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I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who's ever lived: I've loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.
An archetypical story of the Boy Meets Girl. They have a summer romance and are hopelessly fallen for each other. It goes to pieces as he is a working class guy and she is a socialite, with her parents not believing in their love. They split up but the love doesn't die. Seven years later, they meet up again and the sparks fly. But can they get back together again after all that happened between then and now?
Set in the 1940's, this is all told with a Framing Device in the modern day by an old man telling an old woman a story from an old notebook.
The Notebook provides examples of:
- Bath of Angst: After Allie sees Noah again in the paper.
- Beta Couple: It is revealed near the end that Allie's mother was in the same situation as Allie when she was her age.
- Bittersweet Ending
Duke: Good night, I'll be seeing you.
- Caught in the Rain
- Comforting the Widow: Noah also tries to comfort himself while comforting the war widow.
- Dating What Daddy Hates: Though the mother is more active in this trope, the parents don't like Noah being the working type.
- December-December Romance: A deleted scene outlines this exact scenario with a background couple.
- Double Standard: A subtle one. It's hard to imagine a woman dangling from a Ferris wheel unless a man agrees to date her being depicted as anything but psychotic or at least pathetic but when Noah does this to win Allie its considered a romantic gesture
- "Falling in Love" Montage: yes quite.
- Framing Device: The story is told by an old man to an old lady with Alzheimer's. The old couple turn out to be the couple in the story.
- Happily Ever After
Duke: And they lived happily ever after.
- Happily Married
- Hopeless Suitor: Lon becomes this only after Noah comes back into Allie's life.
- I Never Got Any Letters: Textbook example. He sent 365 letters, and she got none of them because her mother was hiding them.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: As Allie and Noah argue over whether to stay with him or return to Lon, he tells her that if she wants to be with Lon, "Go. I lost you once, I think I could do it again, if I thought that was what you really wanted."
- Love At First Sight: Noah is victim of this when he first sees Allie. Allie does not suffer the same.
- Love Triangle: Noah, Allie, and Lon in the second half of the movie.
- Love Makes You Crazy: "After seeing Allie that day, something inside Noah snapped. [...] Some called it a labor of love, others called it something else, but in fact, Noah had gone a little mad."
- Missing Mom: Noah's mother is only mentioned in passing in a deleted scene. No other reference is made to her existence.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Lon considers (or distastefully jokes about) this option near the end of the movie. This isn't that kind of movie, however.
- Parental Hypocrisy: Allie's mother scoffs at Allie falling in love a day-laborer in the first act. In the third act, however, she shows Allie that she once loved a day-laborer as well, but instead married Allie's father. She still has feelings for the working man as well.
- This might be a subversion as her objections are later revealed to be a fear of her daughter repeating her mistakes.
- Slap Slap Kiss: Noah and Allie's relationship is very much like this, with this exact thing happening in an early scene.
- Race For Your Love: Noah races to make up with Allie at the end of Act 1, when she moves away.
- The Reveal: Duke and Allie are Noah and Allie from the story! It's actually more of a reveal to Allie than it is to the audience, given that they already figured out who Allie was.
- Romance Arc
- Throw It In: The scene where Noah drives up and crashes into the gate of the Allie's summer manor was a fluke. They ruined a perfectly good gate, but they managed to get a great shot.
- Together in Death: Despite Alzheimer's keeping them apart, Noah and Allie manage to die together in the end.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Duke and the old woman are Noah and Allie, but the latter can't remember because of her dementia.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Noah and Allie after they reunite, especially during the dinner scene. Of course, the tension is soon resolved by being Caught in the Rain.
- What Could Have Been: A whole scene was cut out that told the back story about the notebook itself. It's a very nice scene, but it came after the climax and added nothing that wasn't already in there.