Projections - Movie Reviews

The Notebook
The Notebook
Starring Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner,
Gena Rowlands, James Marsden, Sam Shepard

With such an appealing premise, a passionate love affair that lives for 50 years read from The Notebook by James Garner with a solid cast, how could it miss, but it does.

The presentation transmits a still snap-shot feeling rather than a life of events and a flow of life. It also fails to provide even a modest attempt to mask it’s climax.

In the productions favor we see the 1940's fashions and cars and the passion of young men ready to enjoin the battle against Japan and Hitler. Ryan Gosling is the young wood working lumberjack townie who attracts wealthy Rachel McAdams (Mean Girls) in a southern landscape where she is on vacation. McAdams is a perfect 40's girl flirting, care free and ready for romance. Her mother (Joan Allen) is the keeper of the gate watching to see that her daughter marries well.

Director Nick Cassavetes moves from today and back to the 40's smoothly as James Garner’s Duke reads to Gena Rowlands’ Allie who resides in a nursing home.

Gosling’s performance appears bland, his facial expressions changing little from his euphoric moments in the throws of love and his depression when the girl leaves for home and he receives no answer to his 365 letters.

With just a beginning and ending we are unable to judge the success of the love affair in The Notebook. At the same time we are exposed to far too many circumstances that line up just right and we feel maneuvered rather than inspired.

Some will tear up at the ending perhaps having to do with circumstances in their own life, but overall The Notebook is a cliff note version of a life time of love.

The Notebook

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