RomComs and RomDrams are Ruining Our Love Lives

Since I’m doing my best to get some exposure, I frequent as many social networks as I can. More often than not, these Web sites have an “About Me” section with a sub-section for favorite movies. I’m always fascinated with the common threads that tie everyone together. One film title that I constantly find on female social networking profiles is The Notebook. This appalls me, not because it’s a bad movie, per se, but because the romance portrayed in the film represents both everything that’s wrong in relationships and apparently what women want in relationships.

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t read this if you haven’t seen the movie yet.

OK, so we have Noah and Allie and they’re just two crazy kids in love. We’ve all been there. It’s easy to fall in love over the summer when you’re young and silly and having fun lying in the street laughing at stoplights. That’s why, at the end of the day, Allie’s parents were right in splitting them up. What did Allie know about love? She was 17. She knew everything about passion — agreed — but that’s not love. Love — real love — is loving someone when it’s hard, when they don’t deserve it, when they’ve hurt you in the worst way. Real love does not blossom in the span of one summer.

Noah and Allie find themselves separated for seven years, during which time they live out very different lives and meet new people. They still carry a torch for each other and that’s fine. I still think of girls I knew in high school and wonder what ever became of them. It’s natural, but Allie meets Lon and he’s amazing. He comes from the same background. He’s charming, has great prospects and, let’s not forget, he absolutely loves Allie. She claims to love him back and he has no reason to doubt her since she’s agreed to marry him. This is awesome. This is what every person hopefully strives for when they seek out relationships. Yet the moment Allie sees Noah’s picture in the newspaper, everything that she and Lon built suddenly and completely goes down the toilet. Flush. No floaters.

She tells Lon that she’s going to visit the Old Town, knowing full well that she’s actually going to see Noah. Lon, of course, has no problem with her visiting anywhere because his trust in her is that complete. Allie and Noah reconnect and what happens? She lets him take her to the boneyard. Repeatedly. Astonishingly, Lon, the great guy that he is, forgives Allie and is willing to take her back. Allie declines, opting to be with the guy she knew for a total of three months, hadn’t seen for seven years and has no identifiable source of income.

Never mind that she told Lon that she loved him.

Never mind that she agreed to marry him.

Never mind the entire life she’s built with him.

Allie found “true love” and that’s all that matters.

Everything else be damned!

That brings us to today’s social landscape. Women around the world are watching The Notebook and applauding it, saying to themselves, “Yes. YES! This is proper behavior! My love life should be like this!” This movie tells women that even if they are in committed relationships with men who are good for them, they should cash these men in like a small stack of poker chips in a casino for the chance at passion. Words have no meaning and when you tell someone you love them and that you’ll marry them it should be understood that all contracts are only binding insofar as you don’t run into your ex-boyfriend.

Conversely, The Notebook tells all guys that it doesn’t matter how well you treat your girl. You can offer her financial stability, emotional support and your dashing good looks. None of that matters in the face of true love. And even if you think you’re the one she’s truly in love with, as Lon surely did, The Notebook proves that you’re only right until you’re proven wrong. Therefore, as a boyfriend, you should be as controlling as possible. Don’t let your girlfriend go dancing, grocery shopping or get the car washed, because you never know where she might discover true love. Imagine how embarrassing it would be to have your girlfriend take your Lamborghini to get washed and run into her old high school sweetheart working there. Their eyes meet and memories of remedial algebra crash into their thoughts as suds, love and violin strings swell around them. Hey, it could happen, which is why it’s never too early to become a Muslim Fundamentalist.

The point here is that, as a guy, you cannot rely on your good looks, fine upbringing, good job or wonderful treatment to keep you secure in your relationship. Furthermore, you can’t make the mistake of thinking your girl’s words are worth a damn when she tells you she loves you and that she’ll marry you. NOTHING TRUMPS TRUE LOVE.

The insidious aspect of romantic comedies and romantic dramas is that they make men sympathize with the guy who gets the girl, never with the guy who loses her. Therefore, we naturally think that we are the hero of our own romantic drama. And maybe that’s true, but only until we get the girl. Once that happens, if we follow the rules of romantic dramas, we become the villain. And as we all know, the villain can only lose the girl.

One of the few romantic dramas that I can respect is Casablanca. Rick’s decision to let Ilsa go at the end is the very essence of true love. If Ilsa doesn’t go with Victor, everyone’s lives are going to suck. Instead, they keep the love for each other safe in their hearts, because it’s not something that can survive in the world anymore. So, despite the personal anguish, Rick lets Ilsa go because it’s what’s best for her in the long run.

Heck, that’s better than true love; it’s smart love.

Editor-in-Chief/Publisher
  1. Well said and an infinity of Amen’s. I used to think that people recognized this stuff as fiction . . . then I got married. And, now, I’m not. But. I’m still hopeful.

    Merry Christmas, All!

  2. I’m not going to lie, i really like this movie. But i completely agree that movies make us side with the guy who got the girl, not the one who loses her. Take Sweet Home Alabama…Andrew completely in love with Melanie, gave her the world, completely trusted her, and then she completely screwed him at the altar, and we’re supposed to be happy? I’d love to see a movie from these people’s perspective because i think it would really change our view of “true love” as portrayed in movies.

  3. OTOH, the tropes of romantic love weren’t created by Hollywood, and are all told about eight hundred years old. The question is, do people have the confident understanding of fantasy and reality needed to interpret a story like this without expecting silly things from real life? We tend to assume they do when they watch, say, a SF or horror plot – should we give them less credit when it’s a fairytale romance? And if not, will this do more, less, or just different net damage to the collective psyche than, say, Independence Day?

    Corollary question, since you seem interested in what remains of different gender cultures – how do the different social skills that many boys and girls still recieve prepare them to make this kind of interpretation?

  4. Amen. I didn’t like the movie. When every girl I knew was squealing about how I just HAD to watch it, I thought, well hell, it better be worth the two hours. Then I watched it. And I gagged. But then, that’s Hollywood for you. These days, the dramas are all so fairy tale-like that, well, girls are tossin’ whats left of their brains and letting their imaginations and expectations run wild.

  5. As far as I remember, in Casablanca, Ilsa left Rick and went with a man she loved. That is how they separated in the first place. And if that man were not her true love, she wouldn’t have left Casablanca at all at the end and Rick, again.

    – Allie and Noah meet, Ilsa and Victor meet.
    – Something happens and they separate.
    – Allie meets Lon, Ilsa meets Rick telling nothing of Noah and Victor respectively.
    – They meet their old flames again and go back to them, leaving Lon and Rick alone in Paris.

    So, if in the Notebook, Lon and Allie meet again like Elsa and Rick do and Lon lets her go, we would have Casablanca.

    I don’t know what’s better, to have your fiance run out on you or to have her lie in your arms every night and wish you were someone else. I would rather be alone than be with someone who didn’t, or who loved somebody else more than me.

    Noah is right when he asks Allie not to think about others but what she wants. It’s not even about true love or something. Sometimes you want certain things that you can get only from certain people, and you want to be with them. The time you realise what you want, you have to take it or regret it for the rest of your life. I guess that’s what Allie’s Mum meant in a way. You wouldn’t ever look at your rationally chosen plantation owner husband in the same way. Like Ellen O’Hara dies screaming for Phillippe Robillard after a lifetime with Gerald.

  6. I have to tell you, I understand what you’re saying, however, I am guessing you’ve never truly been in love like this. I met my husband while walking down the street in San Francisco. He saw me standing in front of him in a market and followed me. He remembered where I worked, called the next day and asked me out for lunch. On our third date, he asked me to marry him. He also moved in to my apartment. We didn’t do that intentionally, he just came over and never left. We were both highly educated, but poor as dirt. I had dated several very financially stable men, including one worth hundreds of millions. None of that mattered when my husband and I met. We fell hopelessly in love with one another. Besides, he is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever known, and it was more important to me to spend my life with someone that had a strong work ethic than someone who came from money.

    He worked out of our home for almost 20 years just because he didn’t want to be away from me and I drive him to work in the morning so we can have that extra time together. We have raised children, argued, made up, moved and changed homes several times. All these years later, however, we are still hopelessly, passionately, madly in love with each other. We’ve grown older, but I still see that gorgeous man I fell in love with. He’s still gorgeous to me. In fact, I have to say, he’s actually become even more handsome to me and I love him more every day. He has been the kindest, most devoted, loving, wonderful husband and father I could have dreamed of. Honest to God, I hope we die together some day because neither of us can fathom a day without the other. Call us stupid, sappy, or unrealistic…maybe, but it’s all true. It is possible. I feel sorry for people who say it’s not because that tells me they’ve never loved like this. We had rented The Notebook on Netflix recently. We watched it last night, and, sorry, but, it’s us.

  7. 7. Red:

    Thanks for stopping by daily to see if anyone else has replied to your comment. Unfortunately, for as many hits as I get for this article, comments are few and far between. You might want to cut down your visits to once a week. 🙂

  8. I agree with you! The Notebook IS my favorite movie but I respect it for what it truly is, a MOVIE! This movie is calming to me and when me and my husband are having a bad day, one of us will put the movie in and next thing we know, things seem okay. I loved what you said – “Love — real love — is loving someone when it’s hard, when they don’t deserve it, when they’ve hurt you in the worst way” — I’ve lived through this with my husband and came to face some very hard decisions. But, in the end, I love him! I loved him when the times were good and I continued to love him when the times got really bad. He knows he didnt deserve me at the time but, as you said, true love is loving them when they dont deserve it. Now things are wonderful, all has been put to rest and we have moved on together. We truly do have REAL LOVE!!

  9. I don’t understand why are you surprised that you “cannot rely on your good looks, fine upbringing, good job or wonderful treatment to keep you secure in your relationship”? Its love, its not an investment or mathematics, there is no formula that can guarantee that other person will love you back, its not meant to be ‘secure’…
    This movie (or other romdrams) doesn’t tell women that they should leave good man for a chance of passion. She loved Noah, he is a good man too (and his income shouldn’t really be an issue anyway)… it wasn’t just a passion, that is very clear from the movie.
    Also, it doesn’t tell guys that “it doesn’t matter how well you treat your girl”. You could say that if Noah treated Allie bad, which didn’t happen in this movie. In fact, we don’t see much about how Lon is treating her but we see that Noah was treating her right, most important of all: he is really interested in what she loves to do and he is helping her be free and be truly herself (fact that Lon didn’t even knew that she loves to paint is a big deal in the story since that is very important to her). Lon was good, Noah was good, she loved both but she loved Noah more, that’s it.
    This movie certainly doesn’t tell you “that you should be as controlling as possible”. You shouldn’t even aspire to control person you love, that’s for cults, dictatorships and robots. Do your best and if she loves someone else, be even better, and if that doesn’t work, just let it go. Sometimes you get lucky (like Noah), sometimes you don’t (like Lon), but that’s love and life. It wouldn’t be so fun if it was all secure.
    You say that in romantic movies like this one, we become villain when we get the girl and that is very, very incorrect. Lon isn’t really a villain here and Noah truly becomes a ‘hero’ long after he got the girl, when they are both old and he still loves her although she doesn’t remember anything, but he is still there, loving her…

  10. When I first saw this movie I had to admit that I would have chosen Lon. My sister and most of my friends thought I was nuts, but I actually felt sad that she chose Noah. And quite simply because of what you stated – he loved her even though she didn’t deserve it. I think he loved her more passionately (at least that’s how he was portrayed in the movie – not so in the book). I want the type of man who Lon was – he exhibited true “strength under control” – He didn’t judge her, even when she wronged him in the worst way you could ever wrong a man. He reasoned that he didn’t want Allie because she just didn’t love him enough. He didn’t blame “the other man” or shake his fists at God. He let her go, simply because he didn’t have her to begin with.

    I do realize that I’m in the minority in choosing Lon over Noah, but I do feel that Lon was by far the “better” man. And it had nothing to do with his money but has everything to do with how he loved her. When she walked in on his meeting – everything else stopped for her. He didn’t choose work or anything over her. And I do believe that had he (his character of course) met her when she was young and was in the same social class and situation as Noah – he NEVER would have let her parents drive them apart. And he certainly wouldn’t have waited 7 years to contact her or wait for her to contact him.

    Noah’s character depressed me. Damn – didn’t he realize that someone was intercepting his letters? It wasn’t as if he was on such great terms with Allie’s parents. Wouldn’t the light go on for most of you? It did for me. And you don’t have to be the sharpest tool in the shed to realize this. For crying out loud – he went off to war. I’m sure he grew up a lot. Now why didn’t he take his little trip out to see Allie before 7 years – before she ????

    And as far as Allie is concerned – I wouldn’t have spoken to my mother for doing less than what hers did. Why did she wait until she had someone who loved her to go seek out her old flame? I guess for the same reasons why people seek out a new love before they leave their present one. It makes things easier for them – plus it must give the ole ego an nice little boost.

    I would like to see a sequel – of Lon’s life and the person he ends up with. And, I don’t see him as a victim – but of someone who escaped a life of hell with a real selfish egocentric woman.

    And yes, I’m a female and quite the romantic, and yes I’ve loved like that. And yes, I’ve been hurt by a young love.
    But after many years I went on and married the man of my dreams. A man so much like Lon (except for the money part – LOL) – and we’ve been married for 15 years and we’re so very much in love and we hope the same as the other poster – that we die together because life apart isn’t worth living for either one of us.

    I wrote this because I don’t want you to think that every woman is a pushover.

    Angel

  11. Of course that’s all it matters! True love is the best thing that can ever happen to you in life. There’s nothing better than true love. Love is the closest thing we have to magic.♥

  12. @destiny hope:

    Love is for the birds, sister. When you get older you’ll see that there are other things in life that are as good/better than love. If you think that love is the best thing in life, then you haven’t had a really good steak yet.

  13. I guess it depends on your definition of love. Love is not a feeling or a noun. Love is a verb. It is a choice. It is about commitment and strength and honor. It is, by its very nature, unselfish. It is choosing to do what’s best for someone else rather than yourself. It is wondering what your life would be like if you had chosen a different path, wondering if you would be happier, and then realizing that you would not be the person that you are if you had taken that path. That you might not even be a better person.

    Romantic love is a fairly new idea (in historical terms, anyway) but it sure has gotten a grip on our minds. If you have someone that does all kinds of surprising, romantic things and is still by your side when you’re 80, hurrah! But if you have someone who doesn’t necessarily think of surprising, romantic things (or at least by your standards, anyway) but loves you anyway and is still by your side when you’re 80, that love is just as much true love as the other.

    1 Corinthians 13:4-7
    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

  14. @alwaysfrog:

    Sorry to get back to you so late. Re-reading your comment, I’m not entirely sure how to respond. I agree with your point as far as I can understand it, but does it pertain to the point I’m making about the film?

  15. Yes. 🙂 My point is that you don’t just break a commitment to someone you purportedly love simply because you think you’d be better off with someone else. True love makes sacrifices for someone else, it’s not selfish, thinking only of oneself.

    With that said, however, I will say that Allie was not actually married to Lon. Had she been married to Lon, that would have been another story altogether.

    As I reflect on my post, I realize that my husband and I started out the same way. Only I did not leave someone for him, he left someone for me (not because I asked, I wasn’t even interested!) He later told me that he realized that he had made a mistake and the he had a choice: he could either be a fool for a moment (ie. not marrying the person he was engaged to) or be a fool for a lifetime. BTW, we’ve been married for over 12 years and have two wonderful children.

    I will say that there are times when I think that he loves me more than I love him and I wonder what my life would have been like had I not married him. However, I will never leave because I did marry him and to me marriage is a covenant that is not to be broken unless one’s life or the life of one’s children is in danger.

    Personally, I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be easier if we went back to the days of arranged marriages!

  16. @alwaysfrog:

    I get you now. 🙂 Here’s the thing: I’m happy that everything worked out for you. I hope, however, that you can agree that if your child’s fiancé(e) pulls what your husband did on him or her that it would be horrible. Imagine your child standing at the altar all alone with a comical look on his/her face because all of his/her insides were just kicked out. And the spouse-to-be out there somewhere, having a wonderful life. It’s terrible and certainly not something we should teach people to do.

    Lastly, I hate to nitpick, but it seems like your husband acted out of selfishness and not out of love as you were “not even interested.” And if that’s the case, I’m OK with that. I think people should act in their own best interest. I just think people need to be upfront about it.

    Instead of people saying, “I’ll love you forever,” try, “I’ll love you until something better comes along.” At least that will dispel any illusions the other person might have.

  17. Well I think a lot of you are over looking the entire point of this movie and the book. If you don’t get the movie and some of you don’t then read the book. The is in every sense of the words a love story. It has romance and passion and everything anyone in life dremas about. True Love. They were meant to be together. It was meant to be for them. I agree with some of you in some ways but I have my opinons like everyone else. Lon however is a total victim of a bad situration. Allie was always in love with Noah. She loved him and parents interferred. When they drug her away from him he wrote and it says he wrote her 365 days. Maybe he knew the letters were not getting through to Allie and her parents were keeping them from her. All the more reason to keep on writing in hopes she gets at least one to know he’s writing and he needs her. Yeah, she tried moving on but she was never truely happy and you see this in the film. She’s torn between her decession. And why wouldn’t she be. She loves two people but in two different ways. And Noah, Yeah he went to war and he kept going, tried to have a failing relationship he didn’t want, that didn’t feel right and wasn’t right. What’s he do, he rebuilds the house just as he promised he would. He never gave up on her adn she never gave up on him. They continued to love each other though miles and years seperated them. And is just about everyone forgetting the true point of the movie. The entire movie is taking place in a flash back. The point, the true story, the true passion and the true romance is Noah sitting in that nursing home with Allie who has no idea who he is. Yet, he loves her as he always had from the time they first met. He reads to her everyday hoping and praying that she will remember, that he will see that spark of love in her eyes. That she will remember and that she is loved adn not a lone. And waht better ending to a love story then to die in the arms of the one you love with the one you love when God decides it’s time, it’s your time. So I don’t nderstand some of th elogic up in here. Saying Noah was depressed. Of course he was. He was an empty shell without his Allie, his love. Did he give up on his dreams no. Is he better then Lon? Maybe not but he was better for Allie, like I said previously, they were made for each other. She was his missing puzzle piece to complete his life and he completed her’s. I really think it’s the best romance movie I’ve ever seen ,adn I’d go a step further and say ever made. Includes the book too. This movie and the book really had an impact in my life. So maybe I’m biest (however that is spelled. But I’ll go to my grave loving my baby and even in death I’ll love her forever. She loves the movie just as much as myself. When we grow old I’ll love her just as much then as I do now if not even more and she’ll be just as beautiful as ever. If a day comes that she has to be put into a nursing home, then you can bet I’ll be right there by her side just like Noah did for Allie. It’ll always be about her and she will always be first in my life, her happiness brings me happiness. I’m sorry for my spelling and my bad grammer. I just hope people can realy see that the movie is about passion, love, romance, hopes and dreams. Never to give up even when the road of life gets bumpy. Allies parents where thier bump. If they would have never took her away fom Noah then Lon would have never entered the picture. Those were hard times for Noah and Allie and as hard as she tried to just settle for what life handed her, she knew it was not were whe belonged, she knew where she was meant to be and that’s where she ended up in the end. Were she was meant to be for the rest of her life. Every door open leads to somewhere and every door opened may not be the right one, but you’ll know when you walk through the right door. And you have to remember, If I wouldn’t have walked through all those other doors I wouldn’t be where I am now. Everyone has a soulmate in this world and I have been lucky enough to find mine,or maybe she found me. Either way all the doors I opened to get here, corner I turned, lead me to her. I would not go back and change one thing in my life for I’d fear it would close the wrong door and I’d still be looking for my baby. So I have no regrets in life, everything happens for a reason. I’ve searched my whole life for my one, my soul mate and i am one of the few in this world to find her. Just like Noah and Allie, it’s meant to be. So I can relate to the movie. It’s just a moving and emotional movie that’s filled with Passion, hope, love and dreams. And some of the greatest moments of the movie happen in the nursing home. Thanks for reading.

  18. @ Walt:

    Well said and if anyone has a problem with the way you write, they can talk to me first. 🙂

    As for what you wrote, I think we all “get” the movie. The problem is that it strains reality and good sense. Allie and Noah knew each other for three months as kids and then were separated for seven years (or 14 years if you go by the book). Can we say that they really knew each other?

    By what you wrote, it seems it doesn’t matter how long they’ve known each other or grown individually while apart since they were “made for each other.” If that’s the case and Allie and Noah knew that, then it was a horrible thing for them to get into relationships with other people, knowing that they would constantly seek each other out until the end of time. OR, let’s say they wouldn’t seek each other out, but if they should run into each other on the street, they would totally break it off with whoever they were with to be together again (which is essentially what happened). Well, that reinforces what I said in my article. Guys need to be possessive and controlling just in case they’re engaged to an “Allie” who tells him that she loves him and will marry him, but if she runs into her ex-boyfriend will drop her current one like a bad habit.

    Basically, there’s more than Allie’s and Noah’s story in The Notebook. There’s Lon’s story as well. And for the viewers and readers that have had their significant other dump them for someone else, Lon is the character they identify with.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  19. And thank you for Commenting back and I agree with you. It depends on whats happening in our own lives as to how we interrupt the movie.

