Last week, Fal and I watched and reviewed the quintessential guy movie for our His & Her Review feature. So you know I came back at him with the girliest movie I could think of—not even my favorite, just the “girliest.”
The Notebook seemed like a pretty good choice to me. When Falcon started groaning while scribbling notes and then slamming his pen down onto the table, I knew I’d found a winner!
To further aid his annoyance, I cuddled close to him and made sure to mention how the couple was “like us” and croon, “Aaw, they love each other!” In case you didn’t know, one of the most annoying things I do is compare every romantic movie, book, or song to us. To me, every story is our love story, but Fal doesn’t like being compared to reality show contestants or cheesy movie heroes.
Can I help it that I’m over-the-moon in love with my fella? No, I can’t, and I shouldn’t, so he’s just gotta deal with it.
Anyhoo, the Notebook movie is drastically different from the Notebook novel. While the book focuses on the two-day period in which Allie comes back to Noah and is forced to decide between her lost childhood love and present fiancée, Lon, the movie is split fifty-fifty between their summer together as teens and this reunion. There’s a fair smattering of old people stuff in both versions of the story.
In the book, Allie and Noah’s teenaged summer together isn’t more than two pages, tops. So when Falcon goes on some rant about all the cliches and then proceeds to blame the author, you can respond with, “Shut up, Fal, and read the book before you cast your aspersions.”
Did I think the first half of this movie was cliche? Yeah, probably. But did I still swoon and lasciviously suck in every moment of it? Oh, hell yeah.
In fact, I learned a very interesting lesson about life and entertainment this week.
Remember how I complained that action movies always seem to hit a number of tried and true plot points or cinematic devices and that it isn’t fair to classify them as suspense since right from the get-go, you know the hero is going to beat the bad guys, get the girl, and save the day?
Well, romances are the exact same way! You know there’s gonna be mushy-gushy stuff followed by some sort of misunderstanding and temporary outs for the couple followed by a happily-ever-after.
Indeed, one genre plays at the adrenal system, while the other caters to the heart.
So, yes, action movies and romances are basically the same exact thing!
I know, I was surprised, too. At this point, you must be wondering, “Gee, Em, how can you love one genre and hate the other?” And that’s a fair question. Even if all romances share an alarming number of similarities, I still eat them up like the most scrumptious of candies. Why?
Because falling in love is intoxicating—why wouldn’t you want to do it over and over again?
Before I found Fal, I watched romances (and, yeah, The Bachelor) as fill-ins for the love and passion missing from my day-to-day life. Now that I’m blissfully wedded to my own personal soul mate, I enjoy the genre even more because it allows me to meditate on those precious moments when we first fell in love and to just bask in the amazingness of having him in my life.
I love romance movies, because I love my husband. And because I’m a girl. It’s hard-wired in my gender, okay?
Oh, crap, I’m supposed to be reviewing The Notebook, not the entire romance genre. Er, er, okay. Back on track now! How about a quick glimpse of the movie trailer to get us back in the mood?
I guess I should discuss the actors. I don’t really see the appeal of Ryan Gosling—I’d take Ryan Reynolds over him any day of the week (and weekends, too). But, Rachel McAdams, I love. If you were to ask me who the three most beautiful women in Hollywood are, she’d be one of them right along with Anne Hathaway and Mila Kunis. So Rachel McAdams makes the movie awesome, and the two main actors play well off each other and look good together, too—even though he really doesn’t look that good.
What parts of the movie did I like?
First, the scene with all the white geese on the lake. How awesome would that be? No, seriously, I hope Fal reads about my adoration for this scene and then arranges to have a bunch of white geese flown in and set to wade in our lake for the anniversary of the first day we met. That would be super—are you listening, Honey?
I also loved the scene where they laid down in the middle of the street and watched the traffic light change. He was teaching her to let go and live her life, and I think that’s a good lesson to learn.
Loved the part where they lose their virginities to each other and she can’t shut up about it, constantly wondering what he’s thinking and why he’s being so quiet. That’s classic girl, hehe.
But the heart of this movie doesn’t ultimately lie with the pretty young kids, it beats in the chest of the elderly couple who make this story special.
As a writer, I value my emotions, memories, and ability to think above all else. That is why dementia is one of my biggest fears. I worry about dying mentally and emotionally before I actually go. I worry about hurting those I love because I can’t remember them. I worry about losing myself and being able to do nothing to bring me back.
Any movie about dementia will make me cry, period. But The Notebook really takes the cake. We as movie-goers become truly invested in Noah and Allie’s love story when we learn they are also the elderly couple in the home.
Noah reads their love story to Allie each and every day with the hopes that she will remember and come back to him if only for a few seconds. To him, those few moments of clarity are worth an entire day of pushing that boulder up a hill (enjoy the Greek myth reference?). They’re worth living in an old folks’ home long before he needs, to. They’re worth dying early, just so he can be there for the woman he loves. It doesn’t matter that she doesn’t know who he is anymore. He loves her, and that is enough.
When she comes back to him and then promptly loses her memory again and bursts into a tantrum, the look on James Garner’s (he plays the old man version of Ryan Gosling) face makes me weep. I cry so hard, I shake, sniffle, and hiccup all at the same time. Then I think about Fal and I as little old people, and I know he’d do just what Noah did—he’d be there for me in whatever way I needed him, whether I was able to understand or not.
Then I cry tears of happiness because of how much I love him and how much I know he loves me.
Then we cuddle and kiss and look into each other’s eyes, and there is just so much love going around, people, and it’s all because we watched a romance instead of an action movie.
HIS & HER REVIEWS… IT’S A THING WE’RE DOING NOW!
Never have the differences between the sexes been so starkly highlighted as in the “His & Her Review” series. He loves Halo, while she thinks it’s a waste of time. She swoons for The Bachelor, but he wants to stab his eyes out. Follow husband-wife duo, Falcon & Emlyn, each Tuesday as they team up to review something that inevitably one will love and one will hate. Welcome to married life, folks.
THAT’S WHAT HE SAID…
“So, first things first, I brought my Notebook, just in case this has audience participation like in Blue’s Clues… Okay, summer breakup. Why? Because she’s upper-class and he’s not, so they can’t work out. Hey, thrown in some bullies and a Japanese guy and we’ve got the Karate Kid… He’s growing a beard, which just looks weird on a guy with a head like an almond; he’s doing carpentry stuff… Oh, if this was the 80s, this would be a sweet montage… Ooh, I actually recognize this scene. This is in the theater whenever they want to remind people not to talk during the film….”
Read the rest of his post HERE.
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