The Notebook is a 2004 film starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as two star-crossed lovers who find their happiness lies within each other. However, the story doesn't end there, and this movie shows the complexities that exist within even the merriest of love stories.
The Creation of the Story
Jeremy Leven wrote the screenplay of The Notebook, while Jan Sardi is credited as writing the adaption. The movie script is based on the heart-wrenching Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name. Leven stated he faced challenges in writing the screenplay because he envisioned an audience that may be apprehensive about accepting such a sweet film. To counter that, he tried to give the story an edge and brought a realness to the characters and their choices.
The Notebook is a movie about the love between a man and a woman in its main stages. It all starts when a poor young man falls in love with a rich young woman. Their obvious differences quickly melt away. The New York Times referred to this as "high-strung, slightly crazed teenagers plunging headlong into first love."
The film gives you a glimpse into three different chapters in the life of Allie Nelson and Noah Calhoun, its lead characters. It shows you what their life was like when they first fell in love, when they reunited and chose happiness with each other despite its complications, and how things were as they grew old when Allie suffers with the advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Differences: The Book vs. The Screenplay vs. Film
The Notebook movie script stuck pretty closely with the storyline of the book itself. In fact, reading the screenplay after watching the film can help you learn more about the story the screenwriter intended to tell. The screenplay is so moving that Alan Heim, the film's editor, observed, "I found the script to be very moving. I never cry when I read a script, but I found that I cried at two points while reading this one." However, several filmed scenes from the screenplay were left on the cutting room floor because the original cut was over three hours.
Though the script stays pretty close to the storyline of the book, there were a few character changes made.
The first noticeable difference is the relationship between Noah and Martha Shaw. In the book, the two dated, but in the film, they are just friends. The second noticeable change was with the woman that Noah dated after Allie left; her character was cut out of the film adaptation and screenplay completely.
The final and most notable difference is that in the film, Noah and Allie die at the same time. However, in the book, Allie dies, but Noah does not. Noah is one of the main characters in Sparks' follow-up to The Notebook, The Wedding. Otherwise, a few of the other minor differences include:
- Allie's age - In the book, Allie is only 15 when she and Noah meet. In the movie, she is 17.
- Where it takes place - Writers chose to create a fictional city of Sea Brook, South Carolina. In the book, the story takes place in actual city of New Bern, North Carolina.
- Time spent apart - In the book, Allie and Noah spend 14 years apart before they see each other again while on film, it's shortened to seven years.
The screenplay of The Notebook is the basis for a film that has seen ongoing success as it is embraced by film lovers. You may want to remember this trivia when reading the script or watching the film.
- Jeremy Leven stated in an interview that he wanted to give the film a sort of finality in the end, so that is why he decided to change it to where both Allie and Noah die.
- Nicholas Sparks was inspired to write The Notebook by his wife's grandparents and how they showed him what love can look like after 60 years of marriage.
- Nicholas Sparks was reportedly pleased with both the script and film adaptation.
- Although Jeremy Leven did not directly receive any major awards for his screenplay of The Notebook, he did win the "Lifetime Achievement - Excellence in Screenwriting" at the Sedona International Film Festival in 2004, the year that the movie was released.
Finding The Notebook Movie Script
If you really love the script of this film or are simply a huge fan of those involved in the movie, there are a few places where you can purchase the script in its entirety.
- The Hollywood Script Shop - Purchase The Notebook script for under $20.
- Celluloid Monkeys - The script offered on this website is signed by stars Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, Gena Rowland and James Garner.
Enjoying the Screenplay of The Notebook
Although screenplays are meant to be used as the basis for the creation of films, there is a lot that can be enjoyed about reading scripts themselves. With The Notebook, you can especially appreciate the aspects of the story that were left out of the movie and discern for yourself why they may or may not have worked on film. It can also help you appreciate how Jeremy Leven crafted the adaptation of the novel into the basis of the film that is now beloved around the world.