DIRECTOR: Nick Cassavetes
The Notebook is an adaptation of novel of the same name, but is essentially a romantic film which is exactly what it claims to be, but it’s pretensions to be anything more are misplaced. As a romance, it works well, pitching our two leads, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a working class joe who’s not good enough for McAdams’ rich aristocrat, as the pair embark on a summer romance in 1940’s America.
And this is very much 1940’s picture postcard America; clean and idyllic, with even the worst characters being portrayed softly. Never does it stray from the safe, aiming throughout to apply pressure the romantic nerves within it’s audience. The social commentary in limited to the plot devices, not dissimilar to Titanic in that account.
Gosling is poor but moral, hard-working and doppily loveable and she is sparky and has a zest and appetite for life that only a simple man appetise and though there’s no doubt about the romantic clobber that this film swings is considerable and targeted, it’s all a bit formulaic, never really pushing the boundaries.
The wrap-around story consists of James Garner telling the story via the, you guessed it, eponymous Notebook. There are more twists and turns in these segments, but that’s about it.
Overall, this was a very effective romance and tear-jerker that had several moments which elevated this to its counterparts, but it was also very, very predictable, even its twists failed to surprise, which was a shame because I think the film hangs on at least one of them. Anyway, if you’re a fan of über romance then enjoy but as for the rest of us, this should not offend and is interesting and entertaining enough.