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So it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. We're gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, for ever, you and me, every day.
According to most teenage girls and respected movie critics, “The Notebook,” written by Nicholas Sparks and directed by Nick Cassavetes is definitely the most passionate love story made in the 21st century. As teenagers, Allie and Noah’s summer romance quickly blossoms into a lasting relationship, and becomes filled with complications, heartache, and doubt. After years of being separated because of differences in social status, the young couple is brought back together by one risky visit that changed their lives forever. Through the introduction of the story, point of view, suspense, characterization, and theme, Nicholas Sparks created a masterpiece that everyone needs to experience.
To begin, “The Notebook’s” introduction adds great anticipation to the story which keeps the viewer’s eyes glued to the screen. The story begins with an old man, Noah, reading to his elderly wife, Allie, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He’s reading about their life together as a young couple. The story of their life begins at a carnival where Noah and Allie first meet as seventeen year old kids, and Noah says “You wanna dance with me?” Allie answers, “no.” Noah asks, “Why not?” Allie replies with, “Because i don’t want to?” Allie starts walking over to the Ferris Wheel when her friend states “I think he likes you.” Allie looks at her friend confused. Reaching the Ferris Wheel, Allie sits down with her date. Noah follows closely behind. Minutes later, he jumps on the Ferris Wheel into Allie’s seat with her date looking confused and frustrated. Noah starts off by saying, “I’m Noah Calhoun.” Allie replies, looking very surprised, “So?!” Noah, being very persistent, replies with “So it’s very nice to meet you.” Allie’s date, still extremely confused asked, “Allie, who is this guy?!” Allie replies to her date with “I don’t know! Noah Calhoun?!” Noah, continuing to be very persistent, says to Allie, “I would really like to take you out.” After minutes of Allie not giving into Noah’s request, he grabs onto the bar above their seat and hangs by two hands high above the ground. With his friends yelling at him to get down, Noah quickly lets go with one hand, still hanging above the ground waiting for Allie to agree to go out with him. After her final words of resistance and their mutual friends yelling up at Allie to give in, she finally surrenders to his request. This detailed introduction is just the beginning of the many reasons why teenage girls should see the Notebook.
Another reason why “The Notebook” is so renowned is for it’s intriguing point of view. It changes frequently throughout the story; from the young, lively couple to their matured, sophisticated relationship. The point of view in the movie is mainly third-person limited. The whole story is read out of a book that Allie wrote about their life together so that she would always remember. Her husband, Noah, received the book just before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s so that she would never forget how in love the happy couple were. It was also for him to know that she would always care for him even though she couldn’t show it because of her condition. In the front page of the book, Allie wrote a note to him saying:
“The Story of Our Lives”
by Allison Hamilton Calhoun
To My Love, Noah
Read this to me and I’ll come back to you.
Therefore, since it’s all through her writing, it’s her point of view on their lives. The point of view is yet another example of why teenage girl’s should see the Notebook.
Next, the suspense in “The Notebook” becomes unbearable at times. It causes the viewer to get emotionally attached to the story of their relationship. After Allie goes to school, and has to leave Noah, she becomes a nurse for the Army. While working, she cares for a man, Lon, who eventually falls in love with her. Lon states in the beginning, “I noticed you weren’t wearing a ring. I was wondering if I could take you out.” At this time, Allie is hesitant because of her feelings for Noah, but as Allie and Lon’s relationship grows stronger, Noah becomes less present in Allie’s mind. When Lon proposes to Allie he says, “I love you. Will you marry me Allie? I know I kid around a lot but I’m crazy about you. Marry me? Make me the happiest man in the world?” Immediately after Lon says this, the narrator states “She agreed with all her heart but couldn’t understand why at the very moment she said yes, Noah’s face came to her mind.” This little side note makes you wonder what she’s going to do because even though she said yes to Lon, Noah is still always on her mind. Another way that suspense is a large aspect in the movie is shown towards the end when Allie went to visit Noah while still being engaged to Lon and had to officially make her decision of who she was going to choose. Noah asked the question, “What are you gonna do Allie?” Allie replied with, “I don’t know.” After what seemed like a life time of arguing, Noah tried to ask Allie:
Will you do something for me, please? Just picture your life for me? 30 years from now, 40 years from now? What's it look like? If it's with him, go. Go! I lost you once, I think I can do it again. If I thought that's what you really wanted. But don't you take the easy way out.
