Everything Wrong with the movie: “The Notebook”
The movie The Notebook is loved and cherished by many, and yet this movie teaches many false versions of love. Because of the emotional attachment most people have with this movie, it prevents them from viewing it rationally and logically and from seeing all of the many problems.
Below starts with a summary of the movie for those who need it. Part I begins with things that some people consider minor. If you would like to skip to the larger problems of the movie, then move to PART II and III. If you desire the whole shebang, start reading with the summary and PART I:
Boy (Noah) meets girl (Allie) in high school, and they have a fling for a couple months throughout the summertime. We are called to believe that these teenagers were madly in love, even though they hardly know each other… and even though they “fought 99% of the time.” (Noah often emotionally abused Allie, and Allie physically abused Noah).
Then, one day Allie’s family moved away. Noah wrote her every day for a year. However, Allie’s family disapproved of her relationship with Noah and hid the letters. Time elapsed, and the movie tells us that Allie fell in love with someone else, a handsome and kindhearted soldier, who treated her with deep respect and compassion. After a few years, they get engaged. Days before the wedding, Allie saw a picture of Noah in the newspaper and she just ‘had’ to see him. Oh, and by the way, Noah had turned into a depressed alcoholic who was supposed to love Allie more than the world, and yet he was sleeping with another woman “just to keep himself from getting lonely.” Please. But still worse, he just used this poor woman for sex, telling her he cared nothing for her.
Allie told her fiancée that she “has to go away.” Seeming concerned, he asks her if there was anything for him to worry about. She told him no. She assured him of her excitement, and that she just needed to take care of something, that she would return in a couple days. Oh, that’s right, she never returned as she promised. She ended up being emotionally manipulated by Noah, sleeping with him, and then not even having the common decency to go back and tell her fiancé that she would not be coming back. The young gentleman had to find out through her family. In short, she dumped her long-term fiancé who treated her like a princess for a guy she dated for a couple months in high school, seven years earlier and who had been sleeping with another woman.
Only when we view this movie objectively and rationally, leaving behind childish dreams and emotions, can we see the grave errors this movie gives us about “love.”
What’s wrong with “The Notebook” – PART I
Boy (Noah) meets girl (Allie) at a carnival and asks her to dance, she says no.
Him. Why? [Interrogatingly]
Her: Cause I don’t want to. [Guys come to her rescue – they walk away – Perturbed]
Her: Did you see him standing like 2 inches away from my face? … … …
Him: Jumps onto Ferris wheel with them and squeezes rudely in between the middle of them.
Her: Tries to introduce himself, but she is angry and mortified. Wants nothing to do with him. (I wouldn’t either) He does not respect her and does not take no for an answer. (How often women complain men can’t take no for an answer, but here it’s “cute”).
Noah: “Will you go out with me?
Her: No! [Emphatic]
Guy: Pal, she just told you…NO!
[Some nice guy butted in to stick up for her who was being harassed… and that’s what it was].
Him: Why not? [again interrogating]
Her: I don’t know, cause I just don’t want to
[Irony: Noah always complaining that she doesn’t “do what she wants,” and here he won’t listen to what she wants].
Him. Alright, well you leave me no choice [let’s go of bar with one hand. Guy says O my gosh!! And she screams blood-curdling scream, petrified. Everyone from below freak out too]. Him: I’m going to ask you one more time. Will you or will you not go out with me? “*Lord’s name in vain* I think my hand’s slipping.”
Voice from below: “Then grab the bar you idiot”
Him: “Not until she agrees [She is absolutely terrified for his life – he didn’t care truly about her at all only about his selfish and controlling desire to get a date from her and what he wants. Shows what kind of guy he is at the outset.
Her: (Someone yells for her to go out with him) Ok, Ok, fine, I’ll go out with you. [Desperate to save him].
Him: I don’t want you to do me any favors
Her: No, I want to [Screaming desperately]
Him: What? (She says it again). Say it again (she does)
[So, basically, Noah guilts her into saying yes by threatening suicide until she said yes. Let’s think about this: Rude, pushy and disrespectful, not taking no for an answer. We who have seen the movie probably think it’s cute, but ladies, think if a guy who did that to you and threatened suicide in real life. Is that really cute? Would you find it funny outside in the real world? If not, we shouldn’t idealize it here.]
