Prayer Focus

The Notebook

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexuality

Reviewed by: Chris Monroe
STAFF WRITER

Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults and Teens
Genre:
Drama, Romance
Length:
2 hr. 3 min.
Year of Release:
2004
USA Release:
June 25, 2004 (wide)
Featuring: Ryan Gosling, Gena Rowlands, Rachel McAdams, Joan Allen, James Garner
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Producer: Mark Johnson, Lynn Harris
Distributor: New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Relevant Issues
Copyright, New Line Cinema

TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

“The Notebook” is an overwhelmingly romantic love story exemplifying the marriage vow to love your spouse “in sickness and health, ’til death do us part.” This extraordinarily sweet account of two people who truly love each other is virtually outdone by the power of the love they share. But seeing their experience is like hearing a song that we already know and love, and don’t mind hearing it again, especially when it is sung so well. In this performance, we hear every note and enjoy each moment.

Set in modern times with flashbacks to the 1940s, “Duke” (James Garner) reads the story of The Notebook to an ailing woman, Mrs. Hamilton (Gena Rowlands), telling her the story of two young lovers, Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams). This young love begins as a summer affair and seems to end that dreadful day Allie has to move away for school. With no communication for years, both Noah and Allie move on with their lives. But just before Allie marries another man, Lon (James Marsden), she meets with Noah one more time to discover what they both have always believed.

Unlike most love stories we may see in films today, this story takes us beyond the mere beginning of a true love and takes us all the way to how it ends. And while we may know of many marriages that end prematurely in divorce, the one celebrated here expresses just how two people can stay committed to each other their whole lives, no matter what. It is a beautiful story that clearly affirms marriage, love and lifelong commitment between a man and a woman.

This movie shows that, as with any romantic relationship, things don’t always go perfectly. Noah and Allie don’t hit it off right away; in fact, in the beginning she rejects him, but he keeps after her. Allie’s parents also do not approve of Noah because he is “from the other side of the tracks” and doesn’t have prospects to be rich or upper class. This factor also does not stop them. Their relationship is also tested once Allie moves away for school and they each find themselves in other relationships, but, again, it doesn’t end. Finally, it is tested by a heartbreaking sickness, but still, even this cannot destroy their love.

Viewers should know that there are a couple of steamy scenes between Noah and Allie when they are falling in love. The first one involves them at an old abandoned house where they take off their clothes and begin to have sex. Due to anxiety, Allie, humorously, keeps talking and they do not go through with it. Later, however, the two of them do have sex. While the scene refrains from nudity (for the most part) it is pretty uninhibited. (See what director Nick Cassavetes says about these moments in our interview with him.) In another scene, we see Noah in bed with another girl, implying that they have slept together. He is not in love with her, which he realizes, and is only with her because he thinks he will not have Allie again. There are also a few swear words throughout the movie, with at least one instance of God’s name used in vain.

The chemistry between Gosling and McAdams isn’t the only strength to this stellar production. Director Nick Cassavetes has employed extensive talent in all areas of this film, including his own mother, Gena Rowlands, as one of the lead characters. Jeremy Leven admitted to changing some of the book in order to adapt it into a screenplay, but he seems to have honestly captured the spirit of the book by Nicholas Sparks, author of other movie-adapted novels as Message In A Bottle and A Walk to Remember. Dialogue, as well as costumes, lighting, and cinematography, too, all make it a very enjoyable, pleasant experience.

With a depiction of a love so strong, so enduring and so everlasting, it is difficult not to think of it in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His love, like the one honored in this film, is one that will never die. And He loves us unconditionally, desiring us to know him personally and intimately, and not only in this life, but for eternity. Our earthly romances may never be as ideal as Noah and Allie’s, but there is a perfect love always being offered to us from God through His beloved Son.

This film can easily resonate with older couples who have been together for many, many years, and, hopefully, also inspire this current generation of young people. If you’ve ever wanted to support a movie that respectfully affirms and values true love, then be encouraged to see “The Notebook.”

