Thursday, January 3, 2013

50x3: The Notebook (E-2)

For my second movie from my wife we took in a little romantic film that was all the rage a few years back. It also pretty much put Ryan Gosling on the map as an A-list star - and just check out his last few years in film.

Gosling stars as Noah Calhoun in The Notebook. Noah is part of a story that Duke (James Garner) is telling a friend of his (Gena Rowlands) in a nursing home.

The story goes that Noah sees a girl, Allison Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) at a carnival and is immediately head-over-heels for her. Allison is in town for the summer with her rich family and is friends with Sara Tuffington (Heather Wahlquist) - who happens to be dating Noah's best friend, Fin (Kevin Connolly).

Noah's first attempt to ask Allison out is shot down rather quickly. So he decides he needs to ask her out in a much more extravagant way - by hanging from a ferris wheel. And, she begrudgingly accepts his proposal to 'save' his life.

The two of them, though, hit it off rather quickly. And soon they are pretty inseparable. He takes her to meet his father - and she takes him to meet her family.

Immediately it is seen that her family does not approve of this courtship - but thinking it was just a summer romance they allow it to play out.

One night Noah takes Allison to an abandoned house which he notifies her that he hopes to eventually purchase and fix up for them. She plays along and tells him of things that she would want for the house. Though, he is not joking.

As the night progresses the two of them make a makeshift bed and appear that they will make love for the first time - though she stops it. Moments later Fin busts through the door saying that Allison's family had called the police because there daughter was missing.

Allison and her family argue in a room as Noah sits in another room - and it is here that for the first time he finds out that they believe he is not good enough for their daughter. And, he decides to break it off so that she can move on with her life without him.

Noah, though, writes a letter to Allison each day for an entire year. Even after enlisting in the Army and losing his best friend Fin in the field of battle. However, he never hears from Allison as her mother intercepts each letter before she is able to get them.

Now, Allison is forced to move on and becomes engaged to Lon Hammond, Jr. (James Marsden). Noah, though, thanks to his father purchases the abandoned house and fixes it up with all of the special requests from Allison.

A photograph is taken of the house and placed in a newspaper that Allison sees - and all of her feelings for Noah come rushing back. She takes time away from Lon and goes to see Noah - rekindling their romance. But soon, she is forced to choose between her fiance and the man of her dreams.

This film is obviously a 'chick flick' as I believe most Nicholas Sparks films are. But, there is definitely something that men can take from this as well. Us lucky ones will find someone out there that we would do anything and everything for.

I pretty much saw what was happening in the movie from the start - and I didn't know anything really about the movie heading in. It was pretty obvious. And, I still liked seeing how things came together. Pretty heartbreaking, and in a way sweet.

Gosling and McAdams were great, and they had great chemistry together as well. I really enjoy Connolly as an actor, and despite not being in the film much, I enjoyed him.

I guess we can thank The Notebook and Gosling/McAdams for starting off this Nicholas Sparks phenomenon - seems like we are getting a new film almost every year now. Guess the wife will want me to get caught up now. We'll see.


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