    Does anyone believe in love at first sight. Has anyone ever spent 3 months with someone they love. You know when it’s right. You know when you have found that special someone. I knew from the moment I kissed my baby. I knew. I knew I had searched my entire life for her, I knew I was right where I was meant to be. I just knew. And 3 months is not long enough to know someone, but 3 months is plenty long enough to know when your perfect for each other and it’s meant to be. I’ve been with my girl for 2 years now and I’m still learning things about her and I plan on doing that my entire life. I learn more and more everyday and I always put her needs first.

    I think that Noah was scared Allie had forgotten after all those years and it’s most likely Allie felt the same, but they were never over each other but they wanted to other person to be happy. that’s why it took so many years. and I quote, it was never over, It’s still not over”. they didn’t know until they finally met again after all those years still loving each other. But when they meet, they knew.

    Thanks

  20. wow. it’s obvious that somebody doesn’t believe in love’s purpose and power. i guess all that really matters in life is money and security.

  21. @Emma:

    First, thanks for stopping by and reading. I always appreciate comments.

    Second, it isn’t necessary to talk “about” me when you’re talking “to” me. Just address me as “you” instead of “somebody.”

    Thirdly, I won’t go so far (and don’t think my article has gone so far) to say that “all that matters is money and security,” but I will say those two things are, in most cases, more important. If you had to choose between “having love, but living day to day, wondering how you’ll pay the rent or if you’ll be able to feed the kids tonight” and “not finding love, but having stability” I hope you’ll pick option 2.

    Furthermore, I’ll be interested to see your reaction if/when your own daughter hits 17 and tells you she’s found the love of her life and he happens to be of a class you don’t approve of. Even better, I’d love to see your reaction when she’s 24 (or 31) and she tells you that she’s breaking off her engagement with the millionaire to be with the guy she met over the summer seven (or 14) years ago!

    “What does he do for a living?” you’ll ask.

    “I don’t know. I think he whittles furniture in his garage.”

    “How will he support your family?”

    “I don’t know! I love him!”

    Is that the purpose and power of love? Please enlighten me, because apparently I’m missing something.

  22. Okay fine…yes it can be unrealstic, however this is just a movie. It was not made to be like “real-life.” Most movies do not represten real life. In a way this movie is an escape from real life. Thats the basic purpose of the book and movie. It doesn’t really matter who she picked in the end…all that matters to me and some who watch it, is that its just an escape from the everyday grind. Thats why most women(or at least me) watch/read romance. So we can just get away.

    Though this is just my opinion.

    ~Alyssa

  23. I agree with your analysis of the movie (I was searching for opinions on it since I’m watching it on TV right now) in that it completely skews reality. What Allie and Noah have, that constant fighting but supposedly being crazy about each other is a really toxic equation (I’m speaking partially from experience here). As you stated, there’s no stability in that.

    What people fail to realize is that passion wanes and that marriages are actually held together by commitment. Most women focus so intently on their wedding day that they forget that a marriage is a lifelong commitment to someone. Sadly, fairy tales and romance flicks don’t tell you what to do after that.

    Love is an important factor in a marriage but I agree that it’s not the number one thing. Not to sound too eHarmony, but it really is about compatibility of beliefs and values. Marriage is a really great thing, but it is work – the kind of work that both parties want to do.

    Unfortunately, due to the cartoon fairy tales we watch as children and movies like The Notebook marketed to us as adolescents/adults, everyone has a skewed view of what a relationship is really supposed to be. Your quote about marriage and “loving someone when they don’t deserve it” is spot on. That’s commitment.

    And anyone who tells you that love is enough is lying. It’s not.

    It is important, but values and finances are at the top, too. Marriages are hard enough without having to worry about differences in major values (religion, whether or not to have kids, etc.) and finances (what happens if Prince Charming’s credit score is abysmal and your APR on buying a car, getting a loan or health insurance premium skyrockets; or worse – if you can’t get those things at all).

    I think society as a whole needs to take off the large rose-tinted love glasses they’re wearing and become a little more sensible about relationships. Perhaps then society’s ‘I’m-not-in-love-with-you-anymore’ divorce rates wouldn’t be so high.

  24. @Alyssa:

    You have a beautiful name. I hope you come by again. 🙂

    I understand that The Notebook is a movie. Whether or not it’s supposed to represent real-life is debatable, but I’ll let that pass for now. The real concern I have is the viewers’ real-life emotional response to the film, which I feel is telling of society.

    Let’s play with the variables of the film a little bit:

    If we make Noah a heroin addict and child pornographer and Allie still dumps Lon for him, then audiences would universally agree that she made a bad move, despite all of the rhetoric about love conquering all. Given this scenario, it’s doubtful that anyone would defend the film on the basis that “it’s just a movie and not meant to represent real-life.” That’s because viewers bring real-life into the movie. Audiences relate. How do you explain the success of hospital, police and lawyer dramas on TV when 99% of the viewing population know nothing about those professions? Why are horror and action movies so successful internationally? Everyone understands fear and action regardless of nationality or culture. They can put themselves in the same situation.

    Which brings us back to The Notebook. People — women, specifically — relate to this film. They don’t see anything wrong with Allie gambling away her love with Lon. Women probably don’t even see it as a gamble at all, which is even more frightening.

    @Vargas:

    You said it, sister. I’m a big proponent of love. I just wish people would have a broader range of criteria for it.

  25. Hey Vargas, I totally agree with you!! Although the movie captures the essence of adolescent romance, which of course is the part everyone wants to watch, love is about so much more…we never got to see Allie and Noah raise a family together or when times got tough…I don’t even know what Noah did for money in the movie! I think someone should write a story about their marriage (we always see up to the wedding day in movies not the actual marriage part) and make it into a movie, however whatever the topic movies are fantasy and to pretend they are real-life is untrue. The type of events that happen in a movie to 1 single person takes 10 years to happen to a person in real life.

  26. As far as the money aspect… (sorry haven’t read the book)
    I think in the movie, they lead you to believe he is making furniture.
    Sanded chairs in the corner… and he was making something else when she appeared out of the blue.
    He could have made a business out of this as he obviously was good with his hands.
    I only just saw “The Notebook” recently, I wasn’t interested in another romantic movie about true love.
    The world we live in, has evolved so far away from that but, this was a very moving film.In part because of the chemistry between the actors(Ryan Gosling and Rachel Mcadams)and the beautiful story telling of their unforgettable love.Set in the 1940’s free from the Hi-tech age we live in. Where summers were spent out in the sun reading or playing games with friends not as fast paced as the world we live in today of fast cars with gps, cell phones and the internet. To coin a phrase “it was a simpler time”.

    A few people are lucky enough in this life to meet someone who ‘completes them’ ,someone who’s not afraid to ‘hurt’ you (as Noah put it) they are willing tell you things as they are with no sugar coating or false sentiment. You will love them for who they are and vice versa and it does take work.So long as you both are willing to be there together and stick to that commitment.
    Loves eternal mystery.
    Socrates described love as ‘divine madness’.
    Scientifically we can determine the path of the emotion but where did it come from ? How did it root there? And why doesn’t it happen with everyone we see? The challenge and mystery of love always keep us coming back for more.
    And so will movies like this, we all love the idealism of romantic love.I believe we all have heard a real tale of love from a friend or family member or stranger off the street(I read RED’s entry above) that lead us to believe that maybe we too will have our own tale to tell someday.
    You can add all the rational about finances ,family background, social position and career goals…but like I said before that is just the age we are living in, we are now looking for ‘love’ that meets a standard.

  27. I love seeing so much discussion about this! It’s very interesting. There are always two (or more) sides to every story. 🙂 Rene – in reponse to your response to me (ha ha), I should mention that my husband and his fiance had not set a date for the wedding and that he definitely did not leave her at the altar, and she broke up with him. That said, I’ve discovered that love makes you do incredibly stupid things sometimes and that you’re not always thinking clearly or rationally when you’re in love. It’s good to have clear, well-thought out ideas and goals for a relationship before it happens but I’ve discovered that all or most of those things fly right out the window when you’re falling head over heels for someone.

    I definitely agree with the intent of your original post, however, and I think it’s a good lesson for everyone to take away: real life does not always mirror the movies and you can’t expect it to. For every person out there that realizes it’s fiction, there are at least 5 women who read Harlequin romance novels and watch every “chick flick” known to man while sighing and hoping that their “Prince Charming” will one day appear suddenly and sweep them off their feet. I’m all for romance but let’s kill the unrealistic, Hollywood fantasy expectations.

  28. I really hesitate on commenting on the movie “The Notebook” because I find that it seems to sting a lot of women’s feelings when I say that it wouldn’t be on my top 10 movies. Only because some people choose to see that fuzzy line between realistic romanticism and unrealistic. (Can’t we all get swept off our feet in the most incredible way possible, that it would always bring people to tears.) Don’t get me wrong, I loved the love-hate-love relationship they had for one another, how they became estranged, then finally reconnected – it was the ultimate girl flick. If I want a good cry then I’d definitely rewatch the Notebook just for that reason. But the only time I ever saw passion between the characters was when they fought – I’d probably be an instigator. I’m a little more old Hollywood, that’s why Casablanca would be on my top 10; along with An Affair to Remember with Grant and Kerr, and Roman Holiday just because I love love love Audrey Hepburn. But see, the reason why I watch movies is because it’s a step out of my day to day life, the characters/actors are living out those moments we wish would only happen to us. Soooo maybe if I were having a bad day and completing the About Me section for a social network I hope nobody holds it against me if I do end up listing The Notebook under Favorite Movies; but if I’m feeling a bit sarcastic I’ll list Napolean Dynamite as the “best” movie ever.

  29. I would just like to remind everyone that this movie is about marriage. Lets not forget he his reading the entire story to his wife who he loves with all his heart and soul. He reads to her every day over and over again. Keeping her company being there for her at her side even though see has no idea who he is. If that isn’t commitment and love then I don’t know what is.

  30. I think what so many people forget is that this is a MOVIE – it’s not supposed to be real life. Okay, maybe some people meet like Allie and Noah in the film and end up married and still happy years later, but they’re the minority. In real life you don’t act like characters in a movie because they are exaggerated to make the story more interesting and romantic. If all movies were made about realistic situations that happened everyday no-one would want to watch them.

    Personally, I think women love films like this (as did I by the way) because they are an escape from boring everyday life. None of us honestly expect to meet a handsome stranger and fall in love at first sight, but we can still enjoy movies with that kind of plot.

  31. I agree. this is a movie and not real life. Well said. And we all want romance and happy endings. And I find myself to be kind of a hopeless romantic and I do everything I possibly can to romanticize (if that’s a word) my baby. But I do believe in love at first sight and I do believe in soulmates. and everything happens for a reason. Life is not easy and sometimes we have to make the best of it, but if you got love, real, true love. Then that”s more then most people have. WE both really love this movie and we hold it near our hearts, and there are parts of the movie we can relate too. There are parts of the movie that’s just fun that anyone in love could have fun doing. I know everyone has heard the saying, “Home is where your heart is”. Home to me is not a place at all, it’s in her arms. All my comforts are there with her. She is my home and when I am away from her, I am homesick. Anyway, everyone has their opinon and In my opinon, This is one of the best if not the best romantic love stories I’ve ever seen. Thanks for reading and sorry for my spelling.

  32. “Love — real love — is loving someone when it’s hard, when they don’t deserve it, when they’ve hurt you in the worst way”

    Well that was what the movie was about, wasn’t it? Yes, Noah loved Allie enough to build her a house she dreamed of and sit and wait for her, but Allie loved him enough to give up her comfort zone, enough to leave a life of money with a man who loves her.
    Noah told Allie it wasn’t going to be easy and that they would have to work at it everyday. That sounds pretty realistic to me.
    Yes they had that sweet innocent first love thing when they were kids but when they got together again they were 24 and 26, old enough to understand what real love was.
    Alli chose Noah because she loved him more than Lon.

  33. I don’t have a problem realizing that this was a work of fiction. What I have difficulty with is how the “heroin” a/k/a Allie is portrayed as such a wonderful person and is forgiven wreaking havoc in Lon’s life. She literally comes away smelling like a rose simply because “in the name of love and all that is GOOD” she goes back to her childhood sweetheart. How sweet. I felt like crying while watching the movie as well, but because she left Lon for Noah. My heart went out to him. What did he do to deserve such horrid behavior? And as I stated above, why did she feel it was necessary to wait 7 years (or however long it was – in the book it was about 14). If she lived her life that long WITHOUT Noah, what made her wake up then? Whey didn’t she just break it off with Lon when he proposed? Didn’t she begin to question her feelings – especially when Noah’s face flashed before her as Lon proposed? To backtrack just a bit in the movie, when she is about to make love with Noah she keeps chattering like a magpie because she “has all these thoughts running through her head” and even chastises Noah for not “thinking about anything.” However, when Lon proposes and Noah’s image flashes before her eyes (though maybe it was a hallucination, because she acted like a screeching cheap harpy), why didn’t she question her motives for being with Lon then? Why did she accept his proposal?

    I also have to disagree with the portrayal of Martha in this movie. They made her look like [for the lack of a better expression – sorry] “used goods.” Could they have made her look any more awful, physically? Not to mention incredibly needy. They portrayed her as unworthy of obtaining the love of a man because she was widowed. I guess she had her chance too, but alas he died on her. I love the part where she meets Allie and is so receptive to her charm and beauty. Most women I know (and yes, I confess me included – LOL) would want to rip her to shreds with their bare hands. Come on, give me a break. “Ms. Allie Sunshine” and her love with Noah causes her to have renewed hope in the future? I don’t think Mary Poppins could have spread enough sugar on that one for me to swallow! Call me crazy (and some do – LOL) but had I been in Martha’s shoes, I would have felt extremely betrayed and definitely NOT hopeful for the future. Did she have zero feelings for Noah – or did she just use him as much as he used her? The movie only seemed to qualify the love shared between Noah and Allie and left no room for anyone else. Their love was unique, special and magic. Sure, it was built on nostalgia, deceit and betrayal. I don’t see either character Noah nor Allie acting very nobly independent of each other.

    The greatest difficulty I have with this are the values that people take away with them after viewing films or reading books such as this. People react to the film and then bring these same values into their lives. I often wonder, does life imitate art or is it the other way around?

    Rene – I loved your “whittling” comment! I actually laughed out loud! And yes, I would have loved to have seen their lives lived on a day-to-day basis. Not a love affair which spanned almost a generation condensed into a 2 hour film.

    And, once again, I would have loved to have seen how Lon’s life worked out.

    P.S. – did anyone notice that the vernacular was incorrect when Allie points to her throat and acts as if she were going to throw up? It was the scene where Lon is about to propose to her and is telling her of his many virtues. In response, she opens her mouth and points into it emphasizing her disagreement with what he was saying. That expression wasn’t used during that time. Just wondering if anyone else caught that.

    P.P.S. – Now that I think of it – that expression pretty much exhibits how I felt about her character!

    Angela

  34. Martha was using Noah as much as Noah used her. Noah only saw Allie and Martha saw Richard.

    Allie being with Lon for because he loves her and it would be wrong to break a promise would not make Allie truly happy. That’s why Noah told her to do WHAT SHE WANTED. Not what anyone else wanted. She wanted Noah. To be fair if it were not for her mom she would not have even been with Lon. Just because she told him she would marry him doesn’t mean she was required by law to or be made into a b*tch because she didn’t.

    She went 7 years without Noah because she did not know about the letters and then saw the house he built for HER. Aside from that it was NOAH’S face she saw when Lon proposed. It was NOAH she saw in all the wounded soldiers.

    Allie should be with the ones she wants to be with, not the one she is expected to be with.

    The whole movie was about Noah and Allie. Who went on to a very happy life together, raised children and grew old together. Not Lon and Martha. Noah and Allie.

  35. [Sorry this is tremendously long]

    Was Martha only using Noah? In the scene where she asks Noah if he’d like to do something together as a couple, he outright rejects her, basically explaining to her how she shouldn’t expect any type of a meaningful relationship from him. She looks heartbreakingly devastated (and takes another drink — (note: a lot of drinking in this movie.)) I suppose she should just be grateful that he has sex with her. Her husband, Richard was killed in the war and I guess she was using Noah to fill her sexual as well as emotional needs. Yeah, he was a great candidate for that. She could have saved herself the trouble and bought a puppy instead – at least it would have shown her more affection than Noah did. And the way that Noah explained (or excused himself) to her made me want to slap him. Martha shouldn’t even expect any more than he could give her because he was “broken.” See, that’s what makes me saddened. He wasn’t “capable” of loving anyone other than Allie and she should be satisfied with the meager amount of attention he gave her. The characters are given free reign to go about hurting innocent people because of the prior injustices. The viewer hardly feels sorry for Martha as well because her character is so bland. They even made up the actress to look like a pale version of Allie – devoid of any “spark” of life. Clearly Martha expected more from Noah. I would have loved to see a scene where he asked her out for the first time. That would have been a hoot! They would have had to change the genre to “romantic comedy!” I could see him asking her “hey, Martha, my heart is “broke,” heck I’m broke (monetarily as well as emotionally – LOL), but I can give you a roll in the hay! I see you’re a war widow, and I’m sure that you’ll settle for that. So, it’s a date? Yet another cliché. Widowed women are easy and aren’t good for anything more than sex. The message you come away with is that she deserved to be treated that way.

    “She went 7 years without Noah because she did not know about the letters and then saw the house he built for HER. Aside from that it was NOAH’S face she saw when Lon proposed. It was NOAH she saw in all the wounded soldiers.”

    My point exactly. She shouldn’t have accepted a date from Lon never mind a proposal of marriage if she was seeing Noah in all the wounded soldiers. And when you think of it, if she thought of Noah when she was tending to the wounded soldiers, how would she even be aware that he was in the war since they had no contact? It leads you to believe that she saw his face in all of the wounded soldiers because she believed him to be as devastated as she was over their breakup. So, she must have believed that Noah still cared for her. Why didn’t she try to contact him when she came to this grandiose revelation that she was “looking” for him in all the men she was tending to – BEFORE dating Lon? Additionally, the movie (narrator) did say that she was surprised at how easily she fell in love with Lon. Surprisingly, she didn’t see Noah’s face flash before her eyes when Lon asked her out?

    What makes Allie a bi**ch, is the fact that she dragged another person into her life BEFORE setting things right with Noah. She also should have confronted her mother and by that I mean not going out celebrating and double dating with her. However, as an Alzheimer’s patient she had enough spunk to tell Noah that the “young couple” should have told her parents where to go!

    Furthermore, what makes Allie a bitch is the fact that she’s ready to go back to Lon after sleeping with Noah. Or was it that she wanted Noah to fight for her? And how she just strung Lon along and wouldn’t return his calls while she was staying at the motel. In my opinion, Allie made darn sure that she had Lon in place as the “safety-net” in case things didn’t work out well between her and Noah. Had she NOT had Lon in the picture she wouldn’t dare put her ego on the line to drive down to see Noah. Add to that that she lied right to his face that she was going “shopping” and that he didn’t have anything to be concerned about. Perhaps she wasn’t lying. Maybe she was going “shopping.” For a husband.

    Allie summed up her character profoundly, when she speaks of her mother “she doesn’t plan, she plots.” My dear, indeed the seed doesn’t fall very far from the tree. You’re correct, it doesn’t make her a bitch. She needs to be upgraded to: “calculating bitch”
    The whole movie was about Noah and Allie. Who went on to a very happy life together, raised children and grew old together. Not Lon and Martha. Noah and Allie.
    And yes, the whole movie was about Noah and Allie. However, life isn’t that one dimensional. The supporting characters weren’t rounded out at all in this film. They were placed in the movie as little more than props or mirrors to reflect the wonderful virtues of Allie and Noah’s “love.” It didn’t let you have the liberty of feeling anything for anyone but Allie and Noah.

    In real life, people get hurt. Innocent people get hurt. The tragedy of this is that society becomes desensitized to other people’s feelings when they’re bombarded with viewing this type of “romantic” selfishness. I feel it generates the belief in today’s society that it’s okay to do something really, really bad so long as it’s for the sake of something really, really good (for yourself!). It doesn’t matter that you’ve trampled and scarred the emotions of someone else to get there. It’s all in the name of love. How romantic.

    I have to confess that I did cry at the end of the movie. But because it was 2 hours of my life that I’d never get back! LOL – only kidding!!! It was because of the frailty of life in general. That is so sad to me. And if you are fortunate enough to have someone you love very much you need to hold on to them and appreciate them TODAY. Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one.

    Angel

  36. Well. I finally watched this movie for the first time. It lost me at the beginning and continued to spin out of any reasonable realm.

    I have to say that it seemed rather strange and shallow starting at the point where they were on their date and he asked her what she did for fun.

    Huh? He *met* her at an amusement park, and they had just gone to a movie. OK, maybe she doesn’t go to the movies often, but based on the evidence, she was hardly a caged bird.

    All of a sudden she has lots of time to spend during her busy day, NOT learning Latin or the piano. No explanation, no repercussions.

    Then we see her riding her bike around town alone and showing up at his house at 10pm to deliver a painting? Where were her parents then?