Violence: None / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

Also available: INTERVIEWS with the cast and director of “The Notebook”



Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Negative
Negative—I can’t tell you the number of girls that I know who absolutely love this movie because its a love story based on commitment. But honestly its a story about a girl who cheats on her soon to be husband. I think that it truly sends out a terrible message to girls. The woman in this movie has noisy sex with the man Boe in the movie. Then she was like this is great. I mean I don’t see the greatness of this movie at all. It sends a horrible message out to young girls. This movie definitely is the opposite of what God has planned for marriage and a dating relationship.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/3]
—Matt, age 21
Negative—…The one I attended had a large number of young girls in the audience, and this is not a movie I would ever think of showing to that age group. The film disguises lust as just another form of love. The two main characters don’t even get along, and the movie says so; the only time they get along is when they are making out. Must be true love! Then she goes and finds a decent guy, but cheats on him with the man she “loves.” That scene alone made me uncomfortable knowing young girls were watching… After they have sex for the first time, the female lead says “That’s what I have been waiting for? Lets do it again!” I guess the idea of saving it for marriage was lost by her. And it showed the young audience that its not worth waiting for, because well, its fun. (Oh yeah, she was engaged to another man when they had sex, great morals.) “The Notebook” should not be seen by anyone under 17 or 18, that’s just on moral grounds, not to mention the nudity and language the film contains…
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/2]
Jonathan Rodriguez, age 20
Negative—…typical Hollywood fare: lust, sex, profanity… It’s not that I didn’t like the movie (maybe that’s contradictory) but I couldn’t help thinking about my three daughters and the message of lust and sex that was promoted in this movie in a positive light and no consequences… There was no need to include the sex scenes in this movie. They added absolutely nothing and ruined what could have been a great family film…
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/4]
—Steve, age 51
Negative—This is the worst movie of the summer, both from a Christian perspective and from a movie perspective. The film has two long, graphic sex scenes and the movie promotes reincarnation. There is also the Lord’s name in vain a few times. This movie is boring and offensive. Don’t waste your money on it.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/2½ ]
—Steve Allaby, age 24
Negative—What a way to ruin a good story. To portray a 17 year old girl ready to have sexual relationships with her boyfriend and use that as the bond that brought them through until death us apart is incredibly offensive, unbiblical and misleading. It sends the message that premarital sex is ok and will lead to a strong relationship. This is offensive and a lie.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive]
—Marta Niconchuk, age 42
Negative—I’m not sure what movie these people who are rating the movie as positive saw, but this is Hollywood’s attempt to portray pre-marital sex as romance (much like Titanic did). No matter how you slice it, it’s fornication, and it disturbs me that young girls will swoon over the relationship and see it as romantic vs. immoral. This is exactly how Satan wants Christians to feel about it. This is how he works on us, little by little, just making us a little more tolerant of immorality. Remember, in the end times, wrong will seem right. Sorry folks, the movie had a shot at being a love story, but ends up as a lust story. As a Christian, I can’t recommend it and will not allow my two young teenage daughters to see it.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/4]
—Brent, age 40
Negative—Too much sex!! I was embarrassed to see it with my 15 year old daughter.
My Ratings: [Average/4]
—Arlene Collins, age 41
Negative—…I am glad I didn’t take my mom or my 17 year old daughter to this movie. There was too much nudity (including a frontal nudity of the girl, though it was “fuzzy” plus a side view of her nude breasts when she was painting on the front porch) and the premarital sex scenes were even steamier than in Titanic. Though the acting is superb and the cinematography is breathtaking, the “moral of the story” (“for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part”) is overshadowed by the rampant lust and positive spin given to fornication. Not something I want my daughter seeing or learning.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/5]
—Joan, age 43
Negative—Even taking Christian morales aside this move is reduced to nothing more than a typical “lust” story, honestly, and I mean lust not love. Whereas it does accent the consequences of ungodly acts such as premarital sex and placing ones love in somebody as their heart and soul rather than the emphasis of the love for Christ. (Love the Lord, your God with all your mind, heart and soul.) It ultimately falls short by being way to simplistic, horrible dialogue and reflects the ignorance of worldly love.

