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The Notebook [DVD] [2004]

Directed by Nick Cassavetes, this adaptation of author Nicholas Sparks' bestselling novel revolves around Noah Calhoun's (James Garner) regular visits to a female patron (Gena Rowlands) of an area nursing home. Rather than bore her with the inanities of everyday life, Calhoun reads from an old, faded notebook containing the sweeping account of a young couple (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) whose love affair was tragically put to a halt after their separation in the midst of World War II. Seven years later, the couple was reunited, and, despite having taken radically different paths, they found themselves unable to resist the call of a second chance. The Notebook also features Joan Allen, Sam Shepard, and Kevin Connolly.
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    Overview

    Ratings & Reviews


    Overall Customer Rating:
    98% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (572 out of 589)

    Special Features


    • 12 deleted scenes with optional director commentary
    • "All in the Family: Nick Cassavetes" featurette
    • "Nicholas Sparks: A Simple Story, Well Told" featurette
    • "Southern Exposure: Locating the Notebook" featurette
    • "Casting Rachel and Ryan" featurette
    • Director Nick Cassavetes commentary
    • Novelist Nicholas Sparks commentary
    • Rachel McAdams screen test and more
    • Closed Captioned

    Synopsis


    The Notebook
    Directed by Nick Cassavetes, this adaptation of author Nicholas Sparks's bestselling novel revolves around Noah Calhoun's (James Garner) regular visits to a female patron (Gena Rowlands) of an area nursing home. Rather than bore her with the inanities of everyday life, Calhoun reads from an old, faded notebook containing the sweeping account of a young couple (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) whose love affair was tragically put to a halt after their separation in the midst of World War II. Seven years later, the couple was reunited, and, despite having taken radically different paths, they found themselves unable to resist the call of a second chance. The Notebook also features Joan Allen, Sam Shepard, and Kevin Connolly. ~ Tracie Cooper, Rovi

    Cast & Crew


    • Ryan Gosling
      Ryan Gosling - Noah
    • Rachel McAdams
      Rachel McAdams - Allie
    • James Garner
      James Garner - Noah Calhoun
    • Gena Rowlands
      Gena Rowlands - Allie Calhoun
    • James Marsden
      James Marsden - Lon Hammond



    Customer rating

    Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 589 reviews

    97%
    would recommend to a friend
    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Saccharin... It makes a movie extra sweet!