    I was honestly surprised that they sent the police out after her at 2am – by that point in the movie I was pretty sure her parents didn’t care where she was or who she was with, having seen no evidence of it. It’d assumed she was a spoiled brat whose parents just didn’t care.

    I mentioned all this because it really colored how I saw the later conflict with Lon and Noah. She didn’t deserve either of them, especially not Lon, for all of the reasons you mentioned.

    At least he had the grace to know that it wasn’t going to work with her, now that he’d seen this flaky aspect of her personality, and that she wasn’t committed to their relationship.

    In the end, I don’t really care that much about who got the girl, and whether he should have, because it was a poorly constructed story and the girl didn’t seem to be such a prize, anyway. I’m more surprised about the popularity of the film, in the first place.

  37. oh my God thank you for the laughs. i am a guy and i liked the movie but everything u said just kind of put things in perspective and i just laughed my balls off. very humorous. thanks.

  38. Add another guy who likes this movie to your list. And to be honest, I’m the “Lon” in my own life story but I still get a lump in my throat when Noah and Allie die together, having lived a long and fulfilling life.

    Why do I see myself as “Lon”? Because, other than the money and social status, his persona reflects mine, as does his situation. A few years ago I met a woman who literally took my breath away; she was everything I ever wanted in interests, looks, intelligence and personality. We fell deeply in love on the first date and for over two years were steadfastly faithful to one another. We rarely argued, and when we did, we more than made up for it with passionate lovemaking. We were physically, emotionally and mentally perfect for each other.

    So what happened? Well, one day an old friend of hers who had moved away years before to another state found her online, and they struck up a conversation and got to know each other again. It seems there had been unconsummated feelings between them as teenagers that were cut short when his family moved away, and with this refreshed contact those feelings blossomed as if I (and his current girlfriend) were not even in the picture. I had no idea, of course; she never admitted to being more than his friend until we were over. She went from madly in love with me to indifferent and cold within weeks. When I tried to ascertain the meaning behind it, her answer was “I just need to find out who I really am”. After two months of feeling her slipping away, I finally asked if it was over. She of course said it was, and finally admitted that she had been talking to an “old friend”. I felt like dying right there, but I let her go. Apparently we weren’t as perfect for each other as I thought and I could do nothing to change it.

    Sad as that sounds, it was for the best; she has moved three states over to be with him and seems to be quite happy. Yes, we are still friends after a fashion and occasionally she will call or email. She never physically cheated with him, and probably wouldn’t have if given the opportunity, and I respect her for that. I too have moved on, and am now in a completely different but even more intimate relationship with my true soul mate. Yes, as much as the prior love seemed to be all I could ever ask for, I have found someone who loves me even more and we hide literally nothing from one another. We disagree a lot, we argue and have hurt feelings, but every time we learn more about each other and our bond strengthens.

    So, while I can’t discount love at first sight, I can say that for me and my angel, time and patience will grow a love everlasting.

  39. Angela, it wasn’t too long, I enjoy reading other opinions about thos movie.:)

    The old story of “You can’t help who you love” and is as timelss as love.

    I seem to be in the minority who don’t think Allie was a heartless bitch but more of a very confused young woman..and we have all been there before.
    Allie’s parents wanted her to be one thing, Lon wanted her to be his, but only Noah wanted her to do what she truly wanted to do..in her heart of hearts.

    Martha KNEW Noah could only love Allie. She knew how this would all end. They both knew the rules of the game. She went into this knowing the truth and was still hurt. I don’t dislike the Martha character, but IMO she was the needy clingy one who set herself up for hurt…because *I* have been there myself. Knowing the truth and yet putting your heart on the line anways. Noah’s heart was always with Allie and vice versa.

    Allie thought it was over with Noah because she never recieved the letters so she had no other choice but to move on and Lon was the second choice. Not a bad second choice, but still he was not Noah and she could never love him like she loved Noah.

    Had Allie went back to Lon she would have been RIGHT BACK at Noah’s house in another 7 years. And Noah would be waiting for her.

    This being a movie they had to have some type of drama…like Allie leaving to go talk with Lon. She never told Noah,”I’m gonna leave you and go marry Lon. She just said she had to go talk to him. And all Allie had to do was read the words Noah wrote to her to go back to him..

    “The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more. That plants fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what you’ve given me and that’s what I hope to give to you forever”

    Allie may have not been “much of a prize” to Lon or Noah, but Noah was willing to see past all that and STILL wanted to be with her. “Pain in the ass” and all.:)

  40. Just because one’s repertoire of being rejected makes them bitter, biased reviews are uncalled for.

    To say the movie is “unrealistic” depends on REPORTOIRE. Many people have found true love over expectations or formulas- that is the motif of the movie.

    Lon seemed to look at Allie as a nice keep sake. No emotions are evoked. Yes, he’s calm, has money, but he lacks a deeper level.

    The author of this “piece” shouldn’t take things so personally.

  41. @Mike:

    Thank you for reading.

    Just to clear things up, I haven’t made this personal. You have. For some reason — maybe a private attachment to The Notebook — you decided to extrapolate disparaging details about me just because I have a unique view of this film. That’s disappointing.

    First, look up the definition of “repertoire.” Second, brush up on your reading comprehension skills. At no time did I state that The Notebook was unrealistic. In fact, it may be all too realistic, which is the very point of my “piece.”

    I will submit to you that your use of “unrealistic” may have been intended to mean “impractical.” In which case, yes, I think The Notebook represents an impractical love between the main characters and impractical decision making on the part of Allie. I hope you’re mature enough to at least concede that point. Surely, you would agree that if an old high school flame that you knew for three months suddenly turned up out of the blue after 7 (or 14) years and confessed to you that they didn’t have one healthy relationship during that time because they were waiting for you, that it would be concerning. In the way that obsessed stalkers are concerning.

    On second thought, you may still be in high school. If so, then disregard everything after “Thank you for reading.”

  42. I agree that love isn’t about passion, it’s about what’s still there when the passion dies down. Which is exactly why I’m not sure how you can insinuate that Noah and Allie’s love was just passionate puppy love, given that Noah actually says to her “This will be hard, and we will have to work at it every day, but I’ll do whatever it takes.” Marriage is indeed about commitment, which is why Noah moves into a nursing home and reads the same book every day to a woman who can’t remember who he is. I’m sorry if you feel that good looks, a secure job, and a reputable background are more worthy characteristics to have than a good heart. I believe that Lon was a victim of circumstances, but I also don’t believe that his being God’s gift to Allie’s parents makes him the right guy for her. The whole point of love is that it’s irrational. Someone can be perfect and treat you like gold, but that doesn’t mean they are the right person for you. I thought this was illustrated well in the fact that Lon didn’t even know that Allie loved to paint. Maybe he never asked, maybe she just never told him, but the fact of the matter was that her love of painting was something that Noah brought out in her. The person we are meant to be with is the person that makes us better with their presence. They allow us to be ourselves more completely. As great a guy as Lon was…he couldn’t do that. It’s not his fault, it’s not Allie’s fault. Noah and Allie inspire something in each other that they couldn’t get anywhere else. You said that love isn’t supposed to be easy, well let me ask you this: given two equally good-hearted men, which is easier: marrying the guy with the good job and the nice family who will support you or the one with whom you may struggle financially or whom your parents don’t like. It seems to me that picking all the traits you so highly praise is the easy way out. Love should be about what ultimately makes you happy, not what comes easiest.

  43. @Jenny:

    Thanks for reading.

    I’m not sure why people feel the need to point out obvious things in the movie to me. I’m a pretty observant guy. I agree that Noah was committed. I never said he wasn’t. I mean, to be committed to someone for 7 (or 14) years whom you only knew for three months…heck, give that guy a medal.

    It’s also strange that people insert their own interpretation of what I wrote. I never said that Lon did not have a good heart. In fact, I went out of my way to emphasize that he loved Allie. He was even willing to take her back after the ultimate betrayal. Try to spin it any way you like, but Lon kicks ass. Furthermore, everything that Lon represents — stability, refinement, a future — should not be discounted just because they don’t necessarily speak to the heart.

    Now I agree that just because someone treats you right doesn’t mean you’re a good match. However, if you’re at the point of trying on wedding dresses, then I think you’ve decided that you are. Furthermore, the fact that you defend this film by arguing that “love is irrational” and so on and so forth is exactly why this film and films like this are poisoning the well of young, impressionable female minds. I can just see 17-year-old girls showing their parents this movie to prove that she should be dating the White supremacist coke fiend wanted by the FBI.

    “I know it’s irrational,” the 17-year-old will say, “But look, I paint when he’s around!”

    The only reason you like The Notebook is because things work out with Noah. If we never saw the present day scenes and the movie ended with Allie leaving Lon, you’d be throwing popcorn at the screen, calling Allie a moron. At least I hope so. The point is that it was an unnecessary gamble to throw away her life, happiness and love with Lon to go back to a guy she hadn’t seen in 7 (or 14) years and knew for a total of 3 months.

    Lastly, my point about love being hard doesn’t mean you should look for people that are hard to love. True love becomes difficult on its own when everything else is running fine. There’s no need to make it harder by wondering how you’ll pay the rent, feed the kids or keep your parents from killing your spouse.

  44. If you reread what I wrote, you’ll see that I actually agreed with you that Lon was a wonderful guy. He really didn’t have a single bad quality about him. The point was, being a wonderful guy didn’t make him right for her. He got luckier in life than Noah, he was born into old money and high society. Does this make him more deserving of love than Noah? I would hope that in a country of equality, we would be beyong thinking that way.

    I also don’t mean that love is irrational in the sense that you seem to have taken it. A white supremisist coke addict is bad for you no matter how you spin it. A guy who just doesn’t have a lot of money isn’t quite the same. I meant that love is irrational in the sense that just because something works out on paper doesn’t mean it works out in real life. Allie’s parents thought Noah was trash simply because of his social status, not because of his habits or beliefs. Given a chance, he would have proven that he was good for her, as he ultimately did.

    While yes, I think the present day scenes are what makes this movie better than others of its kind, without them I still would have wanted her to choose Noah. When it comes to as big a decision as who you plan to spend the rest of your life with, I think you need to base that decision on what is best for you. It was a gamble sure, but she took the leap believing that it would be worth the risk. Just because the gamble doesn’t always work out doesn’t mean you should never bet. I understand that it seems crazy when she technically only knew him for 3 months. However, the length of time you know someone does not always determine the depth of your knowledge about them. It seemed to me that Noah got to know more about who Allie really was in those three months than Lon did in the years of their relationship.

    Finally, just because being with someone will make life a little harder doesn’t mean that person is harder to love. I’d hardly call it love if the idea of needing to overcome a few obstacles deters you from wanting to be with them completely.

  45. @Jenny:

    Thanks for coming back.

    You’re arguing from a point of view that people can be “meant for each other” against which I can’t debate. So if these two soul mates are destined to be together, then nothing else really matters. I hope you can appreciate my point of view that people can fall in love with anyone. I’d like to believe that Allie really did love Lon, because if she was just lying to him the whole time then that makes her even more despicable.

    I take issue with your comment that Noah knew Allie more in 3 months than Lon did in 3 years. Allie was 17 when she met Noah. Did she really know who she was at that age? Did any of us? At that age, we like what we’re told to like and believe what we’re told to believe. At 24, I was a completely different person than I was at 17. If we go by the book version, I know I’ll be completely different at 31. Experience changes us.

    But the point of my article and this consequent discussion (thank you for being so civil, by the way) is to discuss The Notebook as its themes relate to contemporary relationships. I maintain that it’s very dangerous for people to believe that emotional qualities are all that matter. Scroll up a bit and read what Vargas has to say. It’s very sound. The point is that we live in a credential society. That’s why most salary jobs require a college degree, because it’s assumed that a person that’s gone to college will do a better a job. Translate that to the world of romance and we can assume that a person with a good job, reputable background and ample financial resources will provide a better marriage, bring stability to the home and make better decisions for the kids. At no time am I advising that you should marry someone you don’t love.

    Allie’s case is unique, because she’s already standing at the altar (so to speak). I’d like to believe that she’s properly experienced Lon and has grown with him in order to make an informed decision. She has enough certainty that he meets all of her requirements for marriage, whatever they are, and STILL she throws that away for UNCERTAINTY. That I cannot abide by. It’s reckless, with both her life and Lon’s.

    In closing, obviously, I’m not advising that women only look for wealthy men to marry. Fall in love with whomever. That’s fine. I just think that the criteria for love needs to go beyond passion. And when you find yourself with a good thing, believe in it. Work on it. Even when tempting offers come walking by, trust that you’ve made the right decision.

    As a side note: it’s interesting that no one has argued the point about boyfriends needing to be controlling. The Notebook is precisely why boyfriends won’t let their girlfriends “hang out” with old boyfriends that are supposedly just “friends.”

  46. I am a little confused as to why Noah seems like the unstable one compared to Lon.

    This makes me think Lon was the better pick because he had money?

    “Lastly, my point about love being hard doesn’t mean you should look for people that are hard to love. True love becomes difficult on its own when everything else is running fine. There’s no need to make it harder by wondering how you’ll pay the rent, feed the kids or keep your parents from killing your spouse.”

    Noah had rent? He built that house and owned it when they met again.
    I don’t think Noah’s children went hungry, in fact the two seemed to do just fine financially.
    Why would Allie’s parents want to kill Noah? Allie should chose Lon simply because her parents liked him more?

    In the long run Noah and Allie proved everyone of these statements wrong. They stayed together. They were happy. They built a life together. They raised a family and most of all they were in love the entire time.
    Allie and Noah’s children did not seem to be in any kind of need since Noah was a very hard worker and loyal to his family.

    “Even when tempting offers come walking by, trust that you’ve made the right decision.”
    So Lon was the right decision? Only he wasn’t the right choice for Allie. Allie had to chose, no one could chose for her. Just because she did not make the choice other would have made doesn’t make her choosing Noah wrong.

    I feel that Allie had feeling for Lon, but love? How to you cheat on someone you “love”?

  47. I am amazed at how much people analyze this movie.

    I don’t see it as anything but a wonderful, romance, chick flick movie myself. I mean the first time I saw it I didn’t want to leave my husband and run right out and find my first love…if THIS movie is dangerous, “Titanic” must be the death of young girls.

    This movie is what it is, from the mind of Nick Sparks, so is HE the one to blame?

    I don’t see Noah as this awful, depressed guy being compared to a “White supremacist coke fiend wanted by the FBI..” because he didn’t have the money Lon did or because she only dated him for 3 months before or because of their time apart. Noah was just as good a catch as Lon was and in the long run better because Allie love him with all her heart and did not see someone else when she looked at him. Noah was not a bad guy. Noah was not dirt poor. He made something out of life and was stable by the time she came back to him for a reason.
    I mean I see Lon as a great guy too, he would have made a GREAT husband. He wasn’t a bad second choice.
    But even her mother could not make Allie love anyone like she loved Noah, 7 years apart or not.

    This story reminds me of MY grandparents. He asked her to marry him on their 4th date he said and they have been married for 60 VERY HAPPY years now. They were high school sweet hearts. No she didn’t spend 7 years away from him, but that’s Noah and Allie’s story.:)

    Allie chose Noah because it was their love story he was reading. She had a deeper connection with Noah than she did with Lon.

    In the end this was just a movie. If someone is unstable enough to think “Oh wow, this is how real live is!”, I don’t think they should be watching movie period.lol

    It was a sweet, endearing movie about lasting love and how real love takes work. It was about marriage. It was about not settling for nothing less than what you really want. It was about life and growing old and never giving up on someone. I see nothing wrong with any of that.

    The sexual chemistry between Gosling and McAdams may have overshadowed the love they felt, but to me Garner and Rowlands brought it all back down to earth.

  48. You know what’s a hallmark of a good movie to me?

    It’s a movie you walk in expecting to not like, but it changes your mind and draws you in instead. The Notebook is one of those movies.

    It’s not without some flaws, but it is quite good and the characters are well drawn and likable.

    Disclosure: I’m a guy, I’m 35, and I’ve been married for 10 years. I have a reasonably jaded view of relationships, women and all that.

    The biggest thing the author needs to realize is that movies require healthy suspensions of disbelief. No one said this story was true, and it is told from the point of view of the people who lived the love story. So it’s going to present a less sympathetic case for guys like Lon. Lon’s not a bad guy, but he’s the “easy button”, the sacrifice needed to be made to consummate the “true love”.

    So boys and girls, you need to get a grip and just enjoy the sappy love story, have the courage to call it just that, but also understand that your real life relationship(s) will probably not work out this way.

  49. Hi…….
    one thing is really found here is that perhaps u’ve never been through a phase called “love” in ur life my dear!

    thas why u know so lil abt what the movie (or the book)wanted to say!!!!! i personally adore this movie.tho am a guy.

    imagine puttin urself in Noah’s place or even Allie’s !!
    wd u not want the one u want to always be with u !!!!!!

    give it a second thought…….

  50. I am a man and I just saw this film recently and it has taken its place as the most romantic film on my list of favorite films. I’m sorry disagree with so many of you, but I think you are looking at the story all wrong. In a way, the whole narrative – the story being read, the flashback – isn’t the important, romantic part. If it was, I’d hate this movie. It’s Duke, or Noah as an old man, telling their kids he can’t leave; “That’s my sweetheart in there. Wherever she is, that’s where my home is.” If you want to look at it another way, it’s the serious side of 50 First Dates – a man who loves a woman so much that he is willing to spend every day making her remember him and fall in love with him all over again, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

    I think what many of you are missing is that, although she was engaged to another man, she wasn’t married to him. This isn’t The Bridges of Madison County. She made her choice BEFORE taking her vows, not changing her mind after marrying someone .

    Like I said, this is about the old couple and their life between the end of the story in the notebook and when Duke sits down (every morning) to read it – the part we don’t see. It’s about a good marriage, a good life and true love, not the foolishness of their youth. That’s just the car they drove in on.

  51. I read the OPs post and immediately realized after the first few lines that this had to have been written by a male with no clue, and one that apparently had never been in love.

    It IS possible to fall in love that quickly. I know because I met my now husband in the beginning of December of 1991, by the end of December 1991 we were engaged and married 8 months later. We’ve been married now 16 years and our marriage grows stronger everyday!

    The Op is making is seem like Allie and Lon were together for years… they weren’t. Where does he get they were together for 3 years? And, that relationship was pretty much urged on by Allie’s scheming mother. Lon was a substitute. Allie thought she had lost her true love forever and so she tried to move on with her life but, she was going through the motions. She thought that she could grow to really love Lon, but it became clear when she saw Noah’s picture that she never got over him and she had to see if he still had any feelings for her. If he didn’t, then that was that. But since he did, she followed her heart. And you find something wrong with that? Would you rather she married Lon knowing full well in her heart that she didn’t really love him? Would you want a wife who just went through the motions?

    I’m guessing the OP has never felt a love that strongly, that deeply. I have.

    The op mentions that you guys can’t rely on your good looks, etc. No, you can’t. That’s not love, that just cosmetics. If you build a relationship on that, it’s shallow and plastic and, it won’t last.

    The op also mentions that Noah had no discernible income. He made furniture for a living or didn’t you understand that from his workshop? Handmade furniture is big bucks and apparently it made him enough to marry her, and raise 3 children. They didn’t starve, they had a nice house, he gave her all she needed.

    The other thing I noticed about subsequent posts was “The poor other guy”, the one who lost the girl… One guy mentioned Sweet home Alabama. Her fiancé was marrying her for her good looks and because he thought she was the right kind of money. He didn’t know she was really poor. The guy who she ended up with, who was actually her husband that she had gone there to divorce for this loser, knew her. He knew all her secrets and passions, what did her fiancé know about her? Nothing.

    Lon wanted Allie because she was pretty and wealthy. She was the right kind of money. That’s all. She would have ended up being the society bride her mother was.

    But even her mother stepped in at one point and showed her the man she (mom) had loved for all those years that she was forced to give up because he wasn’t rich. She had been forced to married someone she didn’t love because he had the right set of credentials.

    I am so lucky to have a man like my husband who loves me as much as Noah loves Allie, who would do anything for me as I would for him..

  52. @Nanette:

    You know, I’m impressed at how personally people take my analysis. It seems to criticize The Notebook is to criticize these people’s (love) lives. Furthermore, people like you make it difficult to remain civil in my response, especially when your opening remarks are “…after the first few lines that this had to have been written by a male with no clue, and one that apparently had never been in love.”

    I could be just as rude and extrapolate your third-grade reading comprehension from your question: “The Op is making is seem like Allie and Lon were together for years… they weren’t. Where does he get they were together for 3 years?” The answer: nowhere. I never wrote that. Using a few facts from the film,however, I think we can come close to your magical three years that you’ve pulled from the ether.

    1. Allie and Noah have the three-month-long “relationship” during the summer of 1940.

    2. They are separated for seven years (movie version).

    3. Allie meets Lon in World War II.

    4. World War II ended in 1945.

    5. That leaves approximately 2-3 years of separation between Allie and Noah left to consider. During which time we can assume that Lon and Allie were building their (apparently loveless) relationship.

    I might have a few gaps here and there on when the main characters met and broke up with each other, but your three-years isn’t unimaginable.

