Friday, August 21, 2009

Some Thoughts on The Notebook


After years of waiting, I finally got to watch one of the most popular tear-jerks among the ladies (probably guys too, though most guys I know seem to shun the movie): The Notebook. It is based on a novel written by Nicholas Sparks, who was inspired by the true love story of his wife's grandparents.

Instead of just tears welling, I cried my heart all out.

Then I came across this article online. The author claims that the story is unrealistic, unfair to the guys, and corrupting the girls to cheat on their steady partners.

Does romantic drama really ruin our love lives? Is The Notebook a really bad example that over-emphasises the passion of love? Is it right to leave a good and steady partner for the pursuit of "true love"? But what is "true love" in the first place?

Though I cried my eyeballs for the movie, somehow I have to agree with the said article. In fact, the real tear-jerking scenes to me are: firstly on the part of Lon's love and acceptance over Allie's affair; secondly on the scene when elderly Allie regains her memory with the help of elderly Noah; and finally, on the scene where they rest in peace hand in hand (which is similar to a scene of an old and unknown couple in Titanic).

Yes, the love between Noah and Allie is probably great and romantic, but they only prove themselves in the end after going through all ups and downs together. All they have for the summer is not real love but mere limerence, which usually does not last very long when the reality kicks in. According to Wikipedia, limerence is "an involuntary cognitive and emotional state of intense romantic desire for another person...". The term is also used to describe "the ultimate, near-obsessional from of romantic love". What does two teenagers know about the meaning of true love? In fact they are not even very compatible to start with. They often fight for their differences, verbally and physically. While Noah is just a simple and soft-spoken country boy, feisty Allie comes from a well-to-do family and she is on her way for top education. That is so vividly depicted during their very first unsuccessful attempt for intimacy. Allie attempts to romanticise the sensational feeling with words but Noah is never so articulate.

OK, 7 years have passed. Does time does not mend a broken heart? The story goes on to say that Allie is in love again with Lon. Lon is almost a perfect guy every girl will dream of. He is smart, handsome and charming. Not a bum but a lawyer who is supposed to inherit his family' wealth one day. The best part is, he is loving and loyal to Allie too. He is willing to forgive and forget about how Allie cheats on him.

Now it comes the hardest decision ever, which guy would you ultimately choose given similar situation and based on all available information, barring all future unforeseeable changes of characters or circumstances?

Frankly speaking, if I were Allie, I would go for Lon. But then again, there is nothing right or wrong. I am just making a calculated decision.

Experience has it very clear not only for me, but many other girls too. Time not only mends a broken heart, it changes personalities and preferences too. You may not have the same passion for the same person. One may not appreciate a computer geek at her young age but she may end up loving and marrying one ultimately.

Allie's mother may be seen as "evil" (for some hopelessly romantic girls, perhaps) but it is all out of motherly love and protection for Allie. One of neighbours actually did something similar to separate her son and a "cougar" (many years older). The "cougar" was alleged to be not only seducing the son but eyeing his family wealth, with the aid of black magic. The mother had to send her son many thousand miles away from home for years. But now, I heard the son is happily married with another girl.

I think Allie has gambled her life off on the option that may offer the least probability of winning. Think about it. Yes, Noah is a gifted builder but he has no identifiable source of income. He seems to be easy to take on any woman available though he has no love for her.

Allie is a lucky girl. Everybody in the show loves Allie. It is great that Noah loves her enough to accept her spoiled character and work hard for the family. If Noah continued to be a bum or work in the factory, if they continued to fight due to any compatibilities, their relationship might be doomed. Just like any other financially-strained families. After the limerence inevitably dies off, all that is left in a marriage is bonding, relationship and responsibilities. Those elements require insurmontable effort, patience, and compromise to be built up, not mere limerence or hot sex for the moment. True love emerges at challenging times. That a couple stays together through all thick and thin.

So in the end, Allie and Noah got my eyes moist again.

1 comment:

René said...


Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm happy to see that my article on The Notebook had an effect on you. I enjoyed your article as well and I'm glad to see that you have a good head on your shoulders.

On a side note, the couple you mention in Titanic are supposed to be the Guggenheims. At least that's what I was told.

Thanks for reading!