Friday, February 14, 2014

The Notebook (Nick Cassavetes, 2004) Review

It's Valentine's Day, the day when love is celebrated and couples share the day together, showering each other with gifts and the such. As a single guy, I'm no doubt a grump around this time so lets look at films instead...solo. I know for a fact that one of the most mentioned films when people think 'love' is The Notebook, and since I'm a cynical and lonely person, let's tear it a new one.

An old man (James Garner) visits an old woman in a nursing home and retells a story of romance. The story consists of Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) and Allie Hamilton (Rachael McAdams) who are two people from different class and upbringing who fall in love. Allie's family dissaproves of their relationship and the two are separated. After years of separation, the two find each other again and have to work out their obstacles to rekindle their love.

Seriously, I'm not going to rag on this just because I'm jealous. There's nothing to be jealous of seeing as this is such as shallow and not very enjoyable relationship. Sure, Ryan Gosling and Rachael McAdam's acting is good (I know they're good actors, so that's a start) but they don't share the strongest chemistry. I felt that the relationship did feel forced and, since the whole film is surrounding a rather shallow and lifeless romance, the film almost falls down here. It runs on romantic cliches that fall flat too. It's an overblown romance that we've seen before and we've also seen it done much better.

What also frustrates me is that the film goes way too far. The two narratives share a connection that is supposed to come as a surprise but it can be seen from miles off. If you didn't see it coming, get yourself checked. You might be dead. The ending is the bit that goes too far. I would have accepted the scenario if it ended a bit earlier but they decided to staple on one extra scene that just kills it. It's not like The Hangover Part III where it was in the credits so I can pretend it didn't happen. No. Here, it's part of the film and it kills it.

It's bland, it's predictable, it's shallow and it goes too far. The actors do good jobs, I will admit. Rachael McAdams and Ryan Gosling are good actors and this isn't exactly their worst film (Gosling is actually kind of likable, honestly) and the direction si fine but it's the narrative that ruins it. If you like it for the romance, I'm not going to stop you but, as someone looking at it as a film, it falls flat.

Bland, predictable, shallow and doesn't know when to quit.

8 stars on IMDb?! How the hell did that happen!?

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