The Next Day:
The next day, Noah continued to be pushy even though Allie clearly says no. More unhealthy actions.
Noah: So, how about that date?
Allie: No. [He continues to push it]. “I don’t care.” [He continues to push, showing us the person he is].
Noah claims he just “Has to be next to her,” [This is the shallow emotionalism presented in this movie is stupid, and yet people buy it. Ladies, imagine with me for a second that a stranger came up to you on the street, asked you out multiple times, and you keep saying no, and hoping he leaves you alone. Then, he says, “But I just have to be next to you.” Would you find that cute or creepy in REAL life? It is absolutely unrealistic for Allie to suddenly be swayed and charmed by him at this point, unless she’s really immature, and emotionally needy.
“Doing what’s right” vs. “how we feel” is a theme that needs to be explored.
What’s wrong with “The Notebook” – PART II
After their First Date:
Narrator: “After that night, Ally and Noah spent every waking hour together and soon they were inseparable” [The movie then shows scene after scene of Noah and Allie just kissing, make out, more making out, wrapping themselves around each other every chance they got, all while fighting all of the time.]. That is a CLEAR sign of lust, not love! Occasionally, they did “something else” like ride a bike, but it always led back to not being able to keep their hands off each other.
Note on this: This is textbook definition of a bad relationship. Couples that have heavily passionate and sensual relationships, all while fighting constantly, is a huge red flag. This movie presents it as a very good thing; yet, these relationships are the opposite in real life.
Note: Moreover, spending every waking moment together is not healthy, and it leads to relationship failure, compromise, and most often times, divorce. Yet, the movie again portrays it as a good thing. Another problem. To overlook these things because of an emotional attachment is silly and irrational.
Narrator says: “They didn’t agree on much, in fact, they rarely agreed on anything. They fought all the time. And, they challenged each other everyday” (Picture of Allie physically pushing and shoving Noah, slapping him across the face, then walking away angry in a huff).
Narrator then says: “But despite their differences, they had one important thing in common, they were crazy about each other.” (At this point, the movie flashes from scene to scene of Noah and Allie making out and all over each other, at home, in the car, in public, everywhere).
Note: Again, here you will see a dangerous message in the movie; namely, that people can fight and even abuse each other as long as they “love each other.” More dangerous still is that the love presented is not actual love. It is lustful passion. Notice, they are making out and all over each other. In real life, a shallow relationship like does not lead to love but destroys it. Moreover, a relationship that fights all the time is not healthy, and it does not lead to the true love we find at the end of the movie. In real life, it leads to divorce
The broken down house scene: This sex scene proceeds from the emotional and sexual passion that two immature teenagers have. Thus, they find themselves in a broken down house trying to have sex. Allie was inordinately nervous because she didn’t know him that well, and she could not go through with it.
Being the good guy Noah was, he respected her decision. Oh wait, no he didn’t. He didn’t respect her fears at all. Any man who had an ounce of respect for a lady would have talked though it with her and not pressured her in any way.
Allie and her Mom fighting: Allie’s mom yells lectures her about not knowing what love is.
Allie: “And you know what love is? You don’t even look at daddy like I look at Noah; you don’t touch or laugh or play, you don’t know anything about love.” A few mistakes with Allies response:
- While there is a sliver of truth here, it sends a much bigger problem regarding the notion of love.
– Love is not about feelings at all, and that’s exactly what the movie presents it as. The movie makes it seem that the more intense the feelings, the more intense the love. This is how middle school and high school teens think.
– Love is based on a true knowledge of the other person and a committed decision to do what is good and right for them – for their mind, body, heart, and soul.
- Perhaps the mother did feel like that at the beginning of their relationship. We don’t know. Feelings like that fade over time.
- To think that feelings and butterflies is love and lasts forever is immature. Adults grow out of warm and fuzzies, especially after 25 years of marriage. Therefore, it’s not accurate to say she doesn’t love her husband.
- True love is a choice to serve and respect your beloved, to work for their good all your days, despite how you may feel about it. This is why so many people “fall out of love” – because they base it off feelings.
