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Movie Review of The Notebook (2004) Based on the Novel by Nicholas Sparks

Nyesha loves writing about cooking/recipes, restaurants, movies, weddings, and poetry.

Movie Review of The Notebook the movie

The Notebook the movie DVD cover. Photo edited with Photo Editor for Samsung Galaxy.

The Notebook the movie DVD cover. Photo edited with Photo Editor for Samsung Galaxy.

1. In THE NOTEBOOK the movie - What gives?

The Notebook – Movie Review

THE NOTEBOOK the movie

In The Notebook the movie, an elderly man that is perfectly capable of living independently chooses to go to live in an assisted living facility / nursing home instead.

In the movie, this scenario is much to the dismay of the elderly man's three adult children and his grandkids who must visit him at the nursing home.

In The Notebook the movie, the man's adult children say that they miss him and that he should go home. He never agrees to it and instead he in fact gives his house to his kids, signing over the deed to them.

In The Notebook the movie, why has this elderly man done this? Well, the answer is that in a romantic story for the ages, he stays at the nursing home to sustain a courtship with an elderly lady who must stay at the nursing home due to her dementia.

2. The content written in the notebook is their own love story

In The Notebook the movie, the elderly man’s name is Noah Calhoun and he reads to the elderly lady named Allie on a regular basis.

He reads from a notebook. It turns out that this notebook is the man and woman’s own love story through the years.

3. Young love in The Notebook the movie

In the movie, Allie met Noah when she was just seventeen years old. They had a budding romance that ended abruptly and they were apart for seven whole years before getting back together.

They share the now grown children who are devastated that their mom does not recognize them when they go to visit the nursing home.

Noah and Allie in The Notebook the movie

the characters, Noah and Allie played by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

the characters, Noah and Allie played by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

4. In The Notebook the movie, Noah serves in war and his friend dies in combat

In The Notebook the movie, during the days that Noah Calhoun reads to Allie from the notebook, the story amounts to quite a saga.

A young Noah had dreams of purchasing and restoring a big house. He has to leave his hometown to serve in war and his best friend Fin is by his side as his comrade. Sadly, Fin gets killed in combat during the war.

5. A gift from Noah's father in The Notebook the movie

In The Notebook the movie, Noah returns home from war uninjured and his father informs him that he has sold his house and will give Noah the money to purchase the other house that Noah wants to restore.

Noah thanks his dad for his grand gesture and asks him – now that he has sold his house, where will he live? Noah’s dad replies “With you” as if it’s a no-brainer to come to that conclusion.

Ryan Gosling as Noah in The Notebook the movie

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6. The death of Noah's father

Unfortunately, in the movie, Noah’s father also sadly dies shortly after that conversation and making of plans.

He had lived to see Noah do a lot of work on the restoration of the newly purchased house but not the completion of it.

7. Noah completes restoration of the house

Devastated and disturbed, presumably by the combination of:

  • what he went through serving in war,
  • the death of his friend Fin,
  • his father’s death
  • and the fact that his long lost love Allie is always on his mind,

the Notebook movie character Noah pours all of his time and energy into the continued restoration of the big old house.

By the time it is completed, Noah has done such an amazing job and he is written about in the local newspaper.

8. Meanwhile, in Allie's life

By this time, in The Notebook the movie, the movie character Allie has completed college at Sarah Lawrence and is engaged to be married to a man that was also a former soldier in war and she had met him while working as a volunteer nurse.

He was her patient and she had said “Excuse me?” while he was flirting with her and making advances to her all while he was more or less in a full body cast!

  • She basically told him that he should just worry about being on the mend.
  • After he healed from his injuries, he did find her on the campus of her college and they began a courtship.
  • When he eventually became engaged to Allie, her parents were thrilled.

9. The society event of the year?

Now with Allie trying on her wedding dress and excited about her upcoming nuptials, it is emphasized that this upcoming wedding will be a high society, stylish event unlike any the community has ever seen.

