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THE NOTEBOOK

About The Production
The Notebook follows the turbulent journey of young lovers Noah Calhoun and Allie Hamilton (Ryan Gosling & Rachel McAdams), who forge a passionate summer romance and, after years of separation caused by class differences and World War II, find themselves unexpectedly reunited. The story of this couple's undeniable love, their obstacles and their passions, are decades later revealed to a woman in a Southern nursing home by a gentleman who regularly visits to read her stories from a mysterious notebook. 

Oscar-winning producer Mark Johnson and producer Lynn Harris, who at the time was a production executive at New Line Cinema, first read Nicholas Sparks' novel The Notebook in galley form and went on to spend seven years developing it together as a feature film. During this time, the book shot onto the New York Times Best Seller list, where it remained for almost a year. "I loved the idea of it and the romance of it, but what I especially liked was the idea of a love story that has not just one big, explosive moment, but that has this endurance,” Johnson recalls. 

Director Nick Cassavetes also responded to the book when he too read the galleys. "The interesting thing about the books Nicholas Sparks writes is that they're these lush romances about enduring love …and yet there's always a strong element of tragedy and loss,” notes the director. 

Though the story sprawls through the 1940s, during which the two main characters' love story unfolds, it begins and ends in the present day. "This love story unfolds through the writings of Allie, and the readings of Duke,” comments Cassavetes. "It's through these words that we travel back in time to the beginning of their love story.”

Ryan Gosling describes Noah's transformation from "a really simple guy from Seabrook who meets Allie, who is from Charleston and quite upper class. She comes to Seabrook for the summer, and their worlds immediately and profoundly change,” he says. "In the beginning of the film, everything is an option and full of opportunities, and throughout the course of the film there's a loss of innocence...and then even more than that, there is a loss of many lives, and ideals, and hopes. But with all of that, one thing remains true to him, which is a feeling he had one summer when he was nineteen and Allie came to Seabrook and changed his world. And he holds on to that idea...and never lets it go.” 

For Gosling, The Notebook is the kind of love story that hasn't been seen on screen in a long time. "Even though it's a big story, it's a simple kind of love and a simple idea,” he explains. "I think that sometimes the honesty and the simplicity of life, and what you want in life, is complicated enough.”

Noah first sees Allie as she's riding in the bumper cars at the Seabrook Carnival. "She's really getting thrown around, and she's just laughing her head off,” Gosling says. "Noah and his buddies aren't used to seeing somebody of her class in a situation like that – free and unencumbered by anything she's supposed to be. And that's incredibly attractive to him.” 

Rachel McAdams plays 17 year-old Allie Hamilton, who stays at her family's estate in Seabrook prior to heading off to her first year of college in New York. "Allie is a debutante in every sense of the word – etiquette classes, tennis lessons, ballet, French, Latin and math tutors, and all sorts of different studies,” describes McAdams. "She's athletic, proper and tony. But she also has a passion for painting, which is something no one but Noah encourages in her.”

Noah comes into Allie's life and, as McAdams notes, is a refreshing change from the types of people she's used to flocking with. "He's such a contrast to what she has been exposed to – a man of the earth who makes things with his hands,” she says. "He's really interesting and exciting to her, and contrary to everything with which she is familiar.”

But Allie'

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