    You also asked, “Would you want a wife who just went through the motions?” Of course not, but before we got that far, I also wouldn’t want a fiancée that led me to believe that she loved me, made no mention of some dude that she hadn’t seen in seven years and had an irrational hangup over and would cheat on me with him if he appeared in the local paper. Basically, Allie should have dealt with Lon fairly and openly. I imagine the conversation would have gone something like this:

    “Lon, before we start dating, I need to tell you that I’m in love with another guy and will dump you the second he comes back into my life, regardless of how long we’ve been together and what we’ve built and what I’ve said.”

    “Wow, Allie. He must be amazing. What’s he like?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “How can you not know?”

    “I haven’t seen him in seven years.”

    “Seven years?”

    “Well, 14 if you’ve read the book.”

    “What’s he do for a living?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “Well, what he heck makes him so special?”

    “He knows what hobbies I’m into.”

    “What, like drawing?”

    “No. Stop guessing.”

    “Painting?”

    “DAMMIT! I TOLD YOU TO STOP! ONLY NOAH CAN KNOW THAT! THAT’S THE ONLY THING THAT MAKES HIM SPECIAL!”

    I think if Allie had approached Lon in this manner, it would have saved him a lot of heartache. Instead, we have Allie withholding this side of her from Lon, all the while winking at the girls in the audience, saying, “This is the way you do it, ladies. Just in case you can’t hook up with that edgy, tortured bad boy, find yourself a rich sucker to pay your bills until you can.”

    Lastly, it’s great that you’ve created a lasting marriage with a near-total stranger. People also occasionally win the lottery.

    Thanks for (sort of) reading.

  53. I am still not getting how Noah is the bad boy.lol

    I didn’t find Noah special because he knew she paints. He was special to her because she loved him first and loved him more.

    This story is based on a book which was based on a true story about a real couple. It was said that most of it really happened.

    It’s not about how all couples should get together, but how this ONE couple got together. So should we question this couple’s real life love story?

    Looking at the big picture, Allie and Lon’s brief 1-3 year relationship (Lon took time to heal as well then came back later so it may have been a year together.) was a very small part of Allie’s life. She spent over 50 years with Noah, raised children with him and died with him.

    That’s not real love? But she has Lon had the real deal?

    Confused.

  54. First – I’d like to start out by applauding René Garcia’s (a/k/a “OP”) more than gracious response to Nanette and other people who have a need to personally attack him along with anyone else who shares his views simply because they do not share the same opinion. Can’t you have a civil discussion without your nasty opinions and accusations just because someone has an opinion or life experience which differs from your own? Or do you really believe that whoever disagrees with you must be a cretin caveman? Nanette, your opening line was not only offensive to Mr. Garcia, but to the male gender in general! I’m sure you wouldn’t like to be told that not only are you an overly critical human being but also a nasty opinionated female. I happen to agree with Mr. Garcia and I also happen to be female. I also happen to also be happily married for 15 going on 16 years to a wonderful man I met and was engaged to three months after dating him. I am very blessed and thank God for him every day.

    I’m guessing the OP has never felt a love that strongly, that deeply. I have.

    Nanette – that was very cruel! I guess you feel superior because God blessed you with a happy marriage? Words like that are very mean, judgmental and hurtful. Remember, what God gives you He can just as easily take away. Please apologize (and mean it!) to Mr. Garcia.

    The Op is making is seem like Allie and Lon were together for years… they weren’t.

    Oh yes they were. They were together for a few years. In both the book AND the movie. Please pay more attention.

    And, that relationship was pretty much urged on by Allie’s scheming mother.

    Wrong again. They met while Allie was a volunteer nurse. Lon was a soldier. Allie’s mother was no where near them to influence Allie. It was not a pre-arranged relationship. Allie didn’t even know who Lon was at that point (he could have been either a pauper or a prince – she just knew him as an injured soldier).

    Lon was a substitute. Allie thought she had lost her true love forever and so she tried to move on with her life but, she was going through the motions. She thought that she could grow to really love Lon, but it became clear when she saw Noah’s picture that she never got over him and she had to see if he still had any feelings for her. If he didn’t, then that was that. But since he did, she followed her heart. And you find something wrong with that? Would you rather she married Lon knowing full well in her heart that she didn’t really love him? Would you want a wife who just went through the motions?

    However, she wasn’t really moving on with her life, and I hardly think the picture in the newspaper was what made her think about Noah. Even if she didn’t think about Noah the whole time they dated, when he asked for her hand in marriage would have been a good time to speak up. The narrator specifically stated that when Lon had asked if she wanted to marry him Noah’s face “flashed before her eyes.” That should have been the moment when she realized she had feelings for Noah and THAT WAS THE TIME to go seek him out. NOT on the eve of her wedding. And, going forward it was a self admission, because the “narrator” was really Allie, since after all she wrote the story that Noah (the narrator) was reading! And then afterward, AFTER she had sex with Noah, she was contemplating going back to Lon. If anything, her feelings should have been clearer than ever for her! It’s a wonder either one of them still wanted her! And no, it wouldn’t be right for her to marry Lon knowing full well in her heart that she didn’t really love him and no he didn’t deserve a wife who just went through the motions. However, she didn’t have to involve him to the point that he fell for her and she just trampled his heart! Did you think Lon was lying when he said that he loved her? Even after he found out that she went to bed with Noah? He was even willing to take her back, but realized that she didn’t love him and wouldn’t be happy. Isn’t that what true love is after all? Sacrifice. Laying down your wants, desires and even needs for the person you love? Placing them before you? Or is it getting your own way, being reckless and mean spirited?

    The op mentions that you guys can’t rely on your good looks, etc. No, you can’t. That’s not love, that just cosmetics. If you build a relationship on that, it’s shallow and plastic and, it won’t last. But even her mother stepped in at one point and showed her the man she (mom) had loved for all those years that she was forced to give up because he wasn’t rich. She had been forced to married someone she didn’t love because he had the right set of credentials.

    Yes that’s true. For both men and women. As momma said, “Beauty is only skin deep, but UGLY goes clear to the bone!” LOL Seriously though, the above explains Allie’s mom’s choice in marrying Allie’s dad. I feel that she shared that with her daughter, out of guilt for hiding those letters from Allie. She did it more as a catharsis; to clear her own guilty actions. (Just my opinion folks). To Allie’s mom’s credit, she did leave the decision making at that point to her daughter. I do not believe that Allie would have turned out the same as her mother had she married Lon. I do agree that she would have had a much different life. Lon had even seen it as a “dilemma” that the family approved of him. He felt that it quenched Allie’s rebellious nature and made their “acceptable” union, less desirable. Allie did what she wanted and didn’t care who got hurt or what got in her way. Rethinking this, Lon was indeed a lucky man (not a poor boy) to have dodged that bullet!

    So then why do you say:

    Lon wanted Allie because she was pretty and wealthy. She was the right kind of money. That’s all. She would have ended up being the society bride her mother was.

    Where did you get the above insight/information from? Allie said many times throughout the movie that she LOVED Lon.

    The op also mentions that Noah had no discernible income. He made furniture for a living or didn’t you understand that from his workshop? Handmade furniture is big bucks and apparently it made him enough to marry her, and raise 3 children. They didn’t starve, they had a nice house, he gave her all she needed.

    Noah wasn’t wealthy by any means. He had some money, but it’s still debateable that he could have supported a family with his income. He didn’t make much at all. In the book it states that too. Did you miss the scene where he’s with Allie’s family and the brother (or dad – I don’t really remember who) asks Noah what he does for a living, and he answers that he works at that plant making a meager living? He then elaborates that he doesn’t need much to live? Then when Noah breaks up with Allie, he states that it wouldn’t work because he could never give her the things she deserves???? Even when Allie “visits” Noah later on he speaks of his “status” that he has enough, but he is by no means super rich. Did we all watch the same movie? LOL

    He knew all her secrets and passions, what did her fiancé know about her? Nothing.

    Did Noah know that she enjoyed horseback riding? You don’t see Allie and Noah riding horses, but it sure looked like Lon and Allie were having a good time? It seemed as though Lon knew she liked to dance as they went dancing pretty often. She went dancing with Noah as well. So do we all do the same exact things in life with our significant others – and if we don’t does that mean that they don’t know us or are interested in us? So he didn’t know she liked to paint, but did he try to stop or change her desire? No, he simply told her – so paint! It wasn’t an issue.
    I’ve found out new things about my husband and we’ve been married many years. Does that mean I should file for divorce????? Just the other day, I shared with my husband that I preferred pure maple syrup on my pancakes (and not the sugary confection sold in supermarkets). He said, he didn’t know that! We’ve been married for almost 16 years. So, what does that mean? Is he married to a stranger, in love with a different woman than he thought and completely uninterested in me? 🙂

    The issue between them was that she wanted to go back to her former boyfriend, but she didn’t want to cut ties with Lon. She wanted her trip to Seaview – to see if she could rekindle what she remembered as a wonderful romantic time of her life. What makes her such a scoundrel is that she kept Lon on the back burner as the safety net. Had Noah been already married, or involved with someone and no longer interested in Allie and no longer “available”, do you really think for one moment that she would have cancelled her wedding to Lon anyway? No, I don’t think so. There’s a part in some wedding vows, which state: “forsaking all others.” I’m happy too that she didn’t end up with Lon. He didn’t deserve Allie happening to him – Lon deserved so much better!
    And so does Rene Garcia. Please, give your opinions, but keep your nasty critical PERSONAL comments to yourselves. As Thumper would say, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

    Angel

  55. I think many of you are taking things too serious on BOTH sides of the debate. I’ve seen personal attacks on both sides here and it’s sad because we are talking about a simple love story.

    “Noah wasn’t wealthy by any means. He had some money, but it’s still debateable that he could have supported a family with his income. He didn’t make much at all. In the book it states that too. Did you miss the scene where he’s with Allie’s family and the brother (or dad – I don’t really remember who) asks Noah what he does for a living, and he answers that he works at that plant making a meager living? He then elaborates that he doesn’t need much to live? Then when Noah breaks up with Allie, he states that it wouldn’t work because he could never give her the things she deserves???? Even when Allie “visits” Noah later on he speaks of his “status” that he has enough, but he is by no means super rich. Did we all watch the same movie?”

    Gonna go with Nanette here. Noah was not dead broke with he and Allie met up for the SECOND time. He wasn’t rich, but he could very well afford a life for him and Allie because he proved that. All Noah said was that LON had a lot of money, not that he was broke.
    Not sure what him being poor a teen has anything to do with..well anything. Because he was poor as teen and felt he didn’t make enough money means their relationship was doomed for life? lol
    In the commentary, Nick Sparks as well as Nick Cassavetes both state that Noah made a nice living for himself as well as for his family and when they were old Noah actually had money, which is why he places Allie in the nicest nursing home around.

    Noah was poor as a teen, not as an adult. They raised children together and lived in a VERY nice home.

    But IMO money still means very little if you don’t truly love someone.

    We watched the same movie, I think we just have different takes on it.

    “She wanted her trip to Seaview”
    Seabrook.:)

    “Even after he found out that she went to bed with Noah? He was even willing to take her back, but realized that she didn’t love him and wouldn’t be happy. Isn’t that what true love is after all? Sacrifice. Laying down your wants, desires and even needs for the person you love? Placing them before you? Or is it getting your own way, being reckless and mean spirited?”

    I find it hard to believe Lon would want to be with her after that as well, but does that mean it’s true love? To say Oh you can cheat on me all you want and I will still love you and still take you back? Sounds like more of a doormat to me, and I totally agree that Lon deserved a lot more that that. Lon was a great guy and he deserved to be with someone who loved him and ONLY him, someone who would be truly faithful to him..and I am pretty sure he found someone like that after Allie and did just fine in the end.:)

  56. Sorry for the hiatus, been busy in my part of the world. 🙂

    @jones – Thanks for the comment!

    I think they have made movies about what relationships are really like (The Last Kiss comes to mind – please mention others if you know of any), but I personally hate them, too.

    Funny, huh? Hating the fake Disney movies that spread false images of love and relationships but also hating movies that are more realistic because they’re so depressing.

    But it’s the truth. One out of every two marriages end in divorce. And that is a really, REALLY sad statistic.

    Perhaps the esteemed auter of this blog might tackle a “realistic romance” as his first big screenplay. 😉

    @Lily – It sounds like your definition of “love” is really your definition of “love plus committment.” They’re supposed to be synonymous in a successful, healthy relaitonship (at least in my opinion).

    @alwaysfrog – “real life does not always mirror the movies and you can’t expect it to.” I think that’s the point of the discussion. For some reason, people expect reality to be similar if not exactly like the movies. Why else would we shell out so much money to see RomComs and RomDrams.

    @Liz – You’re right, it is a movie, but your sweeping generalization that “women love films like this” is incorrect. I’m a woman and I don’t care for romance movies in the slightest.

    @Angela – Your posts on September 4 and 5 completely sums up my feelings toward the movie as well. Thanks for articulating them so well!

    @Dixie – If you can’t help who you love….why do so many arranged marriages end up loving and happy?

    @Troy – “She made her choice BEFORE taking her vows, not changing her mind after marrying someone.” I agree that it was better for her to break off her engagement rather than cheat on her hubs and then get divorced. I also agree with a lot of the above commenters that she shouldn’t have been with Lon to begin with if she had unfinished business with Noah. Allie is portrayed as being the kind of girl that goes after what she wants…why did she give up on Noah so easily if she loved him?

    @Angel – BIG DITTO to your post on December 15 – especially the part about insulting the author. We are ALL entitled to our own opinions about love, marriage and this movie and have the right to express it.

    And can I just say, I love that this debate has continued over the past year. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s opinions about the movie and relationships! Thanks for sharing and I hope you all have a very happy new year!

    -V

  57. “@Dixie – If you can’t help who you love….why do so many arranged marriages end up loving and happy?”

    ? Huh ? lol

    What do arranged marriages have to do with Noah and Allie?

    Allie loved Noah and Noah loved Allie and they wanted to be together. period. That’s what I meant.

    I see nothing Disney about The Notebook. I mean the point of the movie was that love takes work. It’s not just a feeling, it’s an act. They grew old together, that’s an act of love itself.

  58. Just saw the movie over Christmas. Missed the last 10 minutes or so, so did a little search to find out…

    Lon got screwed. Allie was dishonest, and self-centered. Lon and Noah were both “good guys”, and both loved Allie. I hope Lon found someone more honest, who actually loved him back.

    Noah could have been more proactive in contacting Allie during that fateful 365 days — he had a car, and her address, after all.

  59. Huge fan of the film. I can see your point of view, and agree that the film is biased, towards the guy who gets the girl – but it happens, I’ve seen it happen.
    Time doesn’t have any significance in love, and the fact that Allie and Noah only know each other for a summer, it makes no difference, nor the fact that they are young – why shouldn’t they love each other? Love can blossom in the span of a summer, I’ve seen it happen, it does, and it doesn’t make it any less real than that that spans over a year, or two, or twenty. The film portrays true love, and I agree with it, because when you do truly love someone, nothing will stand in your way to be with them.
    Lon and Allie weren’t right for each other – and maybe if we followed Lon’s story, he will find someone else, someone he loves truly, like Allie loves Noah.
    Like someone above said, Noah and Allie’s love is not just passion, they genuinely care about and love each other. And actually, I don’t believe that Lon does ‘truly’ love Allie – i think he loves the idea of it all, i think he is very fond of her, but love her? It’s in the way he talks to her, they’re not on the same level. Allie and Noah are, and it’s so obvious they are meant to be.
    And who wants smart love? How, in anyway, is love smart? Love is jealousy, and anger, envy, rage, passion, sadness, happiness, anxiety, joy, excitement, hope. Love is every emotion, and it doesn’t make sense, no matter how you look at it, it just is, and when you love someone, you don’t need to understand, you just need to know that you do. So screw smart love, it doesn’t exist. True love all the way xxxx

  60. I’m going to personally say that I absolutely ADORE this movie. It has moved me in so many ways and just, ah, I love it! (I guess it helps that I find Ryan Gosling unbelievably attractive haha)
    Anyway, I’m not here to discuss anything, I just wanted to ask – isn’t The Notebook based on a true story? So how come everyone is saying, “it’s just a movie,” when the basics of it really isnt?
    I hope you’ll answer, I’m really curious.

  61. @Beccaxxx Why do “smart love” and “true love” have to be mutually exclusive? I think you’re misinterpreting “true love” as lust or passion.

    I’m curious to see what your definitions of “smart love” and “true love” are and why one is better than the other.

  62. The Notebook is based on a real life couple, Nick Sparks’ wife’s grandparents was who he based this movie on and most of the stuff in the movie really happened. So why would he change any of it? I look at it as what it is, a romance movie.

  63. To the author of this column, I agree: Real love cannot blossom in the span of one summer. It can be as swift as one fateful moment.

    I have lived parts of this movie. When I was only 15, I met the love of my life. He was 16, skinny and white. I was robust and black. The year was 1980 and yes, it WAS summer or the last dregs of it really, since school had just begun.

    I won’t go into a novel-length tirade about how our life went, but I can tell you that our parents tried to keep us apart “for our own good”. They did everything imaginable and yet, Something kept bringing us back together, often under near-impossible situations. At last after 13 years of this, we both defied our parents at 26 and 27 respectively, moved in together, and married just a little over a year afterward.

    I have been married to this man for just over 16 years. This September, we will have known each other for 29 years. Was it real love that day I saw him silhouetted against the green grass and sky framed in the classrrom window of 5th-period Biology? Yes, it was the spark and start of that deeper feeling that grows with Time. Yes, I’ve loved him when he was the least lovable, and yes, through much pain. But if I didn’t–couldn’t recall that day as crystalline in my mind now as it was then, then I could not have gotten through the difficult times. Oh yes, I “left” him and he “left” me to date other people for the sake of our parents, but…every time I kissed a man, I thought of him. Every time I heard a lovesong, I thought about him. At night, I would be haunted by dreams of him. Was I obssessed? That depends.

    You see, I’ve lived my life at times without him, but I knew from my innermost depths that it was him and no other. And he felt the same way. Our prayer is that when we are old, we will die together in our sleep, so that we won’t ever be apart.

    Yes, “The Notebook” is only just a movie–but within its sentimental roots lie the truth about love. Was Lon right for Allie? Of course he was! But Love–REAL Love–takes no notice of what or how we’d like things to be. I could have been married to someone my parents preferred but ultimately, it wouldn’t have been best for me or him.

    One more thing: if this movie were real and Allie had married Lon, I think he would have moved her into a very nice upscale facility and made sure every consideration and care would be given her–all proper and correct. He would have visited her with the kids and grandkids and everyone would have remarked on how well he took his responsibility as a husband; how much he loved her. But she wouldn’t have “come back” for Love’s sake. Noah rearranged his life to move into the nursing home–just to be near her. He promised he would never leave her and he kept his word–even unto Death. If you research the history of all stories ever written about Love, you will see “The Notebook” echoed again, and again, and again.

    Thank you for letting me rant, after all. ‘Nuff said.

  64. @Karlah:

    That’s a touching story and I appreciate you sharing it. A couple of points: It’s impossible to know how Lon would have treated Allie if given the same situation as Noah. He may have very well just kept her at home and cared for her himself. Who knows? We’ll never find out because Allie cheated on him, dumped him and married the guy she hadn’t talked to for 7 years. As for your story and all of the miraculous stories of love surviving against all odds, I’ll say that sometimes people do win the Lottery, but I think we’d both agree that gambling everything we have to win the Lotto isn’t a prudent financial move.

    Feel free to rant any time.

  65. Rene Garcia, you are ridiculous. This article is stupid and thoughtless. “Romantic Comedies are ruining our love lives”? That’s a really orinigal idea, which you obviously did not think of yourself. The Notebook is a great love story. Yes, Lon does get screwed over, and I feel bad for everything that happened to him, and Allie should not have led him on as she did. That was her mistake. But, do you really think she should have married Lon if she loved someone else more? That would not make for a happy life. I think she did the right thing in the end by boldly pursuing what she really wanted. And, once she did make decision about whom to marry, then she stayed with him and didn’t “find true love” with anyone else she happened to meet, like you think she would.

  66. @Megan:

    So touchy! Am I ridiculous? I suppose there are things you could ridicule me over, but lack of originality, stupidity or thoughtlessness don’t describe me. I’m sure that other people have noticed the silliness of romcoms and have written about how it’s terrible when real people try to live their love lives according to these films, however, I came to this realization wholly on my own. Furthermore, I think my article brings a fresh perspective to The Notebook in a very intelligent manner. In fact, I welcome you to point out the parts that are “stupid” and/or “thoughtless.”

    Would I want Allie — or anyone, for that matter — to marry someone they didn’t love? Of course not. I also don’t think Allie should have agreed to marry someone she didn’t love, nor should she have told Lon that she loved him when she clearly didn’t. I mean, where do you draw the line? If Allie had reconnected with Noah after she was married to Lon, is it OK for her to cheat on Lon, divorce him then marry Noah in the name of true love? If you want to reduce relationships down to “I’m with you until something better comes along or my Ex finds me” then what’s the point of having relationships at all?

    Noah should just consider himself lucky that Allie’s childhood sweetheart from the third grade didn’t run into her a week before she and Noah got married.