After Noah begged Allie for the last time, Allie replied with, “I have to go.” As Noah stepped away from the car with his hands on his head, watching the love of his life drive away, tears running down her face, the scene makes you wonder, could she really leave Noah? Or will she be back? The suspense is definitely a huge addition to the brilliance of the movie.
Another way that Nicholas Sparks created such an incredible story was through his characterization. The similarities and the contrasts between each character is so prominent that it makes the story run together very smoothly. The two main characters, Noah and Allie, have personalities that go perfectly together because of how they interact. Noah, for example, is very persistent and understanding while Allie is very ambitious and loving. Noah’s persistence has been shown frequently throughout the film, beginning with when they first met on the Ferris Wheel and ending with his argument between him and Allie about who she was going to spend the rest of her life with. Noah’s willingness to be understanding is shown more than once, including when Allie’s mom breaks the news that Allie will be attending Sarah Laurence. Allie quickly defends herself by saying, “I just got the letter, I was gonna tell ya.” Instead of Noah being frustrated with her, he replies with a smile, “It’s okay.” Allie on the other hand is very ambitious and loving. Her ambition was shown in the beginning when she stated,
I’m busy, you know. I don’t have a lot of time. I have a very strict schedule. My days are all planned out. I get up in the mornin’, breakfast, math tutor, Latin tutor, tennis lesson, dance lesson, sometimes both. French tutor, Piano lesson, then I eat dinner and after dinner I spend time with my family and then I catch up on some readin’.
This is an obvious description of how ambitious Allie is in that she is determined to be educated. Another personality trait that Allie has is her loving nature. In the beginning of the movie when Allie goes to visit Noah and his dad, she walks up the steps with something in her hand. Noah’s dad asks, “What’s this?” and she replies, “I brought you something.” As Noah’s dad uncovered the painted canvas, he said, “Did you do this?” After she said yes and he continued to give her accolades, Allie turned to Noah and complimented him on the poem that he had just recited. These examples show Allie’s kindness through her humility in regards to her painting and interest in Noah’s poem. These contrasting personalities are what make their loving relationship so intriguing.
Finally, the theme is what really makes this story come alive. Aside from the romance and the frustration, the real life lesson to be learned from this movie is to do what you want because in the end, that’s what will really make you happy. One way that this is shown is during Allie and Noah’s argument when Noah is trying to convince Allie to make a decision that will effect the rest of her life and states:
Would you stop thinking about what everyone wants! Stop thinking about what I want, what he wants, what your parents want. What do you want?
Allie replied in tears with, “It’s not that simple.” Persistent, Noah asked again, “What do you want?” Earlier in the story, this theme is portrayed when Allie and Noah are just getting to know each other. Allie is telling Noah about her daily routine consisting of all of her classes, tutoring and family events when Noah says “Wow, sounds like the road to success.” Later, Noah asks, “I’m just trying to find out what you do for fun.” Allie is puzzled by this question. “I mean all those things are things you have to do, right? So what do you do because you want to?” This shows the theme early on of no matter how big or small the situation is, you should always do what you think is best for you, not what’s right for everyone else.
To conclude, If you’re looking for the best love story of the 21st century, “The Notebook” would be the movie to see. The fascinating exposition of the story draws you in to the characters and setting and keeps you enthralled throughout the remainder of the story. The interesting point of view of the story helps vary the storyline by changing the setting of the story; while they are teenagers and falling in love to while they’ve fallen in love and are married retirees. The continuous suspense keeps you on your feet, wondering what is going to happen in the next scene. Also, the characterization is what gets the viewers emotionally attached to the story; without their personality differences, the story would have no substance. Finally, the life changing theme, “Do what you think is right for you because in the end, that is what will make you happy,” is what the movie is trying to teach it’s audience.
I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life.There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten; I have loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.