Over the years numerous film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks' romantic novels have been released but the 2004 film The Notebook is the only one that has truly managed to become a worldwide well-loved classic. The Notebook tells the story of Duke, an old man who lives in a nursing home, where he spends most of his time reading a romantic story from a notebook to an old woman who is suffering from severe memory loss. This tale of romance is set in 1930s North-Carolina, when Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams), a 17-year-old girl from a wealthy family, falls in love with local boy Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) during her summer holiday in the town of Seabrook. The two of them are crazy about each other, but Allie's parents do not approve of this boy who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. They take Allie away from Seabrook, and away from Noah, who decides to write Allie 365 letters to show his love for her. Yet, he never receives an answer, so they both get on with their separate lives. Until several years later, they meet again...

Nicholas Sparks is often described as the "modern master of romance" and rightfully so. Director Nick Cassavetes stayed quite close to the original novel, which resulted in this wonderful film which tells a complete love story, from beginning to end. The plotline is captivating, the scene setting is just beautiful, and the cast is incredibly well-chosen. McAdams, at this point mainly known for her role in Mean Girls, does a stunning job portraying a simply gorgeous and convincing Allie. I'm personally not a big fan of Gosling, but it seems like the role of Noah was written for him as he also delivers a great performance. The chemistry between the two of them is compelling and the viewer can't help but know that these two belong together. The Notebook is one of the best romantic drama films of the past 10 years; a heartbreaking tearjerker about a great love, perfect for anyone who still believes in romance.

Movie reviewed by Jody Hoekstra

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