- Feelings and emotions are the first step of love, the first stair on a long staircase. To treat it as if it’s a deep and abiding love is false.
At this point, after Allie’s big fight with her mother, Noah [unrealistically] breaks up with her. Then enters her emotional rampage. This is more true to life of what happens with a relationship based off lust. Fighting a lot happens in immature relationships and ones built on lust. It’s so tied to emotions that when anything threatens to break that, it blows up.
Noah and Allie FIGHTING! This is a big problem that is overlooked in the movie. Noah and Allie fought a lot and possess an abusive relationship. Noah was verbally abusive to her, controlling and manipulative (saying things like, “You’re a pain in the a**”), and Allie was physically abusive, punching Noah, pushing him, slapping him, etc.
Note: In real life, men should never date a girl who can’t control herself, who pushes him, hits him in the face, and the like. What kind of love are we talking about here? In reality, this is an indication of a much deeper emotional problems.
Abuse, whether physical or emotional is never acceptable. It’s not cute, it’s wrong. It’s always a cue for break up. And, yet the movie makes it seem perfectly acceptable.
Did anyone else notice that the movie doesn’t show Noah and Allie having even one good, healthy, conversation, or building any sort of a friendship? I can’t think of one good conversation they had.
Big problems with “The Notebook” – PART III
Allie and Noah were separated for seven years. Noah had written her every day for a year, but her mom who disapproved of her relationship, hid all the letters.
Allie falls in love again:
Narrator: “Allie was surprised how quickly she fell in love with Lonhamon” (So, the movie makes it clear that Allie fell in love with Lonhamon who was a loving and kindhearted soldier who treated Allie like a lady, with complete respect. Any person with a head on their shoulders and eyes that can see, will note the way he treated her verses how Noah treated her. Completely opposite. If you did not, you will next time you watch the movie.
Lonhamon and Allie danced, hung out, conversed, and did many activities together. You don’t see them kissing, making out, physically incapable of keeping their hands off each other like immature high school teens. It is actually a respectful relationship, far more based on love than Noah’s, and yet people long for Allie to get back into the unhealthy one. Anyone else see a big problem with this? [In all the flashing from scene to scene with Lonhamon, Allie was laughing hard and having the time of her life. She seemed happy and in love in every situation we see her it. The movie made it clear that she loved him, and that they were satisfied and compatible. All good things. Then, the big problems come……..
Noah alcoholic depression!
How many people who love Noah conveniently forget about this vivid scene which shows what kind of man he actually is?
Narrator: “To temper his state of loneliness, there was Martha Shaw.”
Note: OK, so here, Noah, who supposedly loves Allie more than the whole world, is sleeping with another woman because “he’s lonely.” Almost as horrible is that Noah doesn’t care about this woman Martha in the least. He uses her. He leads her on. He is extremely rude to her. And, he is un-gentlemanly. Noah uses her for sex and ignores her after that. In short, he her like garbage – and we want to put Noah on a pedestal? Really? [How many women today are dating or sleeping with emotionally distant men like Noah, men who are using them only for sex. And again, the movie makes it seem completely acceptable. But it’s not! If he really loved Allie, and if he were a real man, he wouldn’t be compromising his love for Allie by sleeping with another woman who he doesn’t even like… no matter how “lonely” he thinks he is.
Ladies: How many of you would like to be used by a guy who cares nothing for you? Next time you watch this scene, the truth to Noah’s character will jump out at you.
Right before the Wedding Day:
The movie shows Allie and her fiancé incredibly happy together. Then, out of the blue, Allie happens to see Noah in the newspaper. He was standing next to a house that she wanted many years earlier. It was rebuilt and she faints at the site.
Military Guy was a true gentleman:
Lonhamon truly loved Allie and cared for her. He did everything for her and for her good, as it should be. He didn’t interrogate her, yell at her, try to constantly control her or psychoanalyze her. Moreover, he not did he call her names, insult her, or fight with her continually. Wouldn’t any lady want to be treated like this? Lonhamon was also a true gentleman. He was kind, understanding, gentle, respectful, and cared deeply for Allie, looking do what was good for her. This was the much more healthy relationship that Allie chose to throw away. Contrast this with the way Noah treats her. Fail, Allie!
