Face the polarizing question: Did you like The Notebook?
While we have naysayers and fans alike, the response majorly comes inspired from personal taste. I was looking forward and rather excited to my first viewing of The Notebook and to break down this infamous king of romance films from the past decade.
Very few elements can be tended to with a film of this nature, and so it limits itself to engaging with the characters. Shamefully enough, characterization of lovers Noah and Allie was managed horribly, which grew to be the fatal flaw of the film. We start with first love, the youthful stage, an area of the film that proceeded to be a shameless and gleeful montage of cute highlights and romantic gimmicks that didn’t really shape a unique human couple, but a picturesque pair that we all can fawn over and relate to on some relative degree. Initially, things were so briskly paced that these people didn’t have time to catch a moment’s breath to show us who they really are. Even classic fairy tales have more character study values than this. And that’s what it tried being; an adult fairy tale. All throughout, the film relies on its heavy event and time based story to flesh out these characters, and that approach just doesn’t work for a story like this. We aren’t experiencing these events alongside these lovers, we are being told a story and the foundation laid out for it was poor. Even if we start to see these people on a deeper level, it still never comes full circle. Nor does it even bother to give us something to cling on to, aside from the universal similarities of love; that is cheap film making. It’s certainly not as bad as many other films of the genre, but for the lack of time and care the writers and director gives the characters, it only gives room for the cheap trick of winning your hearts over through a collection of fanciful moments and that isn’t fair to the viewer.
Thankfully, the cast supplied an array of performances that colored in the story beautifully to the proper satisfaction a story of this caliber required. Not to mention strikingly rich and mesmerizing photography that illuminates this love story better than most. Looking at the film as a whole, The Notebook sincerely needed more time to breathe and simmer for it to cross through three different eras of a love and to properly let us in on the flesh and bones of this story, because this adaptation is ripping viewers off. It’s a film too small to be an epic and too grand to be an ordinary romance.
On the core story, however, The Notebook is a well deserved tale of iconic romance, quintessential and heartbreaking, enough to linger in our generation’s hearts.
It’s like Nicholas Sparks is showing us this beautiful black and white photograph of couple from a past generation perfectly in love. He bring us in touch with our core human emotions as he explains them and then lets us watch him burn away the photograph; slowly watching the fumes and ash pile up, taking the place of what once was beauty.
This film wasn’t my dad, but a giddy teenage girl too excited to articulate her thoughts.