      Posted
      JakeInLivnColor
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Nicholas Sparks isn't a great writer, in my honest opinion. He struck gold with the film's namesake (The Notebook), and just kept pumping out the same story over and over again, regardless of character. If it's two white Southerners who fall in love under difficult circumstances, then its a Sparks novel/film. Sort of like Stephen King with horror movies: i.e. if its kids who live in Derry, ME, unearth an Indian burial mound and the parents are abusive Christians, then its a King novel/movie. The film is no different but despite my distaste for Sparks' body of work, this film was a huge success and has apparently stood the test of time.... so far. Set in modern day (Circa 2004) Duke is an elderly man (Played by the late, great James Garner) who makes his regular visit to an elderly female patient suffering from dementia (Gena Rowlands, mother of director Nick Cassavettes) to tell her stories from the 1940's. We then cut to 1940s South Carolina, where a young teenager named Noah (Ryan Gosling in his breakout role) is smitten with new girl Allie (Rachel McAdams), and desperately tries to get her attention. After threatening to kill himself from the top of a Ferris Wheel (Real romantic....), they slowly fall for each other and have a summer romance. Unfortunately the romance is short lived when her parents dislike of Noah due to his lack of wealth and they pack up to return to Charleston, SC, their original home. Noah is desperate for her love, and Allie desperately wants Noah but her mother hides her letters away the Noah sent everyday for year, just to keep them apart. Noah joins WWII over in Europe, while Allie becomes a nurse for wounded soldiers and falls for a soldier named Lon (James Marsden) and they plan to wed. Noah spies the couple after returning home to South Caroline, and in order to reacquire their love, he buys a house he promised to buy Allie hoping to win her back. Allie visits Noah and that's when the crucial decision between young love and new love come to a head. Will she choose a man named after a the builder of the Ark or Cyclops? If you have seen every chick flick, romantic film or any film, rather, you know where this is headed. Predictable, saccharin, overly saturated and not good for you at all. But once in a while its ok to indulge. Let me start with the acting, firstly Ryan Gosling. Is there anything this man can't do (besides starring in The Lovely Bones but that's another review for another time) extremely well? He is likable, charming and acts beyond his years. Rachel McAdams, was a relative newcomer, only knowing her at the time from The Hot Chick and Mean Girls and is pretty good here, matching with Gosling remarkably well. The real showstoppers are Garner and Rowlands, as Duke and the patient. I loved the emotion and effort they put into their rather small roles but man I wish the whole film was about their blossoming romance instead of reverting back to the 1940s. The direction by Nick Cassavettes is another issue. Sure he lends the look of the film an appropriately Southern feel, warm glowing colors, rustic roads and houses and also directs his actors with aplomb but as a whole the film is uneven. A more skilled director could've smoothly transitioned from the modern day to the past, instead of jarring cuts that go from a hospital to Europe, in the heat of battle. The screenplay, by Jeremy Leven, is equally problematic, with sluggish pacing, sugary dialogue and all around predictable. The score provided by Aaron Zigman is syrupy-maudlin at its finest, and with the addition of the golden hour cinematography c/o Robert Fraisse all add up to a movie so sweet, that it's been known to cause diabetes. But.... I must admit I do like the movie. I really do. Mainly due to the Rowlands/Garner angle but McAdams and Gosling also make the film work and sell the living daylights out of the movie. I have seen better romance films (Ghost, Pretty Woman, etc.), but watching it with your loved one(s) makes it that much more likable, and therefore watchable. Just not too much or you'll regurgitate. As for the BluRay, we move along to the PQ/AQ. Shot on 35mm film, the film is rather good on the PQ, with the colors popping off the screen, exceptionally sharp details, and the constant glow from the summer sun shine on your TV/monitior. The audio, though not as showy as the picture, it does what it does and does it well. The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track is accurate and on point, centered for the most part, but picks up steam when there is the hustle and bustle of a busy street, music plays, the short time spent in WWII, and a few other scenes offer a nice experience, just not a demo worthy experience. Moving on to the extras, we start off with 2 commentaries, one with the director and the other with author Nicholas Sparks. Next up are 28 minutes worth of deleted scenes. After that are 4 featurettes, starting with All in the Family (12 min.). The featurette is about the director, talking about his career, his filmmaking style, and so on and so forth. Southern Exposure (12 min.) talks about the sets and locations used in the film. A Simple Story, Well Told (7 min.) talks about the life and career of Nicholas Sparks, albeit very briefly. Last, and certainly least according to the runtime of 4 minutes, is Casting Ryan & Rachel. This deals with the casting of the two young leads. Finishing up the extras are the audition tapes of Rachel McAdams and the films trailer. Pretty solid, though not exceptional... just like the film. All in all, this is a decent film, overrated but still charming, with great picture and sound, along with some decent extras that gives some insight about the film. $10 or less if you can find it cheaply and comes recommended to the romantic in your life.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      One of the Best Love Stories of All Time

      Posted
      AandJ091108
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember
      • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

      THE NOTEBOOK has long been my favorite of Nicholas Sparks' many books, so it is a happy surprise to me that the wonderful story transferred to the big screen with all the sweetness, warmth, and tenderness that made the book a runaway best seller. The best part of this movie was the incredible chemistry between Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling as the young lovers Allie and Noah. Their story was told by an elderly couple in a nursing home. James Garner and Gena Rowlands were outstanding as the devoted "Duke" and the woman with irreversible dementia. As Duke recounted the story of Allie and Noah from the notebook he carried with him, the lady's memory began to come back and she could remember. The movie always changes the book but the one major change (the ending) which had the audience letting out a collective gasp and reaching for the nearest tissue was, in my opinion, really good even if it was pure Hollywood melodrama. Why does a movie like THE NOTEBOOK appeal to so many? Is it that every woman longs for a man who loves as deeply as Noah? Is it that every one wants a love that transcends all problems---those of class, education, family objection----and lasts forever? Or just maybe in a world of high-tech gizmos and high security alerts, it's nice to get back to basics with a really good love story....and this is definitely that.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great love story