After seeing the paper, Allie tells her fiancé that she is leaving for a couple of days:
Lonhamon: (Inquisitive) Do I have anything to worry about?
Him: (Gently and kindly) Are you sure you’re alright?
Him: “Then go, take care of things and do what you need to do” … I know you may be nervous, it’s normal to get cold feet before the wedding …” (Notice the kind way that he trusted her and let her do her thing. He always thought of her first, unlike Noah).
Her: “No, no second thoughts about it!” (Allie then kisses him and says, “I love you.”) Her: “I’m going to be back from Seabrook in a couple of days, ok?” [States this to him clearly, lovingly, and matter of factly, staring deep into his eyes].
Notice Allie told him that she had no second thought, that she wanted to marry him, and that he had nothing to worry about. Little did he know … … …
Visiting Noah – Wanting Closure:
Apparently Allie wants closure with Noah and so she goes to visit him to “See if he was ok.”
Allie: So, are you ok?
Noah: No answer… … loooong pause. Still no answer (staring like he’s drunk. Oh wait, he was drunk and looked like a hobo).
Her: (Weirded out by this she says) “OK good” (Then gets into her car): I’m a stupid woman, I shouldn’t have come. (That’s true Allie).
[She leaves angrily and of course, as Hollywood would have a believe, she drove into fence. How convenient. Now she has to stay at his house].
Sitting in awkward silence:
Noah: (Out of nowhere) – “Do you love him?”
Her: “Yeah, I do [dreamy eyed]. I love him very much” (smiling as she thinks about it).
Noah: “Well, that’s that, you marry him and we will be friends, right?” [This was a noble, and the total appropriate answer. Oh, except that he didn’t mean it and is about to emotionally manipulate her and seduce her back to himself. Watch].
They drink a lot together and Allie gets Drunk.
Noah: “I wouldn’t want to take advantage of you”
Her: You wouldn’t dare, I’m a married woman.
Him: “Not yet.” [Noah thinking deeply about that sentence. He invites her back the next morning.
Ou Noah’s Porch:
Allie: “Such a long time ago, just a couple of kids, but we really loved each other didn’t we?” [Actually you were kids and didn’t love each other. You barely knew each other. This is the false premise of this whole story. They only dated for 2 months in the summer time, maybe three months at the most. Moreover, it was a painfully obvious puppy love].
This is a main false premise that the movie is based off of, making us believe that which wasn’t love actually was. That’s why A+B doesn’t = C. Couples that have shallow relationships of lust and who fight all the time don’t end up like the cute elderly couple at the end of the movie; they end up divorced in real life. So, while the end is very cute (though that never happened in the book – a made up Hollywood ending), it’s not realistic for real life people.
As one woman critic stated rightly, “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.”
Noah’s emotional manipulation: Noah tries to emotionally seduce and manipulate Allie by bringing out on a boat to romantic places throughout the day. We are supposed to believe that she forgot all about her fiancé and only wanted Noah.
When they get back on the land, Allie starts crying, yelling, and asking Noah why he didn’t write her back. Not really realistic, but whatever.
Noah explains that he did write her everyday. A little pause. Allie says nothing. Then out of nowhere, Noah says to Allie, “It wasn’t over, it still isn’t over!” [At this point, he quickly goes over her, picks her up into his arms, and kisses her passionately without even asking permission. She reciprocates
Note: Sigh. The truth is that their relationship was over, seven years ago. Whatever the circumstances that happened, whether it was right or wrong for her mm to hide the letters, that’s what happened and she had moved on with life. She got a career and a fiancée who adored her. Yes, it was long over Noah. So, naturally Noah, who had no regard for the fact that she was engaged, no respect for the fact that she had made a commitment, moved in and emotionally manipulate her.
Sex: To make matters worse, Noah carries her in the house and immediately has sex with her. This was probably the most ungentlemanly thing anyone could have done, and yet, women are crying and cheering that she cheated on her fiancé. No real man with any class would does this sort of thing. And no woman with any class would applaud it.
The fact that she gave into him was wrong. This is another big problem with the movie. Relationships are often driven by emotion, like here. 100% emotional, 0% rational. 100% naïve and unfaithful. 0% responsible.