    Thanks for reading and I hope you come by again. I’ll redouble my writing efforts to live up to your lofty standards. 🙂

  67. All I can say is…wow. This movie debuted 5 years ago and the discussion continues about it on what seems so controversial for something that really is ‘just a movie’. Personally, I loved the movie (and so did my husband, who, actually was the one who recommended that I see it – he was watching it on cable one day). I’ve hesitated in commenting, but then I said, “I just gotta bring this up.” So here goes.

    At first, I read all about Lon, Lon, Lon from many of the comments on this post. However, I felt for Martha, even if she was portrayed as a ‘mouse’. I would dub her a just a ‘bed buddie’ (probably a raw term, but it sums it up). I can’t believe I’m taking this all to this level and adding a comment such as tis, but I often thought Martha might have had a better appreciation for Lon. And vice versa. If Allie and Noah can make it work, who said it couldn’t for Martha and Lon? If it didn’t work between the two of them, then Martha just became another ‘bed buddie’ to Lon. (I’m chuckling right now, because this really is crazy to comment like this and I’m talking about a FICTIONAL character like she’s a love pawn).

    My apologies to the author for myself bringing on another strange comment. I mean, this must seem crazy to you that SO many people continue on and on and here I go, adding another ‘what if’ twist to what is supposed to be ‘just’ a movie. Oh well. Who said romance was simple (or being the author of an article – wink wink)? Since Lon and Martha weren’t so lucky with their partners, why not hook them up, just to see what happens? (giggles)

    Otherwise, well, to the world, this is a movie. Either you love it, hate it, relate to it, or just choked on your popcorn watching it, but the movie has touched alot of people in different ways. Sorta the way love does too.

    Have a great day!

  68. I had heard SO much about this movie when it first came out. EVERYBODY cried in the end! I was so excited to see it when I first rented it, but I have to say I was very disappointed. I just didn’t find it romantic.

    I DO believe that true love can blossom in the span of one summer. However after 7-14 years of no contact, I certainly don’t. Even if he did try to write to her. And she knew his address, why couldn’t she write him letters? I don’t care if her parents were keeping an eye on it, it’s not that hard to sneak a letter out. I have a feeling that if Noah had recieved letters from Allie, he would have figured out that she wasn’t recieving hers and gone to see her right away. That would have been much more romantic, I think.

    And just a note to all those people who have had these amazing romantic relationships, it just makes me think of that line from the romcom He’s Just Not That Into You: “You’re not the rule [for relationships], you’re the exception.” Most relationships are much more mundane.

  69. Rene,

    I completely understand your point of view (and at a different point in my life I might have given you a hearty “hear, hear!”) but I find it curious for you to deny that you view this story (and others like it) personally.

    I don’t mean “personally” in the sense that you take Lon’s situation to heart and are taking your feelings out on the movie. What I mean is personally as it relates to the premise of your review. It is a lament of the effect that such stories have on the average woman’s perception of what love is and why it is or isn’t important. On the whole, this may well be a valid criticism.

    However, your own life experiences no doubt tell you that the idea on which this story is based – that true love which can last a lifetime does exist (albeit rarely) – is a mere fantasy and to perpetuate it is unrealistic and even foolish. This perspective is very personal.

    But then so is the opinion of those others who have testified here on this thread as to believing in this idea because of what they themselves have discovered through their own life experiences.

    My own thoughts are that the film doesn’t quite do justice to the book as written by Nicholas Sparks. But the bottom line is that this story either speaks to you personally or it doesn’t. Whether you love it, hate it or are indifferent to it is certainly up to the individual.

    But, speaking as a Noah who has found his Allie, you should consider the possibility (no matter how unlikely) that one day your perspective on this film (or even this whole genre) might be subject to change.

    I sincerely hope you have that opportunity.

    Cheers.

  70. @Gary:

    I appreciate your well-written and well-thought response. I think you’re referring to my reply to Nanette, about her taking my analysis personally. By that I meant that she seems to have been personally insulted by article, which is a reaction I can’t understand. I think it goes without saying that a person’s opinion is based on observable data and is therefore unique to that individual. I do believe, however, that my “personal” view is more consistent with the average person’s personal experiences and also more consistent with reality than are the personal experiences of those who applaud Allie’s behavior.

    Thank you for reading and I hope you read again.

  71. Rene –

    I think there are two relevant issues here. The first is the definition of “real” love and the second is what justifies the choice that Allie made in “The Notebook”.

    On the one hand there is the love as you describe: “Love — real love — is loving someone when it’s hard, when they don’t deserve it, when they’ve hurt you in the worst way.” When you stop to think about it, love in that sense can just as easily be pretty dysfunctional. It’s awfully hard to love someone who repeatedly cheats or is abusive but you might still love them. Whether or not you deserve it can be true or imagined. And at what point do you walk away from someone who continues to hurt you in “the worst way”?

    However, I infer what you meant was that love – real love – is hard work. And it requires hard choices. This is very true. Human beings have free will and must make choices, which almost always prove difficult in some way or another. And we must deal with the consequences of those choices (though some people are prone to avoid this at all costs).

    In the story, Allie made a choice. It wasn’t necessarily as easy as you might think. Clearly she struggles with the choice (though is more developed in the book). Lon, actually, was the safe choice and, by your assertion, the more sensible one. But by choosing Noah she made real sacrifices, including the security of a stable, financially solvent marriage with a loyal and loving husband.

    Had she chosen Lon Allie would have made a different sacrifice, which is she would have left behind a kind of love that transcends the above definition. The love she had with Lon is one that is “real” to the point of almost being tangible. The love she shared with Noah, however, is one she felt much more deeply. And here, I think, is the difference. There are so many different kinds of love in this world. The one that proves most elusive is the kind that you can’t qualify in the terms you use. It’s one that you can only feel and that feeling is inexplicable. It would be like describing a bluebird to a person who was born blind. To the blind person, the inability to see the bluebird does not allow him to accept that not all birds look the same. His definition of a bird – a “real” bird – is consistent with his perception of reality.

    So a definition of “real love” or the reality of love is subjective. The fact that a majority of people are unable to perceive love beyond their experiences (and observations) doesn’t mean that the kind of love that Allie and Noah share doesn’t exist.

    But as I have said, this kind of love is rare. So what justifies pursuing it? Put another way, what justifies our “applauding” it?

    In the movie “The Princess Bride”, even Miracle Max admits there is nothing more special than true love (except a nice mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich where the mutton is nice and lean). But the true love that Wesley feels for Princess Buttercup in that story can easily be disregarded as an unrealistic fantasy. There are no chocolate-covered miracle pills or “machines” that suck the life out of you (though PC’s often do a good job of that).

    In “The Notebook”, Allie chooses what she feels – what she knows in her heart – is true love. And by any definition the life she and Noah shared for the ensuing fifty years easily qualifies as true love. (No need to remind me that this is a work of fiction). So, she hurts Lon. She hurts her family. And she may have thrown away a perfectly wonderful life with a man who loved her. But in doing so she found a happiness that in the “average person’s personal experiences” is unheard of and inconsistent with reality (as they know it).

    She chose something that wasn’t “average”, but rather something exceptional. I would argue that finding – and holding onto – something that special is very hard, what most people probably don’t deserve and stays true even when that person hurts you in the worst way.

    Life is risk. And taking risks to find your bliss is a worthwhile venture. For how is a life fulfilled if one always plays it safe and conforms to what others insist is reality?

    There are many people who have found this special love that is so celebrated in the RomComs and RomDrams and romance novels of the world. And I’ll be the first person to admit that it is almost impossible to find. But the fact that it is possible justifies the desire to try and find it.

    It’s one thing to try and convince ourselves that we have found true love when, in fact, we have not. And in that sense “The Notebook” may very well have an unhealthy affect on a person’s perception of love. But then, that person probably has bigger issues to begin with. It would be a shame, however, to remove forever all literature or film that inspires us to recognize how important and powerful love is.

    Reasonable people can disagree and you can take exception to Allie’s decision because that decision isn’t right for everyone. It probably shouldn’t be. But it was right for her. And those of us who accept this and perhaps even applaud it (though we may be a frightfully small minority) understand why.

    By the way, I congratulate you for writing something that has prompted continued debate for nineteen months. That is almost as rare as true love.

    May in continue.

  72. @Gary:

    I think we’ve reached the impasse that is enjoyed by atheists and believers arguing over the existence of God. You know my mind and I know yours so I’ll let the horse rest in peace and simply state that I enjoyed your reply and that you are one of the more articulate people I’ve met on the Internet — though I suspect you already know this. 😉

    Congratulations on your relationship. I will continue to stare incredulously from afar.

  73. Rene –

    Just as a coda to this discussion, I wanted to share a link to a real life story that almost seems to be pulled from a Nicholas Sparks novel: http://www.yankeemagazine.com/issues/2009-05/features/wedding-story

    This difference here is that I, as I’m sure you will, find this story a little appalling. What you have is a couple who fell in love when they were young but separated, not because they were torn apart by forces of events beyond their control but rather because of their own personal decisions.

    They each married other people and later divorced. Though the article makes the failure of each of the marriages seem suspiciously as though they are both the victims in these situations there are two sides to ever story.

    Now, having “found” each other twenty-five years later (the article even references a “message in a bottle” type entry the woman made on a social networking website) they married last year and are living happily ever after.

    Not knowing these people, it’s not my place to judge their lives but what I take exception to is how this story is presented. And it’s here that I think your post above is particularly relevant. Obviously Yankee Magazine has an interest to sell its publication and jumped at the chance to present a human interest story that many of its readers would just eat up. And the money shot here is the long-lost loves reunited in everlasting happiness and harmony.

    But what is painfully ignored is the fact that the children produced by these people will read this article (how can they not?) and feel that their lives are nothing more than a by-product of a cruel twist of fate that tore asunder the hearts of one of their parents, “forcing” them to lead unhappy lives while their soul mate remained elusively out of reach.

    It might have put a damper on the story if they had included some quotes from their children, even to say that they were at least happy for mom or dad since the first marriages didn’t work out, but it would have been more honest.

    In this way, the editors at Yankee do the subjects of the story and its readers a disservice. It’s as if they’re saying forget the broken lives left behind don’t these kids look adorable together? Awwww.

    I have no doubt that you won’t see all that much of a difference between this true life tale and the fictitious account of Noah and Allie but I wanted to illustrate to you that I do take individual circumstances into account when I encounter “rom-dram” stories.

    Thank you for your indulgence.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  74. Rene,
    I´m really impressed how a movie critic became a debate about love. Which proves me that nobody knows the true answer.
    I think I have identify two tendencies. One ( I think the mayority), search for the person who is better for them (richier, kinder, good-looking…), that´s good, but if you can became very cinical and you can never feel that kind of magic that invades you when you are completely in love (you know,the butterflies in your stomach, and all that stuff). The other part is the people who think in true love, but it could be dangerous too because all this things that you say about the people who changes is true, and there are people who tolerates a lot of things in name of love.
    Maybe the answer is something individual, and love is a lot more complicated than a movie.
    I think that you are very funny, you article and some of the anwsers are proof of that, but I´m with the people who believes that your article is in some form personal, maybe some lighter tone?
    And I´m sorry if there are many mistakes, english is not my first language.

  75. I may be beating a dead horse at this point, but I have to respectfully disagree with your article. Don’t get me wrong, I mostly disliked “The Notebook,” mainly because it was predictable, LONG, and overwritten. Still, it was effective and not complete trash…so that is why I will attempt to express my point of view. I don’t expect to change yours, but maybe give a little more insight.

    What we have in this movie are three genuinely GOOD people. Noah, Allie, and Lon are all lovely characters. They have their flaws, but I don’t consider those flaws to be particularly damning. I don’t think we are meant to dislike any of them, and there really is no villain in this story other than dementia, it seems. So I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion that we are laughing at Lon’s bad luck with Allie, or thinking Allie is a hero for unitentionally misleading Lon. Maybe some people feel that way, but I don’t. Like I said, these are good characters with flaws and unfortunately Lon got dealt the shitty hand here.

    I understand that you’re not quite onboard with the whole love-at-first-sight notion, but there are many people who are…and judging from this movie I think we have to assume that Noah and Allie are as well (maybe even Lon). So it doesn’t matter if you personally don’t buy their romance, or if I don’t. Maybe you and I are not people who can fall in love so quickly, but the characters here do…and that’s the end of it. You and I can criticize and discredit their silly, teenage whims, but they wholeheartedly believe their love was (and is) REAL. So we have to respect that, I think. This movie is carried by that fact and no matter what our experience with love is, these characters feel differently. If every character in a book, movie, or play felt the same way…well, you can see where I’m going with that. So suspend your own belief for a while and appreciate how these two feel about each other!

    When these two had to part, they both tried to move on. They tried to tell themselves it was nothing but a summer fling, but couldn’t quite shake those feelings. On the surface, Allie seems to cope better than Noah. She lives her life and falls in love, and yes, I think she DOES fall in love with Lon. But that doesn’t mean she stopped loving Noah. Noah would always be a wound in her heart and she hid that from Lon because she was trying to move on, and why unnecessarily hurt him? She didn’t plan to ever see Noah again.

    Allie’s intentions when she goes to see Noah are, I think, pure. She may realize it’s a dangerous situation for her relationship with Lon in that she will be tempted by her old flame, but she doesn’t plan on banging Noah as soon as she gets there. She just wants closure. She even hopes that Noah has moved on so that SHE can, which is why she asks him if he’s “okay.” But it’s clear that he’s not, and she’s not…so shit happens! Ha.

    And then the big choice. Honestly, I would have been fine with her picking either of them. The movie sets you up to want her to be with Noah, but they obviously don’t intend to paint Lon as the bad guy. This is clear in his speech about still wanting Allie in spite of everything. That’s what makes it such a difficult choice for Allie. SHE LOVES THEM BOTH. And she KNOWS (she even TELLS him this!) that all reason says she should choose Lon. But she wants Noah, and that’s that. She just loves him more. It may not be rational, and it may not be the best choice, but Allie is a human with flaws and a big heart. If Noah makes her happy, then she should be happy. I feel badly for Lon, and I’m positive Allie does as well. But that’s how it goes. All is fair in love and war.

    The issue with Allie’s painting has come up a few times, and I think you are taking that crucial bit of information at face value, not for what it really is. When Allie first spoke to Noah, they talked about doing things YOU want and how it’s different from things you do because of what OTHERS want. Allie had a myriad of things she did for others, but one she did for herself – painting. After losing Noah, Allie lost the one happiness she ever had. She was living entirely for others and wasn’t truly happy (thus, no painting)…even if she thought she was. Seeing Noah’s photograph brought it all back to her…and she went out and found her happiness once again.

    Sometimes the things that make you happy have nothing to do with good looks, money, and security. And sometimes you may not agree with what other people, fictional or otherwise, choose.

  76. @Nicole:

    Thank you for your long and well-thought out response. First, I’d just like to make sure we’re having the same discussion before I launch into my rebuttal. My issue with The Notebook is not so much with the story itself, but rather its effect on society — primarily the female dating population. I think that The Notebook effectively tells women that despite having spent years building a relationship with someone they purportedly love — and are willing to marry, no less — it is morally and practically OK to throw that all away for another man whom they’ve known for only 3 months. I’ll go one step further and say that The Notebook suggests it’s OK to throw a marriage away for a stranger since the 3 months of experience was 7 or 14 years ago when the characters in question were different people. It is doubly horrifying to know that the rationale for doing so is: “Shit happens.”

    I agree that some things that make people are not related to good looks, money or security, but in this case, the person you marry is tied to all three so discussing anything else is irrelevant. Furthermore, good looks, money and security brings happiness to everyone. It logically follows then that a person should marry the one that looks the best, has the most money and provides the greatest security. This is, of course, not a hard and fast rule. In practicality, a person should marry the person who provides as much good looks, money, security, etc. as is adequate. While one can argue that the latter is how Allie made her decision, I don’t think that The Notebook film portrayed her as doing so. Instead, it seems pretty clear that she based her decision on passion, not on any clear understanding of what life would be like with Noah. How had the war affected him? Does he keep unsavory company? What does he do for a living? Does he owe anyone money? Is he messy? Does he snore when he sleeps? Does he forget to put the cap back on the toothpaste tube? Is cruel and unfair during arguments? Who knows? Allie certainly didn’t. These questions and more are important to have answered when choosing a life partner.

    At the end of the day, I don’t really think that romcoms and romdrams should be guides on how people date. I think they should just be stories that people enjoy as fiction. On the other hand, it’s getting harder to ignore the deleterious effects of these movies when I keep getting hits for searches like, “How can I have a love like the Notebook”.

    As a final thought, Allie may not have gone to see Noah with the intent of sleeping with him, but she could have at least felt a little remorse for having cheated on Lon instead of grinning and climbing back on Noah for a second round.

  77. I can’t help chuckle to myself at the thought of uncovering some 19th-century editorial published in The [London] Times titled “The Bronte Sisters Are Ruining Our Love Lives.”

  78. Love is not a business deal. Lon was the “perfect guy,” but he wasn’t the perfect guy for Allie; Noah was. In business, Lon would have been a great investment. But in love, he just wasn’t the right fit.

    Yes, Allie accepted Lon’s proposal. Yes, she said that she loved him. And she did love him. But she loved Noah in a way that she could love no one else.

    If Allie had stayed with Lon, she would have been unfair to not only herself, but to him as well. She couldn’t be with Lon knowing that who she really wanted to be with was Noah.

    The beauty of love is that in the end, how you feel about the person you’re with is what truly matters. How much money they have or what background they come from has nothing to do with it.

    Love is not logical or formulaic. Decisions about love can’t be made with a “pros/cons” list. Some people may consider love selfish because people choose how they feel personally instead of considering the thoughts of the people around them. But why would you want to spend the rest of your life with some you’re not truly happy with? Like Noah said, when it comes to love, don’t worry about what others think, but how you feel.

  79. Just read some of the comments, which were actually not too bad considering the syrupiness of the topic. But I can’t take time to read them all, so for the good of all I make my contribution.
    I have known people who believe in love as an actual force, and those who believe it is just passion, doomed to die out. (Of course I do not speak of love for one’s children or parents.) What struck me was when i went to my college 40th reunion — folks were about 61 or 62. At the cocktail party I attended there were a few dozen couples who seemed to be married to their original wives (all male class). They seemed to be in a bit of a happy daze or fog. In other words, very content with their lives. Of course, unhappy people may not go as much to reunions, but the point stands: those who decided that they love their wives and they would always be together are probably happier pound for pound, and per capita. than the cynics. Or is it that they stuck with their wives because they’re happy in the first place? Me, I like love affairs. but that’s just me.

  80. I stumbled across The Notebook on vacation. The movie certainly packs an emotional punch. The director has followed the well trodden path of telling the viewers that true love justifies cheating in relationships.
    The conflict between romantic love and cultural values is a classic conflict in in the human condition so I don’t fault the director for lack of originality. For me, the problem is that the director strongly advocates the romantic love theme and downplays the emotional costs, psychological costs.
    I strongly agree with that Rene that persuasion by drama damages societies with confusions about values and poor role models. Yes, Casablanca model is an enduring classic because it represents better values.

  81. wow! I just watched the movie & searching the net, i stumbled across here.So,many different ideas,opinions,experience….regarding so many things…
    One of the key concepts of the movie that i have a problem with is the idea of “true love” or rather “true love comes once in life”.
    I believe Allie was in love with both Noah AND Lon. Many people would disagree that she was “actually” in love with Lon, but she said herself that both of them bring out different parts in her…(love brings out the hidden sides of you).
    I personally dont like her relationship with Noah,as practically thinking,both of them were different & argued about different things & when things got worse they just made out!!(During the summer time,they were afraid to have sex & would kiss each other maddly between an argument,kissing is not bad,but,escaping your problems using kissing\the body…its….)Well, wild,crazy sex is a good way to patch up things…but,when your body declines with age,what will you hang on to for solving problems…
    Lon seemed more mature in this respect,solving things with Allie with a cool head instead of the hot body.Also Lon was able to ‘appreciate’ Allie better.By,appreciate i mean, he could make jokes & remarks that Allie would understand(both being in the same social class).
    One thing is that,Allie was in a standstill or got stuck in a stage,as her relationship with Noah wasnt over.If she & Noah broke up clearly & walk away from each other, that would mean the end of the relationship.Allie held into the relationship & later when she knew about the Noah,she went to him & lived happily ever after.
    BUT, if Allie still loved Noah, why did she go out with Lon.If she was unsure about her & Noah,why did she not go & pursue Noah,BEFORE she went out with Lon.Why did Noah not go after her instead of writing letters for a damn whole year?(actually,thats, because,it would make the film more romantic..)
    Actually,I have no problem with Noah & Lon.Both,of them gave Allie freedom of choice.Its Allie i have a problem with…she is a sex-crazy girl.When there was no Noah,she got Lon & when she saw Noah,she remembered the old “wild time” she had with Noah & went to him and there was …sex! OK. sex is important no doubt, but solving your problems with sex….no comment…
    Noah was her real love & Lon was not.thats why she was ‘meant’ to be together,…well,thats just bullshit(excuse the language).What is REAL love,huh?Love is Love.Noah was her “1st love”, Lon was the 2nd.Both,were her ‘real’ loves.Lon was the more practical one form my viewpoint,NOT because he had money,but because he was able to understand her more.BOTH were willing to do anything from her.But,I guess for Allie…Noah gave the much wilder sex!
    **PLEASE,DO NOT GET OFFENDED THESE ARE ONLY MY OPINIONS & THEY MAY BE WRONG(Or maybe not!)**

  82. Tushar,

    Not for nothing, but if you look at the story in the context of the resulting fifty-year marriage and the love and dedication they had for each other it’s pretty clear that this relationship was based on much more than just “wild times” and “crazy sex”.

