Archive for July, 2004
The Notebook is stupid, sappy, unnecessarily sentimental and has the WRONG ENDING!”>Yes, Nicholas Sparks is the Anti-Christ of literature. But I’m also a complete sucker for chick flicks. I thought I wasn’t. I thought the fact that Aliens was my favorite movie as a 4 year old, the fact that I crave horror, mystery, action/adventure, science fiction, blah blah blah meant that I was immune to the вЂњOh I love youвЂќ,вЂќNo I love youвЂќ,вЂќOh how our love will last forever despite convenient plot devices to throw us asunderвЂќ. But IвЂ™m not. I love sentiment. Yes, itвЂ™s true. IвЂ™ll admit it. I cry. A lot. Easily. I am Hallmark and Lifetime’s dream. Actually that’s not true. I may be sappy but I still have some taste, however demented it may be.
Anyway, the point. I watched вЂњThe NotebookвЂќ the other night. It was my AuntвЂ™s idea and I went with her. I read the book (by Sparks, before I knew he was the anti-christ) and I sobbed. It was so sweet, so cute, so saaaaaaaaaaaaaappy. But I cried. And I knew it was coming in the movie. I knew the ending, I knew it I knew it I knew itвЂ¦ but I still cried. A lot. So now I seek to reclaim my dignity by stating exactly why the ending of this movie was about 10 minutes too long.
It’s all about the structure. Where it begins dictates how it will end. By the way, if you haven’t seen the movie but want to and you don’t want to know the ending, don’t read on.
In the movie are two stories:
James Garner is Duke, an old man in a nursing home. He reads to Gena Rowlands who is an old woman in a nursing home clearly suffering from Alzheimer’s.
The story that Duke reads is about a young couple: Noah Calhoun and Allie Hamilton. It is the story of their courtship, how Allie’s parents don’t approve, blah blah blah. Poor boy, rich girl, you do the math. The summer ends, they go their separate ways, Allie ends up getting engaged to a very handsome young man from an old Southern rich family but before she gets married she goes back to Seabrook to see Noah. Oh dear. Which boy will she choose? Hmmm’ let me think about this one.
Here’s the kicker. Duke is Noah, and the old woman is Allie. BUT WE DON’T KNOW THAT! I knew that because I’d read the book. Only halfway through the movie do we find out that the old woman is Allie (she’s also referred to as ‘Ms. Hamilton’ which is her maiden name). Also halfway through the movie it is basically given away that Duke is Allie’s husband but we don’t know if Duke is Noah or if Duke is the other young man to whom Allie was engaged.
The movie ends when old Allie suddenly remembers who she is, that she chose Noah and that the man reading the story to her is Noah. It’s all about how their love can cause miracles. But wait’ the movie hasn’t ended yet! Allie’s moment of recollection is cut short, she forgets everything, has a conniption, is sedated. Next day Duke has a heart attack, cut to Allie by herself in some ward, cut to Duke is walking around again, sneaks into Allie’s room, Allie wakes up and knows who he is, she asks if they can go away together, cut to Nurse walks in the next morning and they’re both dead.
That is the WRONG ending! Of course it had the wrong beginning too.
Anyone with a brain will know that Allie picks Noah. Why? Because most of the movie was spent on their courtship. You don’t spend all that time building up a relationship with one boy, only to have her marry someone who was only worth a montage. So the big ‘reveal’ at the end where we find out that Noah is the one she picked? Not a surprise.
The sweet part of this movie is the older story, how by having the story read to her, she remembers who she is. That is what made me cry’ a lot, the moment of recognition. She can have the reveal, because she doesn’t remember that she picked Noah. But the audience has to know. In which case, the story ends with them dancing together. No going back to the disease, no death scene. He presses play on the tape recorder, their song comes on, they dance’ end of movie.
But in order to make that ending work, we have to know that Duke is Noah. The nurses can call him Duke, that’s ok. Allie shouldn’t know who he is because it’d just be confusing for her. But the audience must know from the beginning that James Garner and Gena Rowlands are Noah and Allie. The story that Noah is reading is their story. The young story is about how Allie comes back to Noah geographically, the older story is about how Allie comes back to Noah mentally. The audience already knows that Allie picks Noah, the question is’ will Allie remember. And she does, and it’s sweet. We can even have the camera shift to the open notebook where on one of the pages it reads, ‘The story of our lives. Read this, and I’ll come back to you. ‘Allie Calhoun’. Fade. The end. I’ll still cry. A lot. In fact, even more because I will not have been frustrated by the 10 minutes of nonsense hospital stuff.
<lj-cut text="This is why….">Ok, so I always knew that. But for those who are less informed, let me elaborate.
Reasons New Bern sucks:
1.) No decent bookstore. Although, kudos to Books a Million who recently added to their Sci Fi/Fantasy section. Barnes and Noble still rules, but at least good ole BAM is trying to keep up. Which means that I'll only have to drive to Greenville once every few weeks rather than like… every day.
2.) No Starbucks. *cries* I miss Frappacinos.
3.) No decent coffee shops. I can live without Frappacinos, barely, but I can not live without ONE decent coffee shop where I can have my bagel and milk (don't laugh at me) and write.
4.) No mall. No, I don't shop that often, but when you need to buy some decent clothes to wear at the Coral Bay Club… it'd be nice to have SOME store to go to. Twin Rivers Mall is not a mall. It's a museum for places that went out of business.
5.) No music store. This should be higher on the list, but I'm still reeling from shock. Yes, you heard me. NO MUSIC STORE. If I want to buy a CD of piano concertos by Chopin, where do I go? TARGET! Which doesn't HAVE classical music. *cries again*
6.) No music store. This one sucks so much I'm listing it twice.
7.) None of my friends live here. I do alright by myself, always have. But I miss late night Wendy's with Sarah.
8.) The only remotely interesting person who lives in New Bern is Nicholas Sparks. And he's the Anti-christ of literature.
On the upside… New Bern is undeniably <i>cute</i>. Seriously, it's precious. They've really worked hard to give the streets and shops a face lift. The park on the river is fabulous. There's very little crime, yada yada yada. And there's a lot of undeveloped areas, country roads and such which are great for bike riding.
And my family is here. I adore my family, when they don't drive me crazy. And we have a cottage on Bogue Sound that I go to practically every weekend. I bake cookies, I read, I sit out on the screen porch with my dog and just… listen. It's peaceful, it's beautiful, and my Aunt and Uncle built a house next door so they're always there. My Aunt Mindy is great. She's got a <i>wicked</i> sense of humor and she's always asking me over for dinner. New Bern sucks, but Bogue Sound is fabulous. If only Morehead City could build a Barnes and Noble with Starbucks, then I could move into the Sound. <i>That</i> would be perfect. But it's not gonna happen.
I bought a bicycle. It's a road comfort bike and I love it. Very light, very fast, or at least… faster than I'm used to. On a flat road I average about 17 mph… I've gotten it up to 26 but typically my mother and I ride in subdivisions and with all the turns you can't safely go more than 13 or 14. I love it. And I haven't fallen… yet.
Fiction wise… nothing. Nada. Zip. I've barely touched 'Whorehound' since getting back from SVU. I worked a little on Rigan and Elseran's stories but that didn't go anywhere….
I haven't even read as much as I usually do.
I need someone to bug me more about getting stuff finished. Any volunteers? Any readers? Anyone who wants to come to New Bern, build a Barnes and Noble, and save me from my boredom by standing over me with a whip making me write till my fingers bleed? Ah well… anyway, I hope everyone is doing well.
Oh, and Sarah if you're reading this. UPDATE YOUR LJ!!!!! :)</lj-cut>