The saddest part of the movie is that their relationship is not Christ-centered. The power of their love is highly selfish and motivated towards fulfilling the fleshly desires of one another. “This is what I have been missing out in” is one of the phrases Ally makes after they have intercourse. Repulsed by the sleeziness and false image of love this movie and novel portrays I must say its a real downer; utilizing the visade of elderly age to justify that because their so called love is lasting and sweet does the true and everlasting love of Christ no justice.

The mise-en-scene, is over the top and unrealistic and the conclusion of the film, of them being together, that through love they can accomplish anything is way to idealistic and dangerous; as scripturally speaking, the following is mentioned: oh about the love lasting forever after death thing, that is true but the intimacy will be more focused on Christ. It’s rather the human marriage bond that will end. The only thing I was trying to make clear is that scripturally speaking after death, people are no longer married; it’s not a mere marriage vow. Matthew 22:30; I apologize for not making it clear… love may be lasting, the notion of not remembering earthly relationships is absurd, however Jesus said that the institution of human marriage would end, having fulfilled its purpose to anticipate and reflect the marriage of Christ and his bride (Ephesians 5:23-32). He did not say nor imply that the deep relationships built between married couples would end.

Don’t let your emotions get the best of you and let your ideas of love become corrupted by this worldly carnal view. This was by no means a great film, nor a very good one because it promotes and makes an general acceptance of this kind of immoral behavior. The sad thing is that such relationships run rampant in our world, and are englufed in a void of emptiness.
My Ratings: [Average/2]
—Matthew, age 20
Negative—…PG-13 means nothing anymore… and I guess the way God intends for sex to be shared in marriage doesn’t either. Today’s society has cleverly been able to mix some moral elements with immoral ones, and that is exactly what is seen in this movie. A seventeen year-old young woman starts a relationship with a young man totally based on emotion. And one could say that that’s how a relationship starts, but what about self-control? Sure, we may begin to having “feelings for someone,” but the Lord warns us about those feelings and the way that they can turn into lust for one another. Then, of course we see the sex scenes (more than one with graphic sounds and facial expression) and all seems right for the young couple.

Soon they find themselves separated… and then together again. And then comes the ending when I was crying… and pretty much the rest of the theatre was too… but it was no longer the young couple. It was the older couple… what happened to the marriage and the time in between?

That is what I am trying to say… there’s all this emotion and sex before marriage… etc. And then it’s a happy ending. That really isn’t what marriage or true love is all about… it goes deeper, it’s about a will to love someone and a balance of emotions. There is baggage you take into a marriage when sexual and emotional sins are committed in previous years, previous relationships. And Hollywood doesn’t show any of that.

