Having read all the glowing reviews here about this movie, and being partial to a good weepy/romance if it is intelligent, well acted and believable (eg Bridges of Madison County, An Officer and a Gentleman, Terms of Endearment, Steel Magnolias, Brokeback Mountain, Ghost, Kramer Vs Kramer, to name but a few of my favourites), I had high hopes for this one.
What makes a weepy work for me are: good script, believable storyline & plot, good acting, chemistry between the lead actors, a modicum of intelligence that engages your brain while also entertaining you.
Well, the Notebook failed on all the above. I have honestly never seen such a cobbled together, un-believable load of complete tripe in my life and neither had my other half. We howled laughing at how bad it was - the hammy acting, the implausible story, the jumping from one bit to the next without any subtlety or skill, the sheer AWFULNESS of the lead actress. It was just unbelievable that someone as handsome as Ryan Gosling would stay in love with such a shreiking, irritating, immature imbecile as her character and not get shacked up with someone else.
On the plus side, James Garner was outstanding as the older Gosling character - his performance was so touching, subtle and very moving. He was the best thing in this awful film, but unfortunately you had to sit through 2 hours of woefulness until you saw him.
I would give this movie ZERO stars only play.com don't allow that.
If you have an intelligent mind, a discerning taste in films and like good acting, avoid this movie. I'm no snob - I like my low brow and my high brow equally depending on the production etc, but there is simply no excuse for how dreadfully hammy this thing was.