After cheating on her fiancé: After they have sex together, Allie states, “So, this is what I’ve been missing all along… let’s do it again.”
Think about that deeply for a moment. Sex is what she was missing? This is what supposedly made her feel complete. Not a good message for a Christian. If she had waited merely a few more days, she would have had sex with a husband. She would have had what she was “missing” but in the appropriate way.
More bad lessons: Sigh. This movie makes it seem like sex makes a relationship, especially deep, passionate steamy sex full of emotion, despite the fact that she was in gauge to someone else and cheating on him. Shame on Nicholas Sparks (the author) who is supposed to be a “practicing Catholic.” Hmmm.
Real-life Christian love is the polar opposite of this movie, and yet most people think the movie is true love. Moreover, pre-marital sex has the opposite effect in real life relationships. All studies show that sex before marriage destroys a relationship, love and intimacy, and leads to a much greater chance of divorce. Even recent statistics show high levels of depression among women who have given up their most precious gift before marriage.
As another mother and critic put it: “I can’t tell you the number of girls that I know who absolutely love this movie because it’s a love story based on commitment. But honestly, it’s a story about a girl who cheats on her soon to be husband. … The woman in this movie has noisy sex with the man Noah in the movie. 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.”
Later: As the movie progresses, we see that Allie stays with Noah. She doesn’t even have the common human decency to go back and inform her fiancée that she won’t be coming back to him. Lonhamon has to find out through Allie’s father! To me, this is the height of immaturity. Eventually, her mother comes looking for Allie and her finds her at Noah’s.
On the porch again:
Noah: “What are you going to do Al?”
Her: [Confused] I don’t know
Noah: [Upset and angry with her. Speaks to her sharply] “We’re back to that? Are we back there? What about the past couple of days?” [Umm, Noah, what about the last few years with her and her fiancé?]
Her: “I know that. They happened, and they were very wonderful, but they were also very irresponsible.” [He gets angry and kicks stool off the deck – of course, that’s Noah.].
Allie: I have a fiancée back at the hotel waiting for me, and is going to be crushed when he finds out what I did.
Noah: So, you make love to me and then you go back to your husband? Was that the plan? Was that a test that I didn’t pass? [Ummm, no Noah, remember that you emotionally manipulated her, carried her off without permission, and initiated the whole thing. No Noah, you have made her confused by emotionally seducing her into doing something wrong. To make it worse, now you’re whining like a spoiled little baby].
Her: No, I made a promise to a man, he gave me a ring and I gave him my word.
Him: (Angrily and accusatory) “And, that’s shot to hell now, don’t you think?”
Her: I don’t know, I don’t know I’ll find out when I talk to him.
Him: This is not about keeping your promise; it’s not about following your heart. It’s about security. [Notice how Noah always does this. He always psychoanalyzes Allie, and poorly].
Her: You smug Bastard, now I hate you.
Him: Well, I hate you! And, if you leave here, I hate you!! (Notice the abuse people. People in love do not speak this way].
Her: Have you been paying attention to anything that’s been happening here?
Him: Guess not, I must have misread the signals …
Her: Yes, I guess you did. [She walks away to her car]
Him: [He chases her] You’re bored, you’re bored and you know it, and you wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t true. [Oh Noah the psychologist psychoanalyzing again. She definitely wasn’t bored. The movie makes that clear. And she would have left if she didn’t hit the fence, and if he didn’t stand in front of her car door so she couldn’t leave. Controlling much?]
Her: “You arrogant S.O.B”
Him: Stay with me…
Her: What for (very upset), look at us, we are already fighting.
Him: “That’s what we do, we fight. You tell me when I’m being an arrogant S.O.B. and I tell you when you’re being a pain-in-the-a** …which you are 99% of the time, and I’m not afraid to hurt your feelings. They have like a two second rebound rate, and then you’re back to doing the next pain in the a** thing”
Note: Are you kidding? Ladies, is this loving and respectful talk? Would you let a guy speak to you this way? Of course not. This is verbal abuse. Ask any woman in an abusive relationship.
On that note of abuse, when Allie still walks away and attempts to go to her car, Noah goes over and slams the car door so she can’t get in. Then, he stands in front of the door with his arms crossed so that she can’t leave.