I know, I’ve seen it in my family… I was conceived out of wedlock to an 18-year-old couple who thought that they too were so in love. Let me ask you this: Where’s the accountability, parental guidance, and prayers to the Lord? I used to take these movies lightly also and not be “picky” or “critical” about things… yes, the acting was believable and the scenery was beautiful… but as I grow in my relationship with the Lord, He’s beginning to reveal to me what I need to protect my eyes and ears from… and this movie certainly did not help me in my battle against lust… one that I know a lot of men and women are fighting. Really, all you have to ask yourself is, “would Jesus have gone to see that movie?” I’m praying for a romantic movie that I can go see… for people, young and old, to see what God really intends for their lives when it comes to marriage and relationships.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/4½]
—Brittany, age 18
Negative—I found that the “lust to love story” was done better than most Hollywood productions, in the sense that “love never dies and is unconditional etc.” however, what disturbs me, is reading the reviews, and seeing where we have all come. I know back in the day what was allowed on TV was enough to cause some folks to call it the “one eyed devil” those people would roll over in their graves if they could see 30 minutes of “Prime-time” today. I guess bottom line is if you have to make all of your positive comments about the movie, and then add…”But the sex senses were kind of…” For me that’s just a way to rationalize the rest of the movie… be it positive or better than average for today. Is it better than God’s average? I truly doubt it!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/3½]
—Charlotte Snowden, age 43
Negative—Viewer beware! The pre-marital sex scenes and talk about the sex act are very explicit. PG-13 means absolutely nothing. I am disappointed that Christian reviewers gloss over this. I’m sure Jesus is blushing. Many 15 and under children were watching the movie. My teens will not be joining their friends for this misrepresented film.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/2]
—Cathie Hill, age 49
Negative—One issue that is portrayed in the movie that I have not seen discussed… is the way the two young lovers reacted to each other in their anger. I found it highly alarming that the screaming, saying unkind and hurtful things, and most alarming the pushing, shoving and slapping was shown as a normal and expected way for people in love to act. I would not allow my husband to treat me that way, nor would I want any of my three children to allow the loves of their lives to treat them that way. I was very alarmed and concerned.
My Ratings: [Average/4]
—Melissa Pulley, age 47
Negative—Unrealistic and sad. I hate to be judgmental, knowing this is a secular film, but “The Notebook” did not offer anything from a Christian worldview with regard to real-life relationships and tragic illness. The characters were driven purely by a “Harlequin Romance” version of love and sex. The writers obviously feel these are enduring anthems that trump commitment and character. “The Notebook” is more of Hollywood’s attempt to portray wrong is right and right is non-existent. The one very commendable theme of the film was the devotion shown by “Noah” to his wife “Allie” in later life.
My Ratings: [Average/2½]
—Bobby Van Cleave, age 34
Positive
Positive—This movie was a wonderful, heartwarming experience about love as it was intended to be! I very much enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4½]
—Ida Heinen, age 42
Positive—I read the book and then saw this movie, and I was impressed. I thought the acting was terrific, the scenery was beautiful and the story was heart warming. Although I did close my eyes during both love scenes and don’t recommend the movie to anyone under the age of 13, I think that the overall heart of the movie was inspiring; any movie where people find their true love, fight for them with such passion and stay faithful forever is a story that tells of God’s heart with us. I loved it!
My Ratings: [Average/5]
—Jenica Hahn, age 24
Positive—What holds this movie up is the relationship between the older couple, played beautifully by Garner and Rowlands. It is tender and loving, without the usual sappy romantic movie pablum. The story of the younger couple was also charming, even though it had a familiar Romeo and Juliet plot. I liked that this movie—despite a few scenes depicting unmarried sex—gave a strong, affirmative message honoring marriage and life-long love.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Hillari Hunter, age 42
Positive—Perhaps more than any other recent film, “The Notebook” conveys what it means to fully love an other, to love someone through sickness and health. The film tells the story of a young couple who met as teenagers, fell in love but then were unable to marry due to parental pressure. I don’t want to give the plot away, but since this is a romance you can assume that they eventually find their way back to each other, and before the movie is over it is clear what the difference is between real love and that which is superficial. (Viewers should be cautioned that extramarital sex does occur in this film, and the sex is integral enough to the plot that it could detract from the otherwise positive message of this film.)
My Ratings: [Average/4]
—Eric, age 50
Positive—This movie is one of the closest followings to a novel that I have yet seen. I love this story, it is beautiful, heroic, saddening, heartwarming and most of all it is real. This movie/story is not full of superficial Hollywood hype, its a movie that could be the story for any couple! Yes, it has language, and it has a sex scene where the facial expressions are more graphic then anything else. The thing is, it fits, and it works because it only makes it real. I applaud them for making a beautiful movie that I could see with my husband, and we BOTH loved (that’s rare). But most of all I applaud them for sticking with the book!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—M.W., age 28
Positive—Other than a couple of curse words and sexual content; an excellent movie and message about being committed to your marriage and family. Not for youngsters, but great movie for older teens and parents. Makes you remember that we need to LOVE each other, unconditionally!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Melissa, age 37
Positive—This film’s overall plot is great for what true love is. And the mentality of loving one person for your entire life. However, the romantic scenes crossed a bit of a line. The nudity during the love scenes (even though it is in shadow) could have been left out of the movie. It did not move the story along, and it was not needed for the plot of the movie. I liked this movie, but the sexual content did lower my opinion of it slightly. I would not take children under the age of 16 to this movie.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4½]
