There’s a natural, innate quality about some love stories – they manage to melt even the hardest of hearts. Even the ones those aren’t usually appreciative of love stories. The Notebook definitely is one such love story between Allie and Noah, portrayed beautifully by Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. It isn’t conventional, Noah literally hangs himself up a railing on a giant wheel to get Allie to go out with him and she pulls his pants down in response. To embarrass him, it’s not what you thought.
But from there initiates a passionate, intense love story with every possible emotion you can associate with love. The summer fling comes to an abrupt end however, leaving the viewers wondering and rooting for the couple to return to each other towards the end.
But the love story in itself isn’t what The Notebook is about. This movie seemed special to me because it is the first film I watched that reaches out to the ‘after’ part of ‘and they lived happily ever after’ of a romantic tale. No love story, regardless of how ceremoniously the couple end up together, is completely perfect. With age, the couple are bound to undergo issues that will throw challenges at their bond and every couple has different ways of dealing with it. Here, the endearingly unique approach that this couple employed to survive the inevitable impact of amnesia is what makes the movie such a loved classic.
We find an old man reading the story of Allie and Noah to a beautiful old lady who has amnesia and cannot recall her existence. The man does it every single day- he repeats the story so he can bring her back to him or just about five minutes, before she resorts back to her mind’s oblivion. The sheer persistence he has in narrating the complete story over and over from his notebook for a few moments of affection from his love warms our hearts. Allie apparently made a choice to stay with love when she was young; and the romantic idea of why love always wins over other practical considerations of marriage is reflected here. Even after so many years, when physical beauty has faded away and the romance has been played out, love remains intact and motivates them.
The Notebook is yet a sad story with a tear inducing ending. Nonetheless, it is known to be one of the most beautiful love stories ever told in a very aesthetic way with beautiful actors and impressive setups. It flows on its own, allowing the viewer to simply sit back and enjoy, not forcing us to interpret the imagery. Of course, Ryan and Rachel make it what it is. The roles seem to be written for them. We’ve seen Ryan Gosling in similar loverboy roles and he nails it every time, but Rachel McAdams’ shift from the Mean Girls role to Allie is a pleasant surprise.