    Personally, I think a lot of critics are missing that point. Would Ally and Lon have stayed together for fifty years? Probably. Would they have felt the same about each other after fifty years? This is uncertain. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt but considering the current divorce rate and the surveys that indicate a high dissatisfaction of people with their marriages this can hardly be considered a given.

    I’d also like to weigh in with my own two cents about one thing: as you get older your perspective about many things is almost guaranteed to change.

  83. @Gary- Well, this is fiction.They lived happily ever after because the writer wrote it that way…im talking about what would happen if these fictional characters & choices were real….!
    And i agree, Her life with Lon & her life would Noah, who could tell which would be better?(if all of them were actual people).But, i would vote for Lon & thats all….

  84. Yes, it was fiction. But the story was inspired by his wife’s grandparents. No, they didn’t have the tumult that Noah and Allie did in their earlier life but they did live “happily ever after” and this happens more often than you’d think.

    And who’s to say that after he loses Allie that Lon doesn’t find his “happily ever after” with someone else? It’s a bit of a stretch to accept the idea that Allie was Lon’s one chance at true happiness.

    I guess that the bottom line is that love is messy and people make horrible decisions in that arena every minute of the day. Literature is full of stories (admitedly written to appeal more to the fairer sex) but I think the idea that books and movies like “The Notebook” are serving as impediments to successful relationships is comparable to the rationale that led to warning labels for explicit lyrics on CDs.

  85. Totalmente de acuerdo!.
    Es JUSTO lo que pensaba cuando vi The Notebook.
    Me parecio totalmente injusta la pelicula y que queria mostrar “true love” como “de verdad es”…
    pero enrealidad es malisima.
    No se merece el 8.0 que tiene en IMDb.com
    se merece un… 6.5… por ahi.
    CASABLANCA! eso si que es una pelicula.
    pero bue!
    el mundo superficial en el que vivimos hoy!
    hace que hasta aquello que pensabas que NO era superficial (true love) se convierta en superficial.
    y las chicas estan locas por eso.

    la verdad que sali del cine defraudado.

    y totalmente desconfiado de mi novia.

    gracias
    agus

    Google Translation:

    Totally agree!.
    Just what I thought when I saw The Notebook.
    It seemed totally unfair to the movie and wanted to show “true love” as “truth” …
    but enrealidad is horrible.
    It deserves the 8.0 that has IMDb.com deserves … 6.5 … por ahi.
    CASABLANCA! So if it’s a movie.
    pero bue!
    the superficial world we live in today!
    what makes even thought it was not superficial (true love) to become superficial.
    and the girls are mad about that.

    the truth that left the theater disappointed.

    and totally distrustful of my girlfriend.

    thanks
    agus

  86. Wow!! Its amazing how people think about different things… Well done to Rene Garcia for writing this and getting so many people involved in this discussion about love 🙂

    @Gary
    I totally agree with u… We need to remember that this is a work of fiction… people are open to having their own opinions, but if somebody identifies with it and feels that true love as portrayed in the movie is real that only goes on to prove that yes, even though it is fiction, it can still happen in day to day life

    @Tushar
    Allie is not a sex-crazy girl… maybe u haven’t been in love… if u did, u would know that physical intimacy and passion is part of love… And yes, true love is what Allie and Noah have, way into the older years when she cannot even remember him some days… I am not dissing people who like Lon, its just that we wouldn’t know what might’ve been… so from the story perspective, I totally feel that this is true love…

  87. By the way, for anyone who has read or is interested in reading the book “The Notebook” I highly recommend Spark’s “follow-up” novel called “The Wedding”. It focuses on one of Noah’s daughters and her husband who are going through a rocky time in their 30-year marriage.

    It’s told from the point of view of the son-in-law who is inspired by Noah and Allie’s love and goes to great lengths to renew his own relationship. It’s a beautiful story and further explores what is really the driving theme of “The Notebook” – true, lasting love.

  88. First off, I’m not a nice man. Far from it. Despite being married 13 years, I’m still dark, mean, to pretty much everyone except my wife, daughter, parents and my (few) friends.

    I saw Notebook this week, pretty much at the worst possible time, with my wife, and my (male) friend who is now getting a divorce from a wife that repeatedly cheated on him.

    I have no problem admitting that I had tears of rage on seeing the movie, that became tears of sadness for my best friend. Talk about the movie became, obviously, talk about his divorce.

    Apparently, his wife has been cheating on him with the same man she cheated on her first husband with. Being the slime I am, I got evidence, could have taken her to the cleaners, was willing to testify, as did my wife. My friend, of course, did the time honoured “I just want to get on with my life.” I would not be so kind.

    This sets the stage to the mindset I had when I saw the movie (that was on my wife’s list, we each have a movie list, long story, but we go back and forth, picking one). No clue what it was about. Talk about bad timing.

    So, for me, the question to all is…

    If love is irrational, gotta to look only at what you want, etc… is there a limit to the collateral damage? Because, as per the OP (seems to be) stating (seems, I’m ESL), the movie is doing a nudge nudge wink wink love >>> all.

    Would it matter to you if Allie (or anyone really) had been married? What about married for 10+ years? Kids? Or, if love strikes, damn be all, and I have to have love for myself, all others be damned?

    If it’s the latter, here’s one thing to consider… If people are being taught that, no matter how many other people object, you will do what you want, sucks to be them… Be aware, that the consequence to that, might be that some guy like me, might do what is objectionable to YOU. I’ll cross YOUR lines. I’ll do what YOU consider horrible. And I don’t mean using an axe. There are plenty of ways to ruin someone, and that they can’t touch you legally.

    Case in point, my friend’s soon to be ex-wife’s family, thinks she has done nothing wrong, the relationship ends, sun sets and rises on her. I could e-mail / send / etc… every physical evidence to her family, extended family, job, friends, etc… Let alone anything she has ever done that is wrong / illegal.

    Do I have any right to do that? No. Does that stop you on your planet? Welcome to Earth, where things like that don’t matter.

    Lon could SO have gone postal. Heck he even said “Option 1 = I could shoot him…” Would he? Of course not. Will I? Same thing, nope. Why? Because I value my friendship with my friend, more that the satisfaction I would get from lowering the boom. But Lon could have, and, in my view, should have. You read about it every day. And I’m just talking about buying out the Land / Resources etc… around Noah, putting financial pressures, ruining the man’s finances. Would it break Noah and Allie up? Of course not. But don’t underestimate humanity’s ability for pettiness, let alone evil.

    My overall point? I think the film glamorizes “love no matter what”, and, I wish the consequence of love, in a movie, was more on par with reality, where one can lose house, business, kids, due to the word “Adultery” on a paper.

    And, for the “It’s a movie dude” only crowd, sure it is. But then, ENGAGE ME in the characters. Make them wear white hats, and black hats, and not bring up something as charged as cheating and abandonment in a love story. Because for many, including me, that one scene, ONE SCENE, of Allie cheating on Lon broke the love story. Had she gone back, and broke it off, THEN slept with Noah, I could have swallowed the bitter pill.

    Cliff Notes = Lon should have shot Noah, as he actually said in the movie. But that’s just me.

  89. Really,I don’t get it..How can you say that a 17 year old knows nothing about love..?I mean,she fell in love with Noah,how hard is that for a 17-year-old girl?She could even love him more than people love at 30,40 and so,it doesn’t matter if she was 17,he was her first love,and as Lon said,it isn’t easy to forget your first love.
    As about Lon,he actually didn’t know much about Allie,like the painting thing.He just fell for her,but he didn’t make her feel free,as Noah did..Noah tried to make Allie,before they even get together,to do what she wants,not what others want,he wanted her to be free.Instead Lon,even when he was proposing,he was saying stuff about her parents,and that they would be pleased..Even a joke,it sucked.

    Never mind that she told Lon that she loved him.
    -You can love many people,but not in the same way,she loved him,but maybe mostly as a person.Noah was her soulmate.

    Never mind that she agreed to marry him.
    -She agreed,but many people get married,mostly to please someone else.
    Never mind the entire life she’s built with him.
    -When did she build an entire life?That wasn’t at all on the film.Actually we see them just dancing and having fun,is this the whole life?
    Allie found “true love” and that’s all that matters.
    -Yes
    Everything else be damned!
    -Yes,because when u find your true love,and u are with him/her,this is what fills you up as a person,and that’s what everybody’s looking for,something to completely fill us.Allie found Noah,Noah found Allie,and everything else should be damned since they were inlove.
    And as about saying that true love doesn’t blossom in a summer..guess who was with Allie when she was sick.No one else,but Noah,and not because of money or something else,but from true love.
    The film was amazing,that’s what I can say.Amazing to show us,that love can blossom anywhere,anytime,with someone not expected,and last forever.

  90. It’s not only women, men too.. see what Noah did to his girlfriend? (I can’t recall her name)..

    All people are the same..

    I said LOVE is BULLSH**..
    If we solely “believe” it and don’t care about everything else, we can hardly stay with one person forever, keep changing partners; break ups, divorces..

    I said we have to keep OUR WORDS: commitment, if we want to stay “forever” with one person like in fairytale..

    Love could be flowers,
    Once we pick it, we may stay with it FOREVER if we TAKE CARE of it.. don’t let it die.. plant the seed and let it grow pretty..
    BOTH working together for it.. otherwise, it is just “trash”..
    Never give up even after the storm struck us..

    Close eyes; don’t look at other beautiful flowers..

    Happiness is not falling from heaven, we create it..
    So stop making EXCUSES based on love, not happy ’cause “no more love”, or other “reasons”..

    Well, we are human after all..

  91. Well I am sorry for Lon and all that. Obviously to referring to those guys who are his “real life” equivalents. Me an my girlfriend wathced this movie and I had to say it meant something. I won’t go into detail but this film does not portray a fairy tale world.

    At the end of the day that couple are together in death. They raised a family and Noah loves allie probably even more than when they first met. So for me I don’t care what Renee the critic has siad (allbeit that is his opinion to which I have no qualms)but she has picked the right guy. It was sad for Lon but we don’t hear of him writing 365 letters or fighting to hold on. There love for each other is real but Noah and allie represent true undying love. I believe that Allie and Lon would not have lasted. He was to work minded anyhow. Haha

  92. I have read many of the opinions on this blog – not all of course for there are far too many. However, I felt the need to post my own.
    I have noticed that many of the comments focus on how true love is not what it is cracked up to be. Rene (the author) mentioned several items in his article that I found to be quite sad and close minded. Of course, I agreed with him on several points as well, such as how Lon was a wonderful man, quite deserving of Allie’s love and that he truly loved her. Unfortunately, she was just not in the cards for him. He did the right thing – letting her go. Because she was not meant for him to have. No matter how much money he had or how great he may have treated her (except for the not understanding her true passion of painting), she was just not his. She belonged to someone else already.
    Sure, Allie and Noah were only 17 and only knew each other 3 months, but that doesn’t demean their love. Love takes many forms – parent to child, siblings, friendships, soul mates, etc – Allie and Noah just happened to discover that they were soul mates at an early age. And it doesn’t matter that Lon had security and a future – that doesn’t matter with a soul mate. And even though she gave him her word, would it have been better for her to stick with Lon but not really love him completely with her whole heart because she would always love Noah? If I were Lon, I wouldn’t want that.
    Once upon a time, I thought I was in love and married a man because, like Allie, I thought I loved him, his family was well bred, he had security, and everyone just expected it. Deep in my heart I felt strange, but I ignored it because I thought that was what I should do. Low and behold, two years later, the feeling I had been struggling to keep buried finally reached the surface and I realized I loved him, but as a brother, a true friend. He was not my soul mate, even though there was no other reason to deny him.
    I divorced him and ended up finding my soul mate a few months later. He had very little and my parents hated him, but we knew we were meant for each other. It is now 13 years later – we have 3 gorgeous children, have gone through hell and back through all of our lives’ trials and tribulations, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. True love is just that.
    And as for my ex, we have spoken and he healed over time. He just needs to find his own soul mate.
    To reference Parenthood, I would rather ride the roller coaster than go round and round on the carousel.

  93. I’ve read your article and am glad that i did.Youre right…the kind of love portrayed in the book is stupid ,irrational,beyond logic and mindless…But Garcia…that is the exact definition of love.I understand that there are some people like you who are cynics….who believe in smart love rather than true love..i know a few like you.And the fact that you people fear that your love’s gonna fly away seeing an old flame…But let me tell you a brutal truth about love Garcia..if your love flies off and never comes back it was never yours in the first place.Whether we admit it or not all our life we constantly keep searching for someone….we all are part of these searchs..but only some are lucky..Noah and Allie were meant to be..period…maybe then or some years later…and Lon…he loved Allie but down the years i think he’ll get his soulmate…coz Allie was never his…and he’ll fall in love again….not everyone is that lucky…lucky to feel love again…Now Garcia,isnt that what he deserved??…to be one of those luckiest people whose lives are touched by love,not once but twice??…In the end,my dear,true love finds you and once it does…there can never be anything more beautiful in your life……………..Because,my dear,that becomes your life…………Period.
    reply.

  94. A most important aspect of the Notebook story may not be understood by many, who look at it in a utilitarian aspect… almost an ethics debate

    Love is not an institution, it’s not engagement, marriage, the utility of a partner, the time together…

    Love is undefined… to all but those who share it …the word may be the same… but that is it.

    Now I don’t support Allie going behind her fiance’s back, and then sleeing w/ Noah…

    …but the “key” to the story is that Noah, the one who regretfully, but understandably gave up …never gave up… the “key” being how what they shared found a loophole in time… by Noah doing what he promised.. and Allie realizing her fiance didn’t see in her something elemental, free… so I don’t know if you’d call what he had for Allie ‘love’… as what he did was noble, sincere, but not special..

    ..but when Allie saw that Noah never gave up… no one else, not her fiance, would do that. No one but those two could understand how special that was… and like I said… love is beyond conventional defition… so in that… was the love.

  95. …just short comment on the comments… the character of Lon was good because there was nothing to dislike about him…

    but there was nothing redeeming about what they and only they shared… their social strata, and outside acceptance were key to there working out… it was in Lon’s proposal… they used what wasn’t them to bring them together, to define their relationship… they had no challenge whatsoever …accept one.

    Lon and Allie were guided along by the people and circumstances outside of them… not dispite it ..Her circle of friends, her family were not doing that out of the love they saw, but by convention and more of a ‘good catch’ mindset…

  96. Ok, I agree with most of the things you said. Allie cheated on Lon, who was a great man, but I don’t think that the “true love” part reffered to Allie’s love.

    I think it was all about Noah’s love for her. The romance is more in the fact that this man loved her so much that he stood by her side, even when she was old and had no clue who he was. He visited her every day, read to her their story daily, hoping she would remember him and their life together, even if he knew that she would forget everything 5 minute later. He lived for those 5 minute he could have with her every now and then.
    Remeber when their children told him to give up on her because she won’t remember them anyway? He said “no”, he can’t give up on her because “that’s my sweetheart in there” or something like that. That is true love and devotion.

  97. Not sure if this makes any difference to your article, but the Lon of the book does not put Allie first. She says he loves her “in his way” and that she hasn’t slept with him because she’s looking for “something as simple as not being second” to work for him.

    I’m only bringing this up because the author based his book on his grandparents’ own love story. I gather that the grandmother picked the man she felt sparks with and could always talk to over the guy with political aspirations who treated her like an accessory.

    I agree, James Marsden plays Lon so sympathetically that it’s hard to understand why Allie would choose anyone else. That said, most people understand that movie people leave fiance(e)s and husbands way too easily, for the sake of a dramatic weekend or summer with someone else, but that’s not how the majority of real people behave. At most, there’s an affair that peters out quickly.

    You made the point that if Noah were a drug addict, viewers would understand he was the wrong choice. I think you’re overestimating how much reality people expect from movies, though. We’re more than willing to suspend belief to watch Harrison Ford outrun boulders, buses jump bridges, and pretty people dramatically leave their intendeds for “true love.” If the path to true love were too smooth, no one would make a movie about it, and we wouldn’t get to watch.

  98. @Liz H:

    Thanks for reading and thanks for the lovely, well-thought out comment. I only take issue with the part about “reality vs. film”. I think what people enjoy in film also offers a little insight into their morality. It is doubtful that we will ever see a pedophile as a sympathetic hero. That’s because there is a universal disgust of pedophiles. No amount of willing suspension of disbelief is going to make that palatable. Conversely, while people abhor torturing others for vital information, viewers can still get behind a film protagonist torturing someone to find out where the bomb is hidden or where the bad guys have taken the hero’s daughter. That’s because, I think, viewers privately understand that if given the same extraordinary, unlikely, improbable situation they would do the same.

    That brings us to The Notebook (film version). Viewers are unwittingly placed at the crossroads and must decide if leaving your fiance for the guy you knew for three months when you were teenagers 7 – 14 years ago is as morally repulsive as a pedophilia or acceptable like torture in unlikely, extraordinary circumstances. Most women, it seems, opt for the latter, which is romantically frightening.

    Now that I’m revisiting this topic, I think perhaps I am being to hard on the film. I think that people — both men and women — just don’t have the wherewithal to stay in committed relationships any longer. Perhaps The Notebook is only a symptom of the disease and not the affliction itself.

  99. I agree fully with your Notebook post at the top of this string.

    Many plot lines imply that it’s okay, normal, and common leave Relationship A if Relationship B seems like it’s better.

    Even if the individual feels/knows that Relationship A is going well.

    Some don’t completely walk away; just briefly, for a fling or affair. Adventure at all costs.

    However, I have a question about the TV version of this movie. Yes, the guests at the nursing home are the adult children of Noah & Allie. Doesn’t one of the offspring say in protest, “Mom needs you”? Did I hear this correctly? Was this added to keep viewers in suspense? It implies a second mother resides elsewhere & deserves Noah’s attention. What, a step mom?

  100. @Eileen:

    Thanks for reading. I’m sorry, I don’t remember the dialog from that scene well enough. I can only imagine that it would be James Garner saying that line, explaining why he’s still staying. Perhaps another reader here can clarify.

  101. I lay this out there too …I didn’t read the novel, and this isn’t about the film, but what people respond too.. I mean I still see this film as a top rental netflix …it resonates something… If I had to pin-point a few of those things in the film that might “resonate” …the scene where Allie jumps onto Noah leaving work.. of Noah saying to Allie “what do YOU want?” …along

    That love is not selfish, it’s not altruistic, it’s not utilitarian… there are relationships and circumstances that are are those things and can be called “love”. But love is individual …as individual and simple as one’s signature, one’s favorite color, one’s spirit or soul you could say.

    I think the overall things that spoke to such a wide audience, was Noah never letting go, which means never letting go of not just Allie, but himself …and for Allie it was about who she really was.

  102. I think on a broad theme comparison… what kept Allie and Noah apart is similiar to what kept Ennis and Jack apart in Brokeback Mtn… if you take away the fairly-tale aspects of Notebook and look at the 2 stories in just 1’s and 0’s, the stories are fairly similiar…

    I think in these stories, the cheating, the definition of what is healthiest are paired with their more faithful and ‘healthier’ lives being their most compromised and unfree…

    And Allie choosing Noah is similiar to Ellen coming out of the closet… it was her.. it was free.

  103. I haven’t watched the movie or read the book yet. From the opinions above, well all that i can say is “It is better late than never, but it is always best to be early”.

  104. I get your point though, for me, it’s not really a matter of who is better and it’s not a matter of how long or how well you know a person. People who truly love each other spend their whole lives learning things about each other. Heck you live with your parents for half of your life and you still don’t know them :p

    Couples wait 5 or 10 years before getting married just to “make sure” then in the end still get divorce. Some get their second chances and find they’re still in love after getting divorce. Some people who knew each other one day end up together until they die.

    My point is, no one knows what life will turn out to be for them. In the end people will have to choose for themselves. And what they should choose is the one that will let them feel less regret. The one that will make you happy. You have to stop thinking about everyone else sometimes. You have to stop sacrificing your own happiness for other people’s comfort (it might be selfish and you will break their hearts but they will get through one way or the other, hurt is part of people’s lives). Sometimes you just pay attention to yourself and what will make you happy for the rest of your life, because you only have one of it.

    It’s not a point of choosing who’s the better guy. Lon was a good guy and so was Noah. I believe that Lon was not a victim. I don’t see it as a loss for Lon but a chance for him to seek out the real person that will make him happy and will reciprocate/deserve his feelings. I just see the good side of the things and imagined that if Allie tried to be with Lon even after knowing she still loves Noah, would it make her really happy?

    Guys don’t need to be possessive. They just have to deal with it like a man. Deal with the fact that they weren’t the one chosen and that doesn’t mean they fail in life. And if you’re comparing love with a good steak. I don’t know.. you’re missing out on the real sense of life and that’s just sad.