—Jaime Swaffar, age 27
Positive—…No, the relationship in the film wasn’t exactly moral, but nobody’s perfect. It did bother me, but I got over it and proceeded to enjoy the film. I wouldn’t recommend this to the 13 and under crowd, but if you are a mature, adult Christian who is strong in your faith, I’d recommend it. Jesus says to love the sinner, hate the sin. You wouldn’t shun a sinner who simply wanted you to hear him/her out. We should treat films in the same fashion. Just because you don’t like certain things about it, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t at least give it a chance.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Adam Renkovish, age 22
Positive—I am a big fan of Nicholas Sparks and I liked the previous novel to movie adaptations that were done, but THe Notebook is by far my favorite. Granted, the premarital sex was… not the best. It was wrong, but it also added to the plotline a little. But after we find out who Allie chooses in the end, and see how deeply in love the two are, I do believe that it is the epitome of the love that God wishes everyone to have. They were in love down to the last moments of their lives, which is probably the most beautiful part of this movie. Remember to bring your kleenex!
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Becky Martin, age 18
Positive—This was the most beautiful and romantic movie I’ve seen in a long time! Real tear jerker, too. I thought the scenery was breathtaking. And the acting was good, too. This is an adult movie, not for children. There is some language, and sexual scenes; they don’t show anything, but not for young viewers! Aside from all that, it’s such a heartwarming story of love and commitment. If you love a good romance, you’ll love this.
My Ratings: [Average/5]
—Kriss, age 24
Neutral
Neutral—I really liked the overall plot of this film. Although it might be considered a “chick flick,” it does have a resonating message of hope for true love—even in the face of harsh circumstance. I thought the actors did a really good job of portraying the two main characters, especially Ryan Gosling who hasn’t really done any big movies until now…
My Ratings: [Average/2]
—Cara, age 19
Neutral—My wife and I are 65, married for 45 years, and were very touched by this movie. It brought us even closer together. However, I think the movie should have been rated “R,” not “PG-13.” I can’t imagine a child less than 13 years old seeing the movie due to its graphic nudity/love scenes and over-usage of 4-letter words and taking God’s name in vain. To me, the love scenes, the extended length of them, and the nudity were embarrassing. They were not necessary in order to impart the overall message of the story, and that is the commitment of marriage, “through sickness and in health, til death do us part.”
My Ratings: [Average/3]
—Bob, age 65
Neutral—I was anticipating the arrival of this movie as I really enjoyed the book. and it turned out to be quite accurate in its portrayal. I would definitely not recommend it for young teens… the PG-13 rating can be misleading at times, and this is one of those times. While there’s not a lot of language (maybe 1 or 2 words total) and no violence, it gives the message that premarital sex is OK and leads to “happily ever after.” I found the movie to be sentimental and romantic and have seen it twice, but again, it’s more of an adult film.
My Ratings: [Average/4]
—Rachelle Smotherman, age 31
Comments from young people
Negative—Folks, who amoung us doesn’t unjoy a really good love story? (notice I said LOVE and not LUST!) The note book is really the latter; a story about a man and a woman who “love” each other so much that they feel the need to express it through sex. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really good themes in this movie, such as the faithfulness Noah shows to Alley in their later years, but overall, I feel that the film was tainted by the sexuality that oozed out through every crack.
My Ratings: [Offensive/3]
—Amy Gilles, age 17
Positive—Overall, I thought this was one of the best romance stories of the year. I am very into movies, and see a lot of them (especially romance). This movie was not only an excellent portrayal about being in love, but heartwarming to the soul… The acting was superb and the backgrounds were awesome! Overall, A+++
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Diane, age 16
Positive—The movie was good and a “tear-jerker.” Of course, there are things you can object to, but I saw how the movie exaggerated little parts from the actual novel. It would be good to read the actual book by Nicholas Sparks, which I need to do! He wrote the story with the intent to share the message of God’s love, in case you didn’t know. How wonderful is that? In the movie, you see how Noah gives up a comfortable life to risk everything to try and get his wife back from her disease, even if it’s just five minutes. This can make one think about how Jesus gave it all for each person, even those that still reject Him. And so on and so forth.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4½]
—Jenny, age 18
Positive—I thought this film was a beautiful story about life and love. I went to see it with a friend and we both cried. The Notebook is worth every penny. I also read the book, which is very good too. The film is slightly different. I recommend it for a parents date night, or if a parent wants to view it first.
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Molly C., age 16
Positive—…one of the best movies I’ve seen. It shows such a love between two people that they were together, regardless of what tore them apart… Yes, there are two sex scenes (even before marriage) but they do not show any kinds of nudity. This movie is excellent, and I recommend… it. It is a such a great, enduring love story that it makes me wonder if I will find such a love. I have seen it 3 times now, and it still brings tears to my eyes. Go see it for yourself. It is well worth your money!!
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Jeanna, age 15
Negative—…I went with my girl friend and was pretty embarrassed to be watching a lot of sex. Obviously they were mixing lust with love. Love can exist without sex, and sex can, in fact, exist when there is absolutely no love. I was embarrassed to say the least and did not enjoy it. My girlfriend did enjoy it, and that’s ok, she took it as a very emotional film and probably thinks I thought it was cheesy. Not cheesy, but very misleading. It is misleading because sex before marriage is wrong. There is no Scripture that talks about, “Well, if you really love that person, then it’s ok” “If you stay with them forever, then it’s ok.” No verse!