10. Oh boy!

In the movie, as Allie and her mom flip through the pages of a newspaper and discuss what high profile guests will be in attendance, they see an article about Noah as well! Allie’s mom says, “Oh boy!” and Allie faints!

11. Allie needs to get away (to go see Noah, that is.)

Allie makes a timely decision to go and see Noah. She explains to her fiancé that she needs to get away for a while.

12. Oops

In the movie, by the time Allie goes to visit Noah at the location of his restored house in his hometown, Allie is pretty flustered and feeling like she should not have gone there. Not long after greeting Noah, she says that she should not have come, calls herself “a stupid woman” and gets back in her car to leave. She ends up crashing the car into a nearby fence!

  • Eventually, Noah and Allie make plans to see each other again the next day. He has something that he wants to show her.
  • The next day, the two of them go out on a row boat and see so many swans flocked together on the water.
  • They get caught in the rain and start heading back.

13. Just a little tension there?

In the movie, the tension between them eventually comes to a head as Allie asks Noah why he did not write to her. He explains that he tried writing to her every day for the first year after they broke up.

Allie never received any of the letters. (It turns out that her mother who was always the one to check their mail apparently had been keeping them from her.) Allie exclaims that she had waited for Noah for seven years! “Now, it’s too late.”

It’s not long before Noah says, “It wasn’t over. It’s still not over!” and their love relationship resumes.

I waited for you for seven years! Now, it's too late!

— Allie to Noah

It wasn't over. It's still not over!

— Noah to Allie

14. Together again

Allie and her fiancé end things amicably. Noah also says goodbye to a widow that he had been seeing. Noah and Allie resume their relationship that they see as ‘true love’.

In The Notebook the movie, as the elderly Noah Calhoun reads the story of their lives to the elderly Allie, she sometimes becomes more lucid as she realizes that the story is about the two of them.

Noah is always holding on to hope that Allie will remember him as her husband and he treasures the moments when she does remember him.

The Notebook is a very memorable movie with a sad ending

Elderly Noah Calhoun and elderly Allie eventually die together in their sleep, lying next to each other on a bed in the nursing home. It is an incredibly moving movie scene. They are discovered by one of the nurses at the nursing home.

The Notebook the movie is based on the novel of the same name by author Nicholas Sparks. The 2004 movie, The Notebook was extremely popular during that year and the movie is still very memorable to many who have seen it. I watched this movie not long after it was released in 2004 and recently watched it for the second time, (on DVD) in this year, 2018.

The Notebook the movie is rated PG-13.

In The Notebook the movie, the actors playing the characters Noah Calhoun and Allie during their younger years were Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, both very famous actors and especially very well known for their performances together in this movie.

In The Notebook the movie, elderly Noah Calhoun and Allie were also very effectively played by the actors, James Garner and Gena Rowlands. Gena Rowlands is also the mother of the movie’s director Nick Cassavetes.

The Notebook the movie

The Notebook DVD


Who said it?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What notable figure called The Notebook the movie "the best love story I have seen in years"?
    • Tom Hanks
    • Larry King
    • Jay Leno
    • David Letterman
  2. Who dated who? - Which two actors dated each other for two years in real life after filming this movie together?
    • James Garner and Gena Rowlands
    • Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

Answer Key

  1. Larry King
  2. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

1. The Notebook movie clip

2. The Notebook - another movie clip

© 2018 Nyesha Pagnou MPH


Nyesha Pagnou MPH (author) from USA on April 04, 2020:

Hi Umesh,

Thanks very much for your nice comment on this movie review!

- Nyesha

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on April 04, 2020:

A splendid review. Well presented. Thanks.

Nyesha Pagnou MPH (author) from USA on April 05, 2019:

Hi Dianna,

Thanks for posting a comment. I think that you'll really enjoy watching The Notebook. I'm glad that you'll keep it in mind.


Dianna Mendez on November 16, 2018:

I have yet to view this movie. I will have to check it out at the library soon.

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