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The Notebook

Drama . Romance

An epic love story centered around an older man who reads aloud to a woman with Alzheimer's. From a faded notebook, the old man's words bring to life the story about a couple who is separated by World War II, and is then passionately reunited, seven years later, after they have taken different paths.

Actors: Sam Shepard , James Garner , Gena Rowlands , Ryan Gosling , Rachel McAdams , Tim Ivey , Starletta DuPois , Kevin Connolly , David Thornton , James Marsden , Joan Allen
Directors: Nick Cassavetes
Country: USA
Release: 2004-06-25
More Info:
  • Roger Ebert

    The director is Nick Cassavetes, son of Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes, and perhaps his instinctive feeling for his mother helped him find the way past soap opera in the direction of truth.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Luke Y. Thompson

    If you're the sort who enjoys shedding such in darkened theaters, your must-see summer movie has arrived.

    Dallas Observer Full Review
  • Michael Wilmington

    May be corny, but it's also absorbing, sweet and powerfully acted. It's a film about falling in love and looking back on it, and it avoids many of the genre's syrupy dangers.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    The Notebook is well worth the risk of diabetic shock for the sake of superb acting that transcends its teary milieu.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Ruthe Stein

    An old-fashioned and occasionally schmaltzy movie that delivers an emotional wallop

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Peter Lowry

    Overall, The Notebook is a surprisingly good film that manages to succeed where many other "chick flick" like romances fail.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    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."

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Audiences craving big, gooey over-the-top romance have their must-see summer movie in The Notebook.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    What a glorious weepie The Notebook might have been if they’d just found a way to get rid of the damned notebook.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • William Arnold

    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.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    Dramatically speaking, the movie version of The Notebook has a first act and a last act but lacks a transition. If it were a sandwich, it would be two slices of bread without filling.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    A gifted cast was bogged down by a treacly tale.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    Considering the sunny, relatively pleasurable romantic business that precedes it, the elderly stuff seems dark, morbid, and forced upon us.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Sadly, the elements that made the book special did not survive the transition to the screen.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    We get pleasure watching two sets of likeable, convincing actors move toward their foreordained futures. The film's affecting ending proves familiarity needn't breed contempt, after all.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Jessica Winter

    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.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Robert Koehler

    A determined and often affecting romance that doesn't speak down to audiences.

    Variety Full Review
  • Desson Thomson

    May be one hundred percent sap, but its spirit is anything but cloying, thanks to persuasive performances, most notably from Rachel McAdams.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    You know what you want to see if you want to see The Notebook...You want to see girls in pretty 1940s dresses, soldiers in stirring World War II uniforms, handsome automobiles and equally handsome Southern landscapes. You want to see romance overcome adversity.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    Rowlands is superb, as usual, and Garner partners her with the grace of a dancer. Cassavetes's directing style is slow and stilted, though, indicating yet again that his notion of moviemaking is the opposite of everything his father, the great John Cassavetes, stood for.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Connie Ogle

    You won't necessarily applaud The Notebook's excesses, but its final moments of grace will leave you in a sodden heap on the theater floor.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    The Notebook is meant to be a romantic weepy, and you will shed tears - but only from the consistent and exhausting effort of trying to control your gag reflex. Even a body that welcomes a sugar fix will repel a sugar invasion.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Michael Sragow

    To their credit, director Nick Cassavetes and screenwriter Jeremy Leven heighten the melodrama and seize on the most distinctive strokes of Nicholas Sparks' bland best seller.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Angel Cohn

    Cassavetes' film is unusually well-acted and lovely to look at, but his wholehearted embrace of saccharine melodrama and tendency to let scenes ramble on long after their point has been expressed makes for some slow going.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • M. E. Russell

    Hs a single goal: to prod your tear ducts to open up. It is very, very good at this task. Whether The Notebook is good in any other respect is a bit more complicated.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    Cassavetes isn't much of a director and he never settles on a mood, which he seems intent on ruining with hiccups of goofiness. But there's an underlying humanity to his scenes, a sense that movies are made by people for other people.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    The connection between the two narratives is supposed to be a big, heartbreaking surprise, though I figured it out well in advance and spent the interim unfavorably comparing this greatest-generation hanky wringer to the British drama "Iris."

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Michael Rechtshaffen

    Mercilessly plodding pacing, problematic character motivations and a fundamental lack of chemistry between the two star-crossed lovers in question don't do a lot to help its cause.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    From the first soft piano that accompanies white geese flying toward a humongous orange sunset, The Notebook racks up the sugary clichés till you’re screaming for mercy.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    Opening shots tend to say a lot about a movie, but they say everything about The Notebook, a glossy adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' four-hanky sudser.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    I have the same allergic reaction to this open faucet of tear-jerking swill as I do to the 1996 Nicholas Sparks novel that inspired it.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Jack Mathews

    Two hours of the worst sort of sentimental sap.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Charles Taylor

    The movie not only approaches a level of shamelessness you have to see to disbelieve, it does it in a manner that's both inept and crass. Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    A lovely surprise. Ripe with feeling and lush with physical beauty, it's a love story that swings confidently between age and youth, and, like the young Tiger Woods of old, avoids every trap along the way.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
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