I hope all those, that think this movie was just about love, think twice before seeking a fiery relationship. Just like every other time it will destroy you. The Bible makes it very clear in proverbs! It will destroy you!
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/3]
—David, age 16
Neutral—I went to see this movie after I read the book… the book is much better. The movie does not portray the characters as the author has written. The basic outline of the book is there, but there are many details left out and some added into it which does take away from the plot. So, in conclusion, if you didn’t like the movie then read the book. Any book of Nichols Sparks is wonderful.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/3]
—Sarah, age 16
Positive—My friend and I both read the book and couldn’t wait to see this movie. And it met our expectations! It had such a good love story that brought the whole audience to tears. The acting was really good and the scenery in the movie was breathe taking. There were a few sex scenes, but nothing to offensive. Definitely go see this movie on a girls night out. It is well worth it!!!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Ava, age 18
Positive—I love this movie. I thought it was really good. I read the book, too, and they did a good job making the film. I recomend this movie to everyone over 13. A good love story.
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Crystal, age 18
Negative—I found the movie to be very offensive. The characters seemed loose and immoral. There are two bad scenes in the movie and another is implied. Although the overall plot is okay, I would definitely not recommend this movie to anyone.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/2½]
—Gina, age 15
Positive—I went to see this movie with about 7 other girls from my church (ranging from some just starting high school to those of us starting college). It was amazing in our eyes. Now, granted there’s 2 sex scenes, but you don’t really see anything at all, which really surprised me! I was pleased with that. Even the language is pretty mild.

