The Notebook stars James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Rachael McAdams, and Ryan Gosling. It is the amazing story of a man (Garner) who visits with a woman (Rowlands) who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. On his visits he reads from a faded notebook to tell her the story of a young couple who were in love in the 40s (McAdams and Gosling), but because they were from different society levels, the young girl’s parents take her away and keep her from seeing him. Their paths cross seven years later when she is engaged to another man. They realize they never stopped loving each other and she has a decision to make — stay with the man she’s engaged to and that her parents adore or go back to her first love and the man who she can’t forget……..
Throughout the movie, it flashes back to Garner reading Rowlands the story of the young couple. She is intrigued by the story and eagerly listens to it. At some point, you find out that they are the young couple – many years later – she chose her first love and they had a long happy life together with children and grandchildren! He tells her the story over and over to help her remember their life together. She has brief moments where she “comes back”, but they don’t last long and she goes back into her dementia and doesn’t know him — it is all so very painful for him, but, as he says to their children “that’s my sweetheart in there, I’m not going to leave her”!!!!! In a moment alone, he looks at the notebook and you find that she actually wrote the story of their love when she knew she was starting to see signs of slipping away and inscribed it to say “…read this to me and I’ll come back to you….”. During her brief moments of reality, they dance and talk about their love and life together – both knowing that it will all be gone again at any moment!
He has a mild heart attack one day and can’t get to see her for a few days. She is so alone – how horrible it must be to be so totally alone and not even have your memories to keep you company! When he gets out of the hospital, he sneaks in to see her and she remembers him – she asks if he thinks their love can create miracles and he says yes – that is what keeps bringing her back to him. Then she asks if he thinks their love can take them away together and he says that their love can do anything they want it to. They share a few more moments and he lays down beside her in bed. The next morning, the nurse finds them laying side by side, holding hands, and their heads touching! They both died in their sleep — together — forever!!!
The ultimate love story!!! I go through a box of Kleenex every time I watch it!!! It is by far the best movie to tug at your heart strings and remind you of how powerful love can be!