      Posted
      Shige
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      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      I think this "The Notebook" is author's best novel and movie version also his best movie (my personal preference), although novel and movie are a little different. But movie caught essence of novel and independently I could enjoy. Cinematography of various scenes were beautiful and old couples played by great actors were truly convincing and great. Young actors were played also nicely. I love the scene Ellie faint when she saw the picture of her first love in newspaper accidentally. Ellie's choice was difficult. But finally she chose what he asked - what she liked best.. First love accomplished without any villain. It is truly nice beautiful story and nice great movie. Story of love against Alzheimer also, I think, makes sense. I learned that sometimes person in Coma or Alzheimer could understand when talked since they were often in out-of-body condition around their body. So when consciousness returned, they might remember what were told in their Coma or Alzheimer status. Anyway, I love this story and I read book more than once and I watched movie several times renting from library before I buy. Now I wanted to keep this great movie in my home library together with book. I am happy now I have this movie in DVD.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      Cute Chick-Flick

      Posted
      fiddler

      If you're a young dreamy, ideal girl yearning for love...a very emotional person indeed (usually most girls aged 13-18), you'll love this movie. No doubt about it. Otherwise, 7 times out of 10, you would think it's okay. I thought it was alright. I'm not too into very predictable movies unless it's a child movie I grew up with or if it's just plain fun. This movie had its cute moments. The couple in it fought hard for love, and the little scenes between them could make even the most callous of man smile. What turned me off was I predicted what would happen 2 minutes into the movie. I could complain that this movie is too ideal, but when I think about it, there were a lot of struggles to overcome, and the main message trying to be put across by the movie is that love conquers all. What makes this movie so appealing is the simple pleasures that the couple does to show how they love each other. That always gives a warm feeling. Would I watch it again? Maybe one more time. I'd recommend it, though. Maybe during one of those emotional phases in your life, you'll need a comforting movie as this.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Greatest Love Story EVER Told!

      Posted
      Quicksilver00
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      THE NOTEBOOK has long been my favorite of Nicholas Sparks' many books, so it is a happy surprise to me that the wonderful story transferred to the big screen with all the sweetness, warmth, and tenderness that made the book a runaway best seller. The best part of this movie was the incredible chemistry between Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling as the young lovers Allie and Noah. Their story was told by an elderly couple in a nursing home. James Garner and Gena Rowlands were outstanding as the devoted "Duke" and the woman with irreversible dementia. As Duke recounted the story of Allie and Noah from the notebook he carried with him, the lady's memory began to come back and she could remember.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      GREAT movie

      Posted
      william09
      • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

      i am a guy who typically like action flicks, movies on my top list are gladiator, braveheart, 300, 28 days later ect. this movie however is also one of my top movies and remains to be the only movie i have held on to and not gotten rid of at some point in time. the story is basically about 2 people who fell in love and something splits them up, a few years later they meet again and then have to figure out what to do. without ruining the story it is a great movie with a very good ending. loved it, recommend it. own it.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Perfect for men!

      Posted
      Chris
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      This was a great purchase! It kept my wife busy long enough for me to finish some projects around the house that I haven't been able to get to! She was so emotional when I finished that she didn't even want to stay up talking all night! So on top of finishing long overdue projects, I also got a great nights sleep! Do yourself a favor and buy this movie for your wife/girlfriend. It'll be the most productive 2 hours and 4 minutes you've had in a while.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Obsessed Passion

      Posted
      corporateanalysis365

      I liked this movie because it was different from all the love movies I have ever seen; a guy is telling this amazing love story. It's a sentimental movie and you will cry at the end. Who ever thought obsession could be a good thing? In this movie a guy is obsessed with this girl and he eventually gets her. I thought this was a good movie. Not to many movies make me cry only the Titanic and this movie. In this movie you will see how love conquers all obstacles. Bring out the box of tissues because you will cry.

      I would recommend this to a friend



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