Now, it kinda bugs me that some people are being so uptight about this movie. Granted there’s some “bad” stuff in there, but that’s how pretty much all movie are. And yea, the plot might be kinda unrealistic, but the whole idea of the story seems like a wonderful fairy tale. If you look past the flaws from a Christian standpoint and view this as just a movie, it’s great. The acting, the plot, the people… everything about it makes this an all around great flick.

It totally got our highest ratings (and is pretty close to the top of “Girl’s Night” movie lists, other than “Titanic”…) I don’t know how much guys would like it, but it’s a movie I’d recommend to everyone.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4½]
—Susanne, age 18
Positive—…a really good movie!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Molly, age 13
Neutral—My feelings after viewing this movie are mixed. The plot was very involving, and although I felt I could discern the ending half way through, I was still kept interested throughout the movie. The moviemaking quality was overall excellent, as was the acting. Were it not for a couple smudges I would have no trouble recommending this movie to anyone. My foremost objections …come from the two unnecessary sexual interludes that the producer adds in. Both are out of wedlock and seem to make the assumption that sex is acceptable if you are “in love.” Unfortunately, both interludes are necessary to the story line, but it could have been done without the heavy attention to detail. My other objection is that the characters seem to mix love with infatuation. After only a summer together Ali and Noah are convinced they are in love. When they meet again after years apart, Ali discards her relationship with a man she has built a loving relationship with for years on the basis of a two night stand with Noah.

When balancing these two together, you find a very well made movie with an intricate plot but several moral smudges. I would not advise this movie to anybody younger than fourteen, and to anyone older it would be with a warning about its very limited but heavy sexual content.
My Ratings: [Average/5]
—Jon, age 17
Positive—I had read the novel “The Notebook,” by Nicholas Sparks, and really enjoyed the book. It is a beautiful story of two people who have fallen in love in the past and face the difficulty of determining if they still have a future after so much has changed. This is one of the most romantic stories I have read and seen on screen in a long time. This movie was fantastic. The only thing that could have made this movie better was if I had not read the book beforehand. The movie left out some key things that I think made the book phenomenal. Other than that, I really loved the movie. There are so sexual themes in the movie that may not be appropriate for children or even some young adults, but they are done fairly tastefully and did not offend me. More was implied than shown. I would definitely recommend the movie and after you see the film, pick up the book. You will enjoy both.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4½]
—Anne, age 17
Positive—This movie is wonderful! I love watching romance movies, and this definitely comes in the top 3. The passion in this movie is just unbelievable. I believe the good in this movie outweighs the objectionable, for older teens and adults at least. If you go, bring tissues! This one will suck some tears out of you yet!
My Ratings: [Average/4½]
—Katie Rogers, age 17
Neutral—I went to see this movie with my girlfriend and most of it was okay. The story was alright but a little predictable. Where I live the movie was only rated PG, and there was a lot of sex for a PG movie!!! Afterwards we were talking about it and we couldn’t understand why it was only PG!! I mean my 8 year-old brother could walk in and see it. The movie making quality was okay, but I just don’t think that the sex scenes should have been in there, they could have been implied easily, but they had to go and put them in. Definitely not a movie you want to go see with your buddies (unless you are a girl), its more of a date movie than anything.
My Ratings: [Average/3½]
—Cody Forsman, age 16
Neutral—I definitely have some problems with this movie. I went with my mom and a few of our friends, and I found a few of the scenes offensive and very difficult to watch. Christian-wise. This has close to NOTHING to offer. I was very disappointed in the film’s portraying pre-marital sex as ok. I was almost sick to my stomach. However, the devotion that the couple has for each other after they marry proves to be steady and life-long. If only they had waited just a little longer in the beginning to have sex!! If it was true love, then they could have waited.
My Ratings: [Average/4½]
—Kara, age 17
Positive—…excellent, besides the fact that there was a few cases where they used the Lord’s name in vain and had unmarital sex and that scene of bad language, but that’s what makes it real. People do all that in real life! We know it’s not right, but that’s what the world has come to. When I saw the movie, I was just so fascinated by the bond the 2 lovers had. Noah and Allie as kids, and Noah and Allie as adults. They had unconditional love just as God as unconditional love for all of us. And the end of the movie where Noah and Allie lay in bed together while holding hands… the whole theatre was sniffling and crying. It was just a heart-touching film!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Krista, age 16