    And no, sorry. I’m not coming back to this site to view any replies to this post so don’t bother trying to humiliate a reader. Thank you.

  105. It’s freaking amazing that the conversation has lasted this long. Who knew it was such a hot issue!

    That being said, I think the comments are a little off topic. I think Dark One was on point with this summation:

    “My overall point? I think the film glamorizes “love no matter what”, and, I wish the consequence of love, in a movie, was more on par with reality, where one can lose house, business, kids, due to the word “Adultery” on a paper.”

    That’s the point of the article – that romantic comedies and dramas (like The Notebook) glamorize unrealistic situations like “love conquers all” and that life itself is not that simple.

  106. Mel – I know you said you weren’t going to check back, but in the off chance you do, I wanted to follow up this paragraph with a question:

    “Guys don’t need to be possessive. They just have to deal with it like a man. Deal with the fact that they weren’t the one chosen and that doesn’t mean they fail in life.”

    I wonder if you’d feel the same way if the situation was reversed and it was a female that was being left by a man who decided to reconcile with an ex he’d known for three months 14 years ago. And even further, if that female was you.

  107. I disagree with your argument, while it has valid points, you have seemed to overlook the fact that maybe Lon wasn’t right for Allie, yes he was sweet and caring, but she wanted someone spontaneous and fun. She also may have thought she loved him but not realized she really wasn’t.

  108. I didn’t read every comment, because frankly, I didnt have the time to read what these 100 people said. I did however read your argument and I am baffeled.

    You must be that guy that has the money to make a girl feel secure, you must have those good looks and manners, but obviously you don’t have that passion. You are Lon and you can’t stand it.

    What is so wrong with True Love winning in the end? It not just a nervousness a girl feels in a relationship, it’s that longing to struggle in their lives with someone. I don’t want financial stability, or that white pickett fence..I want to struggle to survive with someone who I can just talk to everyday and not worry about business who-ha. I want the life of Allie, and not just because of this movie- but because I want MY life, not one that is already in the process, like Lon’s. He will own his dad’s cotton business and his life will continue as planned, with or without Allie. and that sucks!

    The only problem I actually have with this movie, is that it doesn’t happen. Cause despite what I want, I will not marry that country boy and struggle to make a life of our own…It doesnt work that way. Cause your right, in the long run Smart Love does triumph…but just because everyone wants it to; our parents want it to, our friends want it to, and society wants it to. You don’t get what your heart wants in the long run, you get what is more secure…what is more reasonable.

    “It’s not about following your heart and it’s not about keeping your promises. It’s about security.” and that is the way it will always be. Period.
    I guess I contradict myself; because as much as the girl wants that country boy who she’s loved in her life, she won’t have that life if the “Lon” is presented to her..cause it does not make sense to choose that Life.. :/

  109. Only somebody who has experienced true love understands how naive the argument you make is.

    True love is smart love, and both has to do with the question Noah asks Allie…”what do you truly want?”

    The key to that question is not what this or that person wants. Somebody might want a polite Harvard Grad who can read them French poetry. Others might want a handyman who can spit and swear.

    The key is honesty. Love is smart when it’s honest. And when somebody is totally honest, what they say is true. Hence, smart love is quite literally true love.

    In the case of the notebook, if Ally truly wants to be with Noah, then it’s true love and yes everything else pales in comparison.

    And BTW, this movie is based on a true story of a couple who ended up married for 50 years. So the Love in the movie actually tried to portray might be a little more advanced than the adolescent passion.

  110. @guy:

    Hey there. Thanks for reading!

    I’ll try not to leave too lengthy of a reply here since I have a bad feeling that I’ll be reiterating statements I’ve already made in previous comments and that perhaps you misinterpreted my “naive” argument or that I didn’t convey my argument to your standards. So allow me to cram my argument into a nutshell to hopefully clear the air.

    Any film that advises women to take the less stable of two options of men is detrimental to modern day relationships.

    I don’t think that’s naive at all. I’ll go so far as to say that I think it’s naive NOT to consider stability when deciding on a life-partner/helpmate. Can couples still have lasting, fulfilling relationships without guaranteed stability? Of course! Can people win the state lottery? Of course! Is gambling away your savings on lottery tickets sound financial advice? No!

    “What do you truly want?” I’m with you there. I believe in truth. When women make horrible choices, like staying with wife beaters, cheaters, liars, players, alcoholics and worse, I truly believe THEY truly believe they want to be with these men. If this woman in question is my friend or my sister or my daughter should I not interfere because she is being true to herself and this is “true love” for her? I realize that this is an extreme example and The Notebook only tells women that if they gamble with their love lives they will be rewarded with something amazing, but honestly what is the probability of that happening? Relationships are hard enough without introducing unnecessary variables like finances and combative personalities.

    It’s easy to say that none of that matters, because if two people love each other enough they can get through anything. Now that’s a lovely idea, isn’t it?

    I believe there’s a word to describe people who think that way.

  111. Since I just got “dumped” because I wasn’t her “Notebook” love (her exact words) then I just have to say amen to your article.
    I have never watched this movie. Although I want to now. And to her credit, I was actually warned after 1 month of dating that she just wasn’t feeling the “Notebook” kind of love that she was hoping for. My response to her if I HAD seen the movie. “You don’t look like Rachel McAdams and so I am not really feeling it either.”
    But here’s the thing. If the spark isn’t there, then there is no need to continue dating. I agree with that. But I also think you are setting yourself up for a world of disappointment if you are expecting a romance straight out of Hollywood. Plus I am not going to write you 366 times with no response. But I will text you before I go to sleep at night if you want. 😉

  112. @Chris Chris:

    Reading about your situation makes me sad, brother. I had always suspected that these types of movies were bad for relationships, but your anecdote takes matters into the most extreme scenario I can think of. A friend of mine now makes it a point to ask a girl if she likes The Notebook when he’s on a first date.

  113. FYI, Chris Chris, I might be the only woman who has never seen The Notebook, and after reading your comment, I will make a point to never see it. Not because I’ll be influenced by it but because it’ll make me sick to think that people think that’s how love should be (and who have done what they did to you and other men). I understand if there’s no spark in the most general sense, but that’s something that can be sensed after a few dates, if not the first. People are lame.

    I had a guy text me 43 times yesterday. 43 texts, 2 picture messages. Obsessive. But the right text before bed? A likely thump-thump, thump-thump of my heart.

    All the best to you.

  114. I read through the article and a few of the comments and I see a lot of you feel sorry for Lon because he stuck by her even when she wronged him.

    However, you have to remember that the film is split and you see Allie and Noah as an older couple throughout the film. The viewer sees that Noah still loves Allie even when she doesn’t have a clue who he is. The viewer doesn’t know that Lon may have been there in the same way but they know that Noah still loves her after all these years even in the face of adversity. Therefore, the viewer believes that their love is true love since it has lasted so long and even when facing such issues is still their. That is why you want Allie to be selfish and pick Noah because who is to say that Lon wouldn’t have left her in the future? We know that Noah doesn’t. Therefore, to us, he is the right man for her.

    In my opinion, Lon is just a filling character. Simply placed in the film to emphasise the class difference and show that true love can be found with someone of a different class, even if you do have a great man of the same status as yourself.

    Women love the film because Noah has many great qualities. He is persistent, he keeps his promises, he doesn’t give up on her, he is honest with her and he truly loves her to the point that ‘she is [his] home’ regardless of what has happened.

    If you found that sort of love in real life I think that you have every right to be selfish. Lon may have loved her then but their love may not have necessarily lasted the same way that Allie’s and Noah’s did.

  115. Allie was selfish and cheated on Lon. Wrong. Lon didn’t know Allie well enough, he was just filling a role of a suitable wife to him. He didn’t even know what made Allie the happiest and the passion she had for painting(the one thing in life she did for herself.) Wrong. Noah used the widow for sex and didn’t give her love back. Wrong. The only people left to salvage anything in this movie was Allie and Noah. They both loved one another and never did anything wrong to each other. Lon and the widow each wanted to be loved by people who were emotionally unavailable and for no other reason for their own selfish needs to be loved. They weren’t able to fullfill something in the other person, because(supposedly) it could only be filled by Noah and Allie. It’s a story of soul mates, you are supposed to believe there’s only one other person who can truely fullfill you and get you, the missing puzzle piece.) I personally believe there are several people who can fill this role of a soulmate if you truely understand and care about the other person enough to let them be themselves and make themselves happy. You can’t depend on someone else in life to make you truely happy(this is called co-dependency.) If you are married to someone who doesn’t care about what makes you truely happy-you aren’t being loved and supported the way you should be. Lon didn’t understand the passion Allie had for painting, Noah did(He dedicated a room for her to paint). Noah would do anything for Allie, every girl wants a guy to know her well enough to know what makes her happy and care..Lon didn’t get it. Noah put years hard labor into making the house she wanted. Lon didn’t pay attention to what Allie really wanted, he was paying attention to what he wanted in Allie..that’s not love.

  116. they were true sweethearts….whoever wrote this is a desentizized jackass…you can definitely fall in love when your 17…and real love is what its all about…not marrying for money…she didnt love him…she always loved noah…you are a clueless pathetic idiot…. and who gives you the right to say when a woman reaches the flower of her age…jackass

  117. @evan:

    Hey there. Thanks for stopping by and reading. It’s obvious that you take The Notebook pretty seriously, desperately hoping a story like that exists in real life. (After all, that’s the search you used to get here, right?) So I don’t think it’s worth walking you through the article since it’s obvious that you’re impervious to discussion. Suffice to say that it’s unnecessary to call people names just because you don’t agree. Instead, try arguing your side — unless, of course, you can’t defend your position. Then, by all means, name call away!

    I am always impressed, however, that The Notebook apologists typically let Allie off scot-free when it comes to her agreeing to be married to Lon and cheating on him with Noah. I guess love trumps even morality.

  118. While I was watching this movie with my girlfriend, I figured out the whole story in the fisrts 15 minutes. Which in my opinion makes it a not well-written story. But that is not the subject in discussion.

    First of all, your opinion is different and brings a new perspective in the movie. Also, I like the way you analyse Lon and the other alternate characters. So congratulations, it’s original and open for debate.

    I identified with Lon. I cannot lie. Why? I’ve been in that position a few times. I was raised to be responsible, honest and a gentleman in general, not a man full of surprise and passion. I think there is more in life than love, being successful in your career and the ability to shine in society is important (after all we are social animals). Being said this, for me the characteristics of a life-lasting love relationship are global (security, honesty, and maturity). After all, you don’t want a wife or a husband who can’t do their part of the commitment. The things that you like in her are the things that spice up the relationship.

    I don’t beleive in first-sight love. I think it is a very naive way of seeing life. I think you can fall in love with ANYONE as long as you like their personality and accept their mistakes. There is no way someone is just made for you, because we are trapped in a certain space and a certain time. It’s like finding your favorite book, if you pardon my methaphore. You have a favorite one out of 100 and think there is no better book for you out there, when you suddenly realize there are a million others out there waiting for you to open them.

    This said, there is not a lot I liked about “the Notebook” and the messages it sends. It says “hey, you fall in love once, you lose, don’t bother meeting other people”. It also says “hey, you know what? Screw the people you love, like mother and fiance and go for your truuuu luv”. The only thing i applaud is the one that tells you to be loyal and remain to the side of the one you love, even in the worst time.

    Now as a side note, I wonder if the outcome of the story would have been better if the narrator was Lon and not Noah, showing the other facet of true love (knowing that people have a past and make mistakes, but after all love is there).

    Greetings from Mexico.

  119. Allie was fine in doing what she did because she wasnt married and especially not married with children! She really had no ties or responsibility to the guy. Life happens eh

  120. Looks like the author spends some time on Cracked.com. You do realize they had an article with the exact same premise an explanation like a week ago, right?

  121. @Travis:

    While I do read Cracked.com once in a while, I had no idea they wrote about the same thing. You said it was about a week ago? I see. So the article that is older must be the original and the newer article is the copy then? How old is my article, I wonder. Surely older than a week. I also wonder if you will now go to Cracked.com and post how they must frequent WorkingAuthor.com.

    Reading is cool.

  122. Personally, I completely disagree with your opinion.
    I think Ali made the right decision in marrying Noah and not Lon.

    I don’t believe in love at first sight. I think love is a deeper connection that only happens when you know someones bad qualities as well as their good and yet you still love them. I agree that in three months it’s unlikely you know if you are in love. But I do think after three months you know if the possibility is there for you to fall in love. Which is why I disagree with this point,
    “That’s why, at the end of the day, Allie’s parents were right in splitting them up.” I don’t think this is right. Allie’s parents weren’t splitting them up because they felt Noah was a bad person who could hurt their daughter. They were splitting them up because Noah was from a lower class and wasn’t the type of guy they imagined their daughter with. They split them up for selfish reasons.

    My heart does break for Lon in this film. He’s a good guy with a kind heart and it’s clear that he loves Allie. However, I don’t think this is reason enough for Allie to marry him. Surely, it’d be crueler for her to marry him and rob him of his chance to find what she has with Noah with someone else. I’m completely sure Lon would find someone who loves him as much as he loves them because he is truly a great guy. And this is what i want for Lon, not someone choosing him because he’s more stable than their other options.

    I don’t think it’s okay that she cheats. I think cheating is always wrong, no matter what circumstances it happens under. The right thing for Allie to do would to have been telling Lon the truth before she rekindled her relationship with Noah.

    What Allie had with Noah is more than what she had with Lon. I do think she loved Lon, I think she meant it when she told him she loved him and I don’t think she intentionally set out to hurt him. But when push came to shove she realized she loved Noah more and so being with him is a better choice rather than suffering through a marriage to somebody she has now realized she doesn’t love the most and lying all her life to somebody she cares about.

    ‘If you had to choose between “having love, but living day to day, wondering how you’ll pay the rent or if you’ll be able to feed the kids tonight” and “not finding love, but having stability” I hope you’ll pick option’ This point I also disagreed with. If i had a millionaire who was nice enough and a man I was in love even though he was struggling financially with to choose from I would choose the man I loved. It would be hard, we’d have to work all the time and we wouldn’t have nice things but I’d be happy. I’d be with the person I love and that would be fine. However, if I married the millionaire I might have nice things, a huge house and every material thing I could ask for but I wouldn’t be happy. I’d always wonder ‘what if?’ and materialistic things are no substitute for love.

    Personally, I think the Notebook was a lovely story with characters that are neither wholly good nor bad.
    I do think Allie made the right choice with Noah.

    However, I showed my friend this article and she agreed completely wholeheartedly with you. I think this may be one of the things where there is no middle ground. Also, even though I disagreed with the points made in the article I have to admit it was well written and even entertaining. And I’ve read through the comments and you’ve always been very nice to everyone even those who have personally attacked you. Bravo with your patience, I certainly couldn’t have done that.

  123. @Lisa:

    Thank you for reading and for your very thoughtful response. Since you’ve read all of my comments I don’t know if I have anything new to add here. At the end of the day, I think there actually is middle ground that we can all agree on. We all believe that a person should not be with someone that they don’t love. What we’re having trouble settling on, however, is when is too late to get out and what is a justifiable reason to get out? I think many who have posted here believe that it is never too late to get out for any reason. I personally don’t understand how people can make the distinction between engagement and marriage. For me, when two people agree to marry each other, they’re as good as married. The ceremony is just a formality. By that I mean that the two people are committed to each other.

    None of this is to say, however, that commitment doesn’t or shouldn’t end. Rather than going over the various scenarios I believe relationships should nurtured, let me just take the shortcut here and say that I don’t think relationships should end because one of the partners decided to look up an old flame from high school. I couldn’t even imagine how that would work in today’s day and age where we can instantly look up people we haven’t talked to in seven years on Facebook. I don’t know how relationships would survive if we, as a society, accepted that behavior.

    But look, I get it. Allie and Noah had this amazing love and life together. And it’s easy to say that she made the right decision because the movie tells us so. The same can’t be said about real life. People have no idea how a relationship is going to end up. The best we can do is gather information on the person we’re interested in (read: courtship) and make an educated guess. To me, that’s common sense. Movies like The Notebook essentially advise women not to follow common sense. Granted, it’s a movie. Characters make decisions based on the story the writer wanted to tell, not based on what is practical. I see it that way. Most men will probably see it that way. We accept it as fiction. What frightens me is the number of female readers who have commented favorably here about the film who arrived here by searching for “How can I have a love like in The Notebook?” (I just Googled that and this page is the second result.)

    Using my readership as a very limited sample, this film is not fiction for a lot of women. They are actively modeling their love lives after it. That is a recipe for disaster on almost every level. Women will never be happy in their relationships. Furthermore, men should want to aspire to be Lon — educated, trusting, forgiving, successful. Movies like The Notebook will make them want to be Noah, who is presented as being the big winner without having to do much. While some will argue that Lon probably didn’t have to do much for his success since it was probably handed to him via his family, the point is that most men don’t come from wealth, but if they aspire to be Lon, then they will find ways to improve their situation to enjoy his lifestyle.

    As for my saint-like patience with angry commenters, I try to remember that I am not perfect and that I, too, react out of emotion. The anonymity of the Internet allows ugly people to truly be themselves and that’s just a reality that I have to accept. I can’t control their behavior, but I can control mine. Getting angry or mirroring their ugliness only debases me, and I won’t stand for that.

    Once again, thank you for reading. I’m impressed that this conversation has continued as long as it has. I hope you’ll come back and read more, and bring friends. 🙂

  124. @René – I totally agree with your point. Most readers here just comment about true love and how true love is so magical. I don’t disagree. Its okay to fall madly, deeply, truly in love with someone and marry them. If Allie was indeed truly in love with Noah, she shouldn’t have agreed to marry Lon. She shattered Lon’s life. I am against Allie marrying Lon either because she doesn’t truly love Lon and life will be hell for both if they did marry. Allie shouldn’t have agreed to marry Lon or get into a relationship with him. This movie/book is telling people that its ok to ruin someone’s life for your “true love”. Its not. Everybody’s life is as valuable as yours. You have no right to mess it up.

    And wow..! Its been 4.5 years since you wrote this post and its still active…!

  125. There are 7 billion people on the planet, I don’t venture to guess how many people have lived in recorded history. Let’s just say that is a whole bunch of love stories. Love lost, love found, love denied, unrequited love, love in death, love in war, fleeting love, love not found, love triangles, love, love, love. We love love.
    Sparks could have ended the story any number of ways. She could choose Lon, chose Lon and he walks out, Noah could have married Martha….whatever. There are an infinite number of scenarios and in life there are also. All of of have loved and lost, or
    loved and triumphed, or not found love, or thought we were in love and were wrong, or a partner cheats, or dies…or again, whatever. The scenarios are endless. Noah deserved love just as much as Lon did and vice versa. Just like the scenarios are infinite thus are the thought and feelings that go into those feelings. Maybe in this case Allie needed someone different from her upbringing. Her father told a joke about being millionaires but married to whores, her mother was conniving, and manipulative….maybe Noah with his $.40/hr was refreshing. People survived on less the Noah had and maybe she was willing to take that chance knowing that he “got her”, he understood her. Okay, I agree it was a three month relationship, seven years ago….but those feeling (sometimes) don’t just vanish, sometimes they do. But, this is a story of those feelings not vanishing. This is the story of a love triumph over or against the odds. It isn’t about blame, it isn’t about right or wrong…that would be like saying it is wrong to like vanilla ice cream vs. strawberry. Allie had to pursue this for her own reasons, reasons we as readers/watchers may never know, maybe Noah was right and it was boredom, maybe she needed closure, maybe she needed to feel it again…..the fact is that another person would have chosen Lon, another person would never have looked back, another person might not remember Noah’s name….but this isn’t a story about another person, this is about a person who remembered her first love and went to find out if there was anything there. You want her to choose Lon…then you write that story. But, to say this scenario is far-fetched or unrealistic I whole heartedly disagree. Uncommon? Maybe! But lovely? yes! Possible? absolutely. I agree it is sad for Lon…he was a great guy. But, Allie took a chance…and her gamble paid off in spades….Good for her, and good for Noah!

  126. @Christina:

    For the most part, you are missing the point of my article. Nicholas Sparks can write whatever story he pleases. In the reality he’s created everything worked out for Noah and Allie, and her decision to dump Lon was the “right” decision for her. That’s all well and good, and I have no issue with however Sparks wants to tell a story.

    My point of contention is how this work of fiction is affecting real world love lives — that is, negatively. While hopefully you see this story as just that and not a way to live your real (love) life, there are a great many women who see this as a blueprint or at least as something to point to, to justify reckless behavior.

    I am heartened, however, that you agree with me in that Allie gambled away what she had with Lon. Though I am curious to know how you would react if you or someone you cared for was in Lon’s position. Would you find this scenario just as lovely if it was you or your son/daughter who was cheated on the day before his/her wedding day and then dumped?

