Thoughts on “The Notebook”

By | June 15, 2004

Beth and I were in Texas with her family for her birthday last week, which was nice, but it also meant that I didn’t really get to take her out. We got back late Wednesday night, and we normally go out to dinner on Fridays, but I had a couple softball games on Friday. So we made plans to go out for a birthday dinner on Saturday. Of course, things didn’t go as planned, but it worked out really well.

We have a VCR/DVD player in our TV room, and a couple weeks ago it stopped playing DVDs correctly. After being frustrated about it for a while, I remembered that Beth had bought it at Best Buy, and I knew that she was the sort of girl who would pay extra for the extended service plan. I found the receipt (because she is also the kind of girl who saves important receipts), and sure enough, we had a two-year warranty on it. The problem is, Utah is just getting on the Best Buy bandwagon, and the closest one to our home in Orem is up in Sandy, 25 miles away.

The reason I am telling this story now is that we decided to go to Best Buy on Saturday afternoon, then just go to dinner up there. Sandy has a Mimi’s Cafe, which is our favorite place to eat. Then we decided that as long as we were out and about, we might as well go see a movie. We looked online, and we saw that the new Cinemark in American Fork was doing a sneak preview of “The Notebook” that evening at 7:30. We had seen previews for the movie a couple times, and it was a movie we were both very interested in seeing. The scary part is that we went and saw it before my brother, Eric, who happens to be a professional film critic. We almost always check Eric’s reviews before we go see a movie; we don’t always agree, but he does a good job explaining what he likes/dislikes about a movie, so we can usually tell if we will enjoy it. Eric had heard that it was a tear-jerker, but that is all he knew. So we went out on a limb and bought tickets.

So Best Buy fixed our DVD player, Mimi’s made me a delicious Cobb Salad, and we set out for American Fork. Simply put, getting tickets to “The Notebook” was one of the best entertainment decisions we have ever made. It is an absolutely wonderful movie. Let me try to explain what I liked about it.

First of all, the acting was very good. Ryan Gosling, James Garner, and Sam Shepard were all wonderful, as was Rachel McAdams. More to the point, though, the story was … powerful. There are two storylines going on, one in the present day and one in the 1940s. As the movie goes along, more and more is revealed about how the two are connected. What makes it so powerful is the story of love that is shown between the main characters, especially in the present-day storyline. Beth was crying less than halfway through the movie; it took me longer, but I think I had her beat by the end.

I do not believe that a movie that makes you cry is automatically a good movie (or a bad one). I do not like movies that manipulate the viewers’ emotions. This movie, though, did not manipulate. What the movie did was make us appreciate each other more. Like I told Beth on the drive home, I don’t think it is possible for a couple to go see that movie and not love and appreciate each other a little more when they walk out.

This is a movie that Beth and I will definitely buy on DVD when it comes out; of course, we still have ten days before it even comes out in the theater, so we may go see it again on the big screen, too.

P.S. — By the way, once the movie DOES come out, Eric’s review will be located here.

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