Her: So what?
Him: So, it’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be really hard, but I’m willing to work at it because I want you.
Her: I need to go.
Him: Would you stop thinking about what everyone wants … What do you want?
Note: He’s the one not thinking about her, only himself. She’s already told him that she wants to leave several times over. Noah’s also not thinking about her fiancé, her parents, or what she’s telling him. He says he loves her, but all of his actions are contrary. Which is why the following words below could only be believed in Hollywood… or in abusive relationships.
Noah says: “I want you, all of you…” (She becomes instantly emotional over this and starts crying and fanning herself with her hand. Swooning over his words) –
Note: There is a grain of truth here. Almost all women want to be desired, want to be loved wholly, to be #1 in a man’s life, and want to be fought for. However, as has been demonstrated, actions need to match the words. You can’t desire this from someone who can’t give it to you.
Abusive men constantly “say” they love a woman, but verbally and sometimes physically abuse her. When she threatens to leave (the right thing to do), he praises her and tells her that “He needs her,” and “she is everything to him” and that “he is going to change” [cough, cough].
Unrelated side note: Does anyone else think it’s creepy and incredibly unrealistic to believe that Allie’s mother always stopped in the distance to watch her one of her ex-boyfriends at work, her boyfriend fling from over 25 YEARS AGO!! The movie makes us believe that she’s still in love with him 25 years later. Riiiiiight.
Confession to Fiancé:
Fiancé: “In spite of everything I love you [Very heroic and cute, but a bit naive. She cheated on him before they even got married, how could he trust her afterwards?]
Her: “I love you too… I do. I feel one way with you, and I feel a whole other way around him.
Note: THIS is a monumental problem with the movie. It portrays love as a feeling and not a committed decision to love someone, to work toward making them happy, and to do what is truly good for them – what is good for their mind, heart, body and soul.
Fiancé: [Very gently, kisses her hand], “Look, its normal not to forget your first love [true to some extent, but un-normal to be supposedly “madly in love” with him seven years later]
Notice, unlike Noah from the previous scenes, Lonhoman always cares for Allie. He always looks at her gently and deeply in the eyes and speaks to her as someone he cares for more than anyone in the world. Isn’t this what most ladies want from a guy, rather than someone who swears at you, insults you, has anger management problems, psychoanalyzes you, and the like. Hmmm. Seems like Allie made the wrong choice.
Lonhoman: “I love you Al, and I want you for myself.” “I don’t want to have to convince my fiancée to be with me.”
Her: “You don’t have to, I already know I should be with you.”
And then she leaves…………………………. Facepalm!!!!
Ahhh! This is why this movie is horrible, I don’t like this movie, or it’s pathetic message.
Question? If she knows she should choose him, and that it’s the right decision, the why does she go and make the wrong one? [Again, doing the right thing, vs. middle school emotional, on-the-spot choices].
In real life, we spend so much time and effort teaching young girls/women to avoid unhealthy relationships. IF Allie truly loved Lonhoman, she would have done what was best for him and for herself, the decision she knew was right.
What is the real truth?
Allie and Lonhoman did things right. They talked a lot, got to know each other, had healthy entertainment, laughter, and a respectful relationship. They did not engage in pre-marital sex. There was no “messing around” and, no fighting. That’s the way a relationship should be.
Objection from most woman: “Oh, but Allie and Noah are so cute and romantic. They got back together.” Ummm.
This is usually the sole objection, and really a horrible one. It’s purely emotional and irrational.
However, most people see the truth once it’s explained to them. I cannot tell you how many people have told me that knowing the truth “ruined the movie for them” … as it should. Even people who disagree with me initially, almost always come to agreement after watching the movie again. They see things in a completely different light.
Final note: We must never get so caught up in our emotions that we blur, miss, or change what is right and wrong, what is healthy and unhealthy. Not in Hollywood and certainly not in real life. It is abundantly clear that this movie is not really about true love (unless we are speaking of the love Allie threw away. Rather the movie sadly presents many false versions of love, things that if people actually practiced in life, they would have a miserable relationship!
Recommended movie: “A Walk to Remember.” (This is another Nicholas Sparks movie that does depict more of what love is).