  127. I understood your point. It is that point that I disagree with. I don’t believe this scenario of love is harming relationships. Okay, I will concede that many women come out saying “I wish I had LIKE that”…but I believe many women would say the same for the love Lon felt for Allie. I also believe that most reasonable people would not gamble away an established relationship with Lon, for the unlikely possibility that some summer heart throb would still after 7 years and no contact be a viable option. I doubt some summer fling way back whenever I had still remembers my name, let alone what color shutters I liked. IF there are actually real world scenarios where women are leaving their men in droves because “they wouldn’t build a house for them”, then my guess would be that that relationship was already broken. I admit we all live in a bit of a fantasy world, and for some it can be difficult to separate fiction from reality….I get that. But that is going to be true no matter what someone is watching. Take any love story and apply the same view. I remember when Pretty Woman came out and people were all upset that it glamorized prostitution. That wasn’t my take. If anything I thought it made the point that prostitution sucks…it is way cooler to be in a relationship with a dashing gazillionaire….I doubt women started throwing it all away and running out to be prostitutes in the hopes that Richard Gere would drive by in a Lotus to save them. I just think that this story of Allie and Noah is ONE of any number of scenarios that makes us feel good. We all wonder “what if….?”, We all need “closure” from time to time, We all act foolishly sometimes, and sometimes it pays off, and sometimes it doesn’t. Lon may have actually understood Allie better than we realize, even when he proposed he made reference to her lifelong rebellion against her parents. Maybe she didn’t really want the life her parents longed for her to have, maybe she understood how crass they were to tell jokes about being millionaires yet married to whores (her dad at lunch), maybe whatever…All we know is that Noah struck a chord in her, one she never forgot, and before she married Lon, she needed to have that “closure”. I don’t condone cheating, but she wasn’t married, she was engaged, and if there was a time to seek closure better now than after wedding, and she made no attempt to lie to Lon. I believe we have been in situations where it the prospect of hurting someone was torture.
    If Lon were my son or loved one: Well, of course, my reaction would be that bitch I can’t believe she left you for that Kook…You are better off without her. She isn’t good enough for you.
    By that same thought if Noah were my son or loved one, I would be thanking the heavens, and spouting off about true love, and how it was destiny, and how wonderful it is that he triumphed.
    And justifying reckless behavior…hmmmm, I am not sure how to respond to that. That is what we do as humans….we justify our behaviors, and I am not sure I can say this was reckless. Sure, I guess that anytime one gambles there is the prospect of loss. But to say it is reckless to seek resolution to something that plagues you I think is a misnomer. Reckless would be to marry the guy and run around having clandestine affairs, or to spend the next 40-50 years robbing Lon of the opportunity to find his happiness while you lay in bed pining away for another man. Making decisions is very difficult, most decisions are a gamble, hers paid off this time and I for one think everyone is better off, Lon included, and even if it takes Lon sometime to overcome his loss, or he becomes embittered and never pursues love again (tragic outcomes for sure), but that is his deal, his life, his responsibility to himself to see reality as it is..that is if Allie chose Noah, the she in fact, is NOT good enough for Lon. So if your term reckless behavior was Allie’s toward Lon…maybe so, she hurt him. But, to what extent must she pay for that decision? Break-ups suck, but they happen, and in this case she found her love and went to death bed with it. Good for her. I hope Lon’s life was just as wonderful. As for “all those” women out there that can’t separate reality form fiction (or reality from someone else’s reality for that matter), stop watching romances and seek therapy.

  128. @Christina:

    Now I don’t know what to believe. Your first comment ended by stating that The Notebook was not far-fetched or unrealistic, but your follow-up comment seems to place Allie’s behavior in the realm of unreasonableness, and Noah’s behavior in a place of unlikelihood.

    Regardless, I think our views are almost on the same page. At the very least, our views are in the same chapter. With a little more attention, I think we can get to the same place.

    First, as I’ve stated in a previous response to a different commenter, the entertainment we approve of speaks to our morality. For example: If we have a film where a man puts up his house as collateral for a chance to win a large fortune, which he does, then we applaud and say, “That was a big risk, but it was worth it!” Alternatively, if we replace the house with the life of his child, then we recoil and say, “How awful, no fortune is worth the possibility of losing your child!” Even if the man wins the fortune and gets his child back at the end and they live happily ever after, the man would still be reviled by audiences and the story hated. At least I hope so. If we apply this thinking to The Notebook, if women had any issues with Allie’s actions from a real world standpoint, then they should have a negative reaction to the film. Women do not, because I believe they think it’s OK to do the same thing in real life.

    Secondly, even if my first point is correct and women would gladly behave the same way in real life, why is that bad? It’s bad, because it diminishes the value of relationships and of words. Lon and Allie were not simply dating. They had a relationship that spanned years, and they were about to get married. Allie made a serious decision that affected them both without discussing it with Lon. She essentially sacrificed Lon for her own happiness. I don’t understand how that is something we can applaud. It is reckless behavior of the worst kind. If Allie wanted to explore a life with a person she hadn’t seen in seven years, then so be it; it’s her life. But when you are engaged, your life is no longer your own. You are a unit, and your decisions affect your partner. I agree that Lon is probably better off without Allie as a wife. Lon would be even better off without Allie as a fiancée. So let’s not pretend that Allie has somehow done Lon a favor here by cheating on him and ending their engagement.

    I agree that it is reckless to be married to someone you don’t love. But do you agree that it is reckless to be engaged to someone you don’t love? Can we step back even farther and say it is reckless to be in a long-term relationship with someone you don’t love?

    Furthermore, it’s appalling that people just excuse Allie’s breaking off the engagement to pursue a life with Noah. From the responses here, it sounds like being engaged doesn’t mean anything. “Hey, they weren’t married! They were just engaged! It was OK for Allie to do what she did!” When does a person’s word actually bond them to an action, then? If Allie had discovered Noah a day later after she was married to Lon, would it be OK to divorce Lon and be with Noah? What if it was even later — the book version is 14 years — and Allie and Lon already had kids? Would it still be OK to leave Lon? To me, all of these scenarios require the same commitment. It is reckless to break any of those commitments.

    Ultimately, the only real solution here is for people to be honest with themselves before making life-changing decisions. So if a woman is hung-up on a guy from her past, she should pursue him instead of getting into a relationship with another guy.

    Of course, this is too much to ask of people. How many people since the beginning of time have “settled” with someone who was their second, third or even-farther-down-the-list choice just so they didn’t have to be alone? As a society, should our understanding of these relationships be that they will only continue until the number one choices become single again? That whatever overtures of love and commitment between the people in the relationship were just a placeholder? That they were just going through the motions? I don’t want to live in that kind of society. And any movie that glorifies that kind of thinking should be called out.

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I’ve enjoyed our discussion thus far. I hope I haven’t come off as indelicate. It’s late for me, and I’m very tired.

  129. Well I don’t get into a semantical argument with you so let me clarify. In my use of of the term far fetched…What I meant was that I did NOT believe that story to be outside the realm of possibility whereas far fetched seems to indicate it is almost too fantastical to consider. So…I find it possible albeit rare or unique.
    Having said that I think if there were bunches of Allies in the world…one scenario would yield The Notebook outcome, and the vast majority would not. In that regard, I find that she did indeed take a HUGE gamble. She risked losing everything (everyone), and I don’t think she herself was sure it was gonna happen until the infamous duck/rain scene. The look on her face when she returned the next morning after their initial encounter seemed to beg the unspoken question (What are we doing?).
    I have wondered why Allie never wrote to Noah, and said Hey man what’s up with the silent treatment?….But she was 17, and lived in a time when (I am guessing) girl weren’t as “forward” as they are today….Or maybe as it revolved around her head…Finn’s words played over and over, “if he wants to talk, he’ll write you”, and in a 17 year old mind that means he didn’t write, hence he doesn’t want me. I mean really, we could make up what ifs all day….
    the point I am trying so hard to make, is that at some point (seeing his picture and the house) made her need to go find out for herself. This to me is not in the least far fetched. She wanted an answer, whatever that may be, and this was probably her last chance to get it.
    Now onto the right and wrong and commitments……..

    I, too, would like to live in a world where honesty was the norm and your word means something. But we are not robots, pre-programmed to think and respond a certain way. We are humans with flaws, insecurities, and emotions. Those things are fluid, not stagnant, they change over time, through experience.
    She was not some callous hussy out to harm Lon. She even told Noah that she loved Lon very much, I think she was trying to be honest. I believe her when she said she loved Lon. But, I also think Noah was right when he said something must be missing or you would not be here.

    As much as we may want a world that is honest and people have character, I do NOT want to live in a world where the only solution is “well, you made your bed so now lie in it”. Sometimes staying married for the kids is not the answer, sometimes through thick and thin is unreasonable and can destroy even more lives, again scenarios are endless. But, I for one, want the freedom to make my decisions, not just the good ones.

    Is it right to break an engagement? Now that is a question….
    Well, it is certainly hurtful, especially if it was a unilateral decision…but wrong? No, I don’t think so. I will say that she could have said to Lon, in his office, “Hey there was this guy that I loved, and I need to see him”…yes that would certainly have been honest. But the result is still the same, well unless he tied her up, or convinced her not to go, but still she was an engaged woman and was thinking about another man…no matter how honest she may have been about that, Lon still gets hurt. And, if she had gone and nothing came of Noah, then Lon may have been hurt unnecessarily. We weigh these options all the time, trying to do what we need to do in the best way we can. Do you really want to live in a world where the answer is “suck it up sister…it is what it is!”
    That picture of a world scares me.

    I don’t believe that people applaud her breaking a commitment, nor do they applaud Lon getting hurt. They applaud her finding her ONE. We all want that ONE. I am lucky…I have my ONE, but it was a hard won battle. Not with him, but with myself. Only now can I say that I am glad I went through other relationships and wound up on this side with my ONE, and with some inside wisdom I wish I had waited for my ONE until as long as it took, but I didn’t I was young, impatient, immature, clueless….I married and divorced young, and after many boyfriends later I finally met my ONE. God forbid I had had to stay in that forever because once, a long time ago, I was stupid enough to yes to a man.
    I like this thread…thanks for engaging me.
    Cheers,
    Christina

  130. I have re-read some of your thread and (maybe) I have a better understanding of your thoughts. I am I correct in thinking that your biggest complaint is that this film is rewarding people’s inability or refusal to abide by the commitments that they have freely entered into? If that understanding is correct (albeit simplified), then I would like to say a few words.
    You mentioned that you didn’t want to live in a society that just goes through the motions and uses relationships as placeholders until something better comes along. So I have to ask you what kind of society do you find more reasonable?
    I never think it is OK to use people, and I do believe people are masters at justifying their behavior. But, like I mentioned above, we are not robots, and emotions and relationships are messy (or can be). I think that some people go into relationships with all the best intentions only to face disillusionment, pain, and sorrow. We spend billions on therapy trying to understand ourselves, we go to church to seek understanding, we kill ourselves, we become recluses, we hide, we run, we seek comfort in the arms of any that are open to us. We are not simple creatures. Yes, there should be consequences to some degree for our actions. But what would propose those consequences to be?
    Divorce hasn’t always been legal in this country, and when they were there were still social consequences and still are in some pockets of society. I am sure in our example of Allie, her standing in “society” was greatly altered, even if not overtly because her parents were still quite wealthy, but I am quite sure the whispers and sneers and gossip mongers were going on all around her. It may not be as harsh as the scarlet letter, or public flogging, but I am certain there were consequences, it probably took some time for that to diminish or for her to turn a blind eye. I am also sure that it was quite an adjustment to face an uncertain financial future. So there are indeed consequences. And, as tragic as it for a couple to break up years down the road with children as collateral damage, there are consequences (i.e.: huge alimony or child support). I could go on, but I fear you will grow weary of me….so let me just end with this, if you want a society that enforces these commitments, and we as a people are bound to every word given under a seemingly endless string of circumstances and emotions…there will still be consequences for that action, there will still be collateral damage, there will still be pain and suffering, and it will still seem unfair. I want a society where people make more thoughtful decisions, where they are honest, where their words mean something, BUT I don’t want to be a stepford wife, or have my marriage arranged, or live in fundamentalist hell. I want the freedom to explore my life and the good sense and moral backbone not to hurt anyone along the way. She may have lost plenty by her choice, but she was free to face those consequences, and in the end she triumphed…and because of her triumph, Lon triumphed because he was now free to go explore his world…hopefully he was able to overcome his loss, we can not know what hell or joy would have befallen him had she stayed, that is the gamble of our lives, the butterfly effect.
    Thanks again for the blog,
    Christina

  131. @Christina:

    I don’t know that I’ll ever convince you, and, unfortunately, I have other things to write, so I’ll keep this response short. I’ve never been married and I haven’t been in a long-term relationship in more years than I care to admit. However, I’ve always imagined that even in the most seemingly perfect relationship there are obstacles. There is strife. There is temptation. There is sickness, poverty, loss and any number of challenges that threaten the relationship. I believe that couples should work together to overcome those challenges; not see them as excuses to break up.

    None of this is to say that relationships shouldn’t end. I will even stipulate that bad marriages should end. In a perfect world people would know who they are and what they want and be honest with the people in their lives — especially the ones they care for most. The world will never be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for that ideal world. Movies like The Notebook don’t help in that quest.

    We need movies that show couples communicating with each other, giving each other the chance to correct behavior. Instead, we get films with one person surprising the other with unilateral decisions about their relationship. (See Eat, Pray, Love where Julia Roberts’ character springs a divorce on her unsuspecting husband. Surprise!) If the story of The Notebook was presented in chronological order and stopped right after Allie made her abrupt decision to cheat on Lon and then leave him for Noah, I think audiences would agree that that was abhorrent behavior on Allie’s part. But since we see that everything worked out for Allie and she had this amazing love, then her action suddenly becomes excusable, which doesn’t make sense to me. If instead Allie’s marriage to Noah was a disaster, then audiences would be screaming at the screen, “Serves you right for doing what you did!” They wouldn’t be apologizing for her as so many have done here, because I believe most people think that Allie’s action irrespective of consequence was reprehensible.

    Additionally, her winning the Love Life Lottery is so overpowering that it makes viewers assume the best for Lon rather than the worst. How do we know he didn’t kill himself? Or get drunk, crash his car and suffer permanent brain damage? Instead, there are no consequences. (Forgive me if some kind of epilogue about Lon was given in the film. I don’t remember that part.) If something horrible did happen to Lon in response to Allie’s choice, then is Allie still a heroine in this film and should audiences still support her decision?

    At the end of the day, I keep my word, and I don’t give it lightly. I hold everyone else to the same standard. That’s the kind of world I want to live in. And that’s what should be celebrated in the art we consume. The fact that it’s not is sad commentary on society today.

    You’re welcome to have the last word. I will read it, but probably not respond. I think I’ve written everything I needed to. Thank you for visiting. I hope you’ll bring others.

  132. i think most of the romantics of this world missed the moral of this story. do you not see how painful she became at the end? this is your typical “do good=reward, do bad=pain” in people’s lives. i am not siding with anyone in the movies, but do think that the woman in here is screwed up..and at then end, she lost everyone who ever cared about her. bad choices in life will get you to be like this woman at then end.

  133. I agree and I don’t. I was in a situation similar to Allie’s once. I chose to follow my heart. My ex and I were together for 3 years with one daughter when i discovered he had been unfaithful to me. I forgave and tried to move on but it happened again. Thats when things ended. I still loved him of course. I met a guy (my Lon) who was great and amazing and sweet and respected my whole situation and didnt care how long it took for me to get over my ex because he was willing to wait. Just like Lon in the notrbook, my “lon” was also more financially stable, he could have been my “safety”. He accepted my daughter as if she was his and showed me he’d do anything to prove to me he would never hurt me like my ex did. We had a connection i never had anyone vefore, not even my ex. We understood each other to this level that was just amazing. But of course, i am human, and despite of it all.. I was in love with my ex(my Noah). Like The Notebook’s Lon, he accepted my feelings for my ex and still wanted to be with me. He didnt care and he trusted me.. I was constantly in contact with my ex because of our daughter but one day he asked me out-which I refused – and he apologized for everything and ended up kissing me. He wanted me back but now i wasnt sure. I told my “Lon” what happened and he knew what would happen next. Even though he knew who I would choose he fought for me until the last minute. He said all he wished for was my happiness but he “knew i would probably regret my decision” for he had his “perspectives in line” something my ex didn’t always. And even though it all, I chose my ex. 1) because my family never liked my “lon” (they thought i had to be with the father of ny daughter) 2) because well, he was the father of my daughter 3) and because i never stopped loving him. Never could get him out of my head no matter how sweet and loving “lon” was to me. I felt like Allie, maybe I’d never be able to give my self completely, for my love for my ex. My story may seem irrational to many, why chose the guy who had already hurt me? Because true love is real. You don’t know what true love is until you have been hurt by that person and still want them and all they have. It’s loving through the dark times, their dark side. Lon would be there for me unconditionally but my Noah was my Noah, all those crazy nights in love, days at the park, at school, that crazy love happened with him. IT was a chance I chose to take even though I knew it might not work out and even though my Lon was my safety.
    “Lon” tried to contact me recently but i feel so horrible for hurting im that i didnt response. What good could come out of it? Him finding out how good i am doing with my Noah? I was dying to respond to him but I knew the consequences.
    So in response to your message, no, people don’t always choose their “safety net” some of us chose the uncertain and take chances with past loves. However, I feel that “Lon” will always be in mg heart as well.. so there is a part of him that follows me everywhere I go and always might. Just like I know a part of me will always be with him, and unfortunately even though I love my Noah, I can’t “un-meet” my Lon. I always wonder how he is doing and what could have been of “us” how great, amazing, or awful it could’ve turned out.
    well that’s my story. And I apologize for the very lenghty response. 😛

  134. I don’t know if you’ll come back to read comments to a 9-year-old blog post, but I just watched the film for the first time, and your text inspired some thought. While I love both Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, I didn’t care much for the film. I often enjoy a well-written romcom but I just never liked The English Patient, Brokeback Mountain, The Bridges of Madison County or any of those sappy, melodramatic cheating-movies. And this one was quite silly too.

    But still, I very much disagree with you. First of all, I think you seriously underestimate women. To me, this blog post was insulting even. Like watching a silly movie could somehow change our relationship behavior! Seriously?

    Then to my main point: The movie was never about “true love” to begin with. I claim that when a girl dreams of “Notebook love”, she is not dreaming of one true love. She is dreaming of passionate love. The one with craving and very good sex.

    I’ve myself have gotten just that. I met my man on a hot summer, we began everything very passionately, were crazy about each other, fought a lot (we still do) and .. well, you know (and we still do). He actually even broke up with his girlfriend-at-the-time to be with me. So I guess very much like the film. Except that they were on a brink of breaking up anyways.

    Nowadays, many years later, we have a mortgage and were planning a baby. So the deal is for life. And there is a lot of sense in the relationship, responsibility and planning. And you know what, there’s passion and sex and it’s fab!

    I too was left feeling empty and insulted for Lon after the film. That’s actually why I started googling for blogs and comments. But I truly believe that the movie tried (poorly) to tell that Allie didn’t feel much passion for Lon. Not the right pheromones, you know, and that means actually wrong gene combinations for babies. Why this movie then? Why Notebook love? Because Allies passion for Gosling did translate very well. Like the scene on BBC Pride and Prejudice with wet Colin Firth, that does the trick for me! And both movies ended up with main actors dating IRL. Imagine, how profitable for a romcom is if the actors fall in love! People spend years dreaming for the same passion and rewatching the movies. Hopefully you found yours in the last 9 years.

  135. Greetings from across the pond! While I have more or less walked away from this site, this article is still the most popular one I have, and I am glad you found it.

    While my intent was not to insult you (or anyone else), I won’t apologize if you do feel insulted. I think society is heavily influenced by entertainment. If people are shown that a particular behavior is accepted, then they are more likely to support that behavior in their real life. I think the inverse is true as well. I don’t think the acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage in the last decade could have happened without the steady inclusion of gay characters and storylines in media, which helped normalize homosexuality in viewers’ consciousnesses. Likewise, if women consume entertainment that condones reprehensible behavior, like in The Notebook, then they are more likely to do something similar in their real life relationships. Even if a woman doesn’t go to the same extreme as Allie, she may still be less committed to her significant other in other ways because she has been tainted by this Notebook mentality.

    Now, regarding your personal life story: You actually exemplify my point — even if you partially agree with me about how Lon was treated. Part of the formula of The Notebook that makes it so toxic is that Allie lives happily ever after even after her reprehensible behavior. She lives happily ever after BECAUSE of her reprehensible behavior. Likewise, you have broken up a relationship and benefitted. You rationalize this by explaining that your boyfriend/husband was going to break up with his girlfriend anyway. The problem is that we can never know if they would have broken up. I’m sure that there have been many times in your fight-filled relationship where you thought that the two of you were done. Instead, you no doubt worked together to save the relationship. Imagine if instead another woman came along during one of these low points and your boyfriend/husband left you for her. If that had happened, I think your opinion of chasing passion might change. And this is where movies that glorify bad behavior comes into play. The Notebook is probably the most referenced romantic movie in modern times. It is a movie that is watched and re-watched by many women. I don’t think it is silly to imagine a woman’s judgment being affected by The Notebook if she happens to be at a temporary low point in her current relationship and is presented with a good-looking man who stokes her passion.

    Thank you for reading; it really does mean a lot to me! I’m happy that I gave you pause to think; you have done the same for me. You may have inspired me to start writing again…

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