If You’re a Bird, I’m a Bird: The Notebook Turns 10

If you’re anything like the other hundreds of thousands of ‘90s girls on this planet– or any group of girls on this planet, for that matter– then you know that Nicholas Sparks’ iconic story of The Notebook is pretty much the Bible for relationship idealists.  The Notebook has inspired people everywhere (yes, even men) to believe in fate, destiny, and– ultimately– true love.  It is a moving drama about two young souls who are passionately and deeply in love, perhaps more than any other characters we have yet to see.  (Possible exception: Gatsby and Daisy.)

This month, the film adaptation of the classic Sparks novel celebrates its 10th anniversary.

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That’s right….You have been swooning over Ryan Gosling for a straight decade.  (In your defense, his procession into an ultra-hunky, difficult-to-ignore Hollywood film star has showed no signs of slowing down recently.)  Around this time 10 years ago, you probably also decided that you would dedicate most of your life to being the type of all-American girl that Rachel McAdams would love to hang out with.  Ahhh, the imaginative power of movies…

To kick off The Notebook’s 10th anniversary celebration, it is necessary to review some of the defining moments that made the film such a smashing, timeless success.

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Noah kept it really real when he told Allie that fighting and arguing is, to a certain extent, both normal and healthy in order for a strong relationship to thrive.  Take-home point: when you really love someone, you’re allowed to tell them that they’re acting like an arrogant son-of-a-bitch, and vice versa.  It’s what you and your partner do with that information that is important.

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Just…wow.  If at this point in the movie you aren’t weeping like a small, hopeless child, then something is wrong.  In this moment, Allie represents everyone who has ever experienced the deep-rooted pain of heartbreak; the uncertainty about the future; the hope that in time, one day, things can feel “normal” between both parties involved.

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Once Allie experiences full-fledged love with Noah, she is more capable of understanding other relationships in her life, namely those that appear to be true love but really aren’t.  The same is true off of the big screen.  When you know love, you can pretty much spot it from a mile away.  And when it’s not legitimate, you know that, too.

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Allow me to just say that Noah asking Allie what she wants is easily my favorite part of The Notebook.  It is a turning point for the two of them, their history, and their relationship as they know it.  Allie was experiencing such tremendous outside pressure from so many angles in her life, as many of us  so often do.  It can be easy to forget that your life is about you choosing to do what makes you happy.  Luckily, dreamy-steamy Noah is there to remind us.

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THIS HAPPENED, EVERYONE.  In case you didn’t know, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams dated in real life.  And while you would think that a relationship like this would be sabotaged by The Notebook’s impossibly high expectations, Gosling clearly didn’t feel that way at all.  Why, you ask? Because their real-life romance was more romantic than their on-screen characters’.  Just let that sink in for a moment…

If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.  If there’s one thing you do this month, rent The Notebook, stock up on tissues, and invite a group of your best girlfriends over to join in on the festivities.  Allow yourself to laugh, cry, and think.  But also remind yourself that this is literally a Nicholas Sparks novel, and take that for what it is.  Happy June, romantics!

What were some of your favorite moments from The Notebook?  In what ways have you found the film inspiring or reflective of lessons you’ve learned in your own life?  And while it’s fun to be a hopeless romantic and daydream about love like Noah and Allie’s, should we be weary of the perhaps unrealistic expectations that the film portrays about men and women– and relationships, in general?  I’m interested in having an open conversation.  Let me know what you think!

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