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Film / The Notebook

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Allie: They fell in love, didn't they?
Duke: Yes, they did.

An archetypical story of the Boy Meets Girl. They have a summer romance and are hopelessly fallen for each other. It goes to pieces as he is a working class guy and she is a socialite, with her parents not believing in their love. They split up but the love doesn't die. Seven years later, they meet up again and the sparks fly. But can they get back together again after all that happened between then and now?

Set in the 1940s, this is all told with a Framing Device in the modern day by an old man telling an old woman a story from an old notebook.

Starring Ryan Gosling, Gena Rowlands, James Garner and Rachel McAdams. Directed by Nick Cassavetes. The Film of the Book for The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks' first published novel.


The Notebook provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: A loved one developing Alzheimer's, to the point where they don't recognize you.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: "Kokoro no Doa" is the theme song for the Japanese version.
  • Bath of Angst: After Allie sees Noah again in the paper.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Noah gets one at one point in the story.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    Duke: Good night, I'll be seeing you.
  • Caught in the Rain: This happens to Noah and Allie and ultimately leads to them rekindling their love.
  • Comforting the Widow: Noah also tries to comfort himself while comforting the war widow.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates:
    • Though the mother is more active in this trope, the parents don't like Noah being the working type.
    • When Allie's mother was younger, she was on the receiving end of this trope because her father didn't like her boyfriend for the same reasons that she doesn't like Noah being with her daughter.
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  • Death by Adaptation: Noah. The book has a sequel known as The Wedding which focuses on his son-in-law Wilson, where Noah plays a supporting role.
  • December–December Romance: A deleted scene outlines this exact scenario with a background couple.
  • The Determinator: Noah won't leave Allie alone until she agrees to go on a date with him. Even when they're old and Allie has dementia, he's determined to spark her memory by reading her the story of how they fell in love every day.
  • Disposable Fiancé: Oh, quite disposable. Not very surprising, seeing how it's James Marsden.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: Yes quite.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Allie and Lon, a soldier she met as a nurse during WWII.
  • Framing Device: The story is told by an old man to an old lady with Alzheimer's. The old couple turn out to be the couple in the story.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Once Allie and Noah are back together, they go at it like rabbits.
    Allie: You gotta be kiddin' me. All this time, that's what I've been missin'? Let's do it again.
  • Happily Ever After
    Duke: And they lived happily ever after.
    Allie: Who? (Cue The Reveal)
  • Happily Married: Allie and Noah, of course, end up this way.
  • The Hero Dies: Both Noah and Allie die together in their sleep at the end.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Lon becomes this only after Noah comes back into Allie's life.
  • I Never Got Any Letters: Textbook example. He sent 365 letters, and she got none of them because her mother was hiding them.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: As Allie and Noah argue over whether to stay with him or return to Lon, he tells her that if she wants to be with Lon, "Go. I lost you once, I think I could do it again, if I thought that was what you really wanted."
  • Interclass Romance:
    • Allie is upper class; Noah is working class.
    • Allie's mother reveals that she was in a similar situation where she was an upper class woman who loved a working class man. Unlike her daughter, she never married him because her father objected to their relationship.
  • Love at First Sight: Noah is victim of this when he first sees Allie. Allie does not suffer the same.
  • Love Triangle: Noah, Allie, and Lon in the second half of the movie.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: "After seeing Allie that day, something inside Noah snapped. [...] Some called it a labor of love, others called it something else, but in fact, Noah had gone a little mad."
  • Missing Mom: Noah's mother is only mentioned in passing in a deleted scene. No other reference is made to her existence.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Lon considers (or distastefully jokes about) this option near the end of the movie. This isn't that kind of movie, however.
  • Parental Hypocrisy: Allie's mother scoffs at Allie falling in love a day-laborer in the first act. In the third act, however, she shows Allie that she once loved a day-laborer as well, but instead married Allie's father. She still has feelings for the working man as well.
  • Race for Your Love: Noah races to make up with Allie at the end of Act 1, when she moves away.
  • Rejection Affection: Allie only falls in love with Noah after rejecting him repeatedly only for him to persist.
  • The Reveal: Duke and Allie are Noah and Allie from the story! It's actually more of a reveal to Allie than it is to the audience, given that they already figured out who Allie was.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The present-day scenes get this for those who don't immediately realize that the old couple is the older version of Noah and Allie. Case in point, the scene where their children visit and introduce themselves is very tense and you realize it's because it kills them that their own mother doesn't know who they are. Meanwhile, Allie's studying them like she's clearly trying to remember them, indicating that somewhere deep in her mind, she does know.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Lon and Noah, respectively, though both are genuinely nice guys who adore Allie.
  • Romance Arc: It is a romance after all, even though Sparks will claim it's a "love story."
  • Scatterbrained Senior: The Allie in the present day.
  • Second Love: Although he's the rare version who gets dumped for the first love when they resurface, Lon is arguably this to Allie.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Noah and Allie's relationship is very much like this, with this exact thing happening in an early scene.
  • Southern Gentleman: John Hamilton.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Noah and Allie cheat on their partners with each other. While Noah's relationship is more like a Friends with Benefits situation, Allie's fiance adores her, and she him, as she explicitly states. But it's still seen as perfectly okay that she sleeps with Noah.
  • Together in Death: Despite Alzheimer's keeping them apart, Noah and Allie manage to die together in the end.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Averted. When Noah and Allie consummate their relationship and she spends the next several days at his house, she repeatedly wears the dress she wore the first day, having left everything at the hotel she was staying at.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Noah and Allie after they reunite, especially during the dinner scene. Of course, the tension is soon resolved by being Caught in the Rain.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: While we know what happened to Fin, his girlfriend Sarah is never seen or heard from again.


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