endearing, likable and
the kind of characters you want to be happy.
If your an old or young romantic, somebody with £3.99 floating about in your pocket (From Amazon) or you simply want to watch a modern film that has old school dynamics of plotting, acting and direction then give this a try, if not then go and watch 'Did you hear about the Morgan's'.
Optional Filmmakers Feature Length Commentaries
Summary: A Heartaching work of Staggering Genius