June 25, 2004
On the Big Board
||James Garner and Rachel McAdams make a mediocre film tolerable.
||Conventional material elevated by talented filmmakers and cast
||Personally devastating due to real-life circumstances, but a solid weeper.
Nicholas Sparks sure has made a name for himself. Who is Nicholas Sparks, you say? Well, he wrote the novels that became the movies Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, and this one are based on. An impressive cast has also been brought together for this effort, including veteran stars such as James Garner and Gena Rowlands along with up-and-comers Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling.
Our story follows a retired salesman (Garner) who regularly visits an elderly woman (Rowlands), who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. She is alone at a nursing home and he goes in regularly to read to her from a notebook that she keeps on her shelf. The story this man is reading is shown to us in flashback form.
This faded and worn notebook tells the story of two young men (Gosling and Kevin Connolly), who were both courting the same girl (Rachel McAdams) in North Carolina during World War II. The war tears them apart and the woman and one of the men are reunited after 14 years, when their lives take them in different directions. As the reading of the notebook continues, it soon becomes clear that this man is one of the suitors and the patient is the young woman he was courting those many years ago.
This film has had quite a history. It’s been in development at New Line Cinema since 1995. There have been many rumors about who would take which roles with mention of stars such as Tom Cruise, Matt Damon, Ashley Judd, and many, many others. On the directorial side, there have also been many candidates such as Steven Spielberg, Jim Sheridan, and Martin Campbell before settling on Nick Cassavetes. (Marty Doskins/BOP)
Comparison films for The Notebook
|Message In A Bottle
|Walk To Remember, A
|Legend of Bagger Vance
|Hot Chick, The
|She's So Lovely