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The Notebook (2004) - Plot Summary Poster

(2004)

Plot

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Summaries

  • In a nursing home, resident Duke reads a romance story for an old woman who has senile dementia with memory loss. In the late 1930s, wealthy seventeen year-old Allie Hamilton is spending summer vacation in Seabrook. Local worker Noah Calhoun meets Allie at a carnival and they soon fall in love with each other. One day, Noah brings Allie to an ancient house that he dreams of buying and restoring and they attempt to make love but get interrupted by their friend. Allie's parents do not approve of their romance since Noah belongs to another social class, and they move to New York with her. Noah writes 365 letters (A Year) to Allie, but her mother Anne Hamilton does not deliver them to her daughter. Three years later, the United States joins the World War II and Noah and his best friend Fin enlist in the army, and Allie works as an army nurse. She meets injured soldier Lon Hammond in the hospital. After the war, they meet each other again going on dates and then, Lon, who is wealthy and handsome, proposes. Meanwhile Noah buys and restores the old house and many people want to buy it. When Allie accidentally sees the photo of Noah and his house in a newspaper, she feels divided between her first love and her commitment with Lon. Meanwhile Duke stops reading to the old lady since his children are visiting him in the nursing home.

  • In a care facility, Duke, a resident, has to get permission to read to fellow resident, Ms. Hamilton, on a daily basis, as Ms. Hamilton's health is deteriorating, she who has Alzheimer's. The story is always the same one, which he reads out of his notebook, and which she sometimes remembers that she has heard before, is captivated by but cannot remember how it turns out. It details the love affair between Noah and Allie beginning in 1940 in Seabrook Island, South Carolina, when Allie was seventeen and on the brink of her college life, most-likely at Sarah Lawrence. Their relationship was improbable because of their differing social classes and outlooks which led to their relationship being characterized by constant arguments with each other out of their passion. While Noah was a carefree and working class local who had a 40-cent/hour job at a lumber yard, Allie was from a privileged family, her mother who grew up in Seabrook Island and where they were staying only for the summer. There were many obstacles to a Noah/Allie happy ending, most specifically WWII and her parents, especially her mother, who did not approve of the relationship and did whatever she could to end it. That happy Noah/ Allie ending is not a guarantee due to these obstacles. As the story progresses and as the daily realities of present day occur, the reason why Duke feels the need to tell Ms. Hamilton the story and what he hopes she gets out of it become more and more evident.

    Huggo
  • The movie focuses on an old man reading a story to an old woman in a nursing home. The story he reads follows two young lovers named Allie Hamilton and Noah Calhoun, who meet one evening at a carnival. But they are separated by Allie's parents who disapprove of Noah's unwealthy family, and move Allie away. After waiting for Noah to write her for several years, Allie meets and gets engaged to a handsome young soldier named Lon. Allie, then, with her love for Noah still alive, stops by Noah's 200-year-old home that he restored for her, "to see if he's okay". It is evident that they still have feelings for each other, and Allie has to choose between her fiancé and her first love.

  • The movie starts in a nursing home with Duke reading to an older woman, whose memory is slipping from her more and more everyday. Duke reads the story of two lovers who meet in the south at a carnival. Allie was 17. A city girl from money, and Noah was a country boy. The two spend the whole summer together but Allie is forced to move and go to college although she was willing to give it up for Noah. Noah writes Allie 365 letters and she never gets them. So he restores the house him and Allie went to one night out of 'labor of love'. Seven years pass and Allie meets and falls in love with a wealthy soldier Lon. When seeing Noah's picture in the paper, Allie is drawn back to him. They spent a few days together and she doesn't want to leave. Allie has to choose between her fiancé and Noah.

  • An old man in a nursing home reads a story to an old woman each day. The story he reads follows two young lovers named Allie Hamilton and Noah Calhoun. They met one evening at a carnival many years ago. Allie's parents separate Noah and Allie. They disapprove of Noah's lack of wealth, and move Allie away. After waiting for Noah to write her for several years, Allie meets and becomes engaged to a handsome young soldier named Lon. In a local newspaper, Noah's picture catches Allie's eye. He is standing in front of a fully restored, 200-year-old home. The article is filled with praise for his accomplishments. Allie's heart nearly bursts. The last time she saw this house it was a rotted decaying shamble. She stood enfolded in Noah's arms in the great entryway and listened to his plans to buy and restore this house. Just the way she wanted it. With her love for Noah still alive, the picture pulls at her heart. She has to go back, see if Noah is okay, and tell him about her marriage. They both think the echo deep in their hearts, the one that has lasted all these years, is not shared by the other. The cry they could not stifle. It wasn't over for me.

    Dontee
  • A poor yet passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman, giving her a sense of freedom, but they are soon separated because of their social differences.

    Batou

Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • In a modern-day nursing home, an elderly man named Duke (James Garner) begins to read a love story from his notebook to a female fellow patient (Gena Rowlands).

    The story begins in 1940. At a carnival in Seabrook Island, South Carolina, local country boy Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) sees seventeen-year-old heiress Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) for the first time and is immediately smitten. She continuously refuses his persistent advances until their well-meaning friends lure them together; they then get to know each other on a midnight walk through empty Seabrook.

    Noah and Allie spend an idyllic summer together. One night, a week before Allie is to leave town, she and Noah go up to an abandoned house called The Windsor Plantation. Noah tells her that he hopes to buy the house, and Allie makes him promise that the house will be white, with blue shutters, a walk-around porch, and a room that overlooks the creek so she can paint. They intend to make love for the first time, but are interrupted by Noah's friend Fin (Kevin Connolly) with the news that Allie's parents have the police out looking for her. When Allie returns home, her disapproving parents ban her from seeing Noah again. Allie fights with Noah outside and the two decide to break up. Allie immediately regrets the decision but Noah drives away. The next morning, Allie's mother reveals that they are going home that morning. Allie frantically tries to find Noah, but is forced to leave without saying good-bye. The Hamiltons then send Allie to New York, where she begins attending Sarah Lawrence College. Noah, devastated by his separation from Allie, writes her one letter a day for a year, only to get no reply as Allie's mother keeps the letters from her. Noah and Allie have no choice but to move on with their lives. Allie continues to attend school, while Noah and Fin enlist to fight in World War II. Fin is killed in battle.

    Allie becomes a nurse for wounded soldiers. There, she meets the wealthy Lon Hammond, Jr. (James Marsden), a well-connected young lawyer who is handsome, sophisticated, charming and comes from old Southern money. The two eventually become engaged, to the joy of Allie's parents, although Allie sees Noah's face when Lon asks her to marry him.

    When Noah returns home, he discovers his father has sold their home so that Noah can go ahead and buy The Windsor Plantation. While visiting Charleston to file some paper work, Noah witnesses Allie and Lon kissing at a restaurant, causing Noah to go a little crazy, convincing himself that if he fixes up the house, Allie will come back to him.

    While trying on her wedding dress in the 1940s, Allie is startled to read about Noah completing the house in the style section of a Raleigh newspaper and faints. She visits Noah in Seabrook and he invites her to dinner, during which Allie tells Noah about her engagement. Noah questions whether Allie's future husband is a good man and she reassures Noah that he is. Later in the evening, Noah invites Allie to come back tomorrow.

    In the present, it is made clear that the elderly woman is Allie suffering from dementia, which has stolen her memories and Duke is her husband. Allie does not recognize their grown children and grandchildren, who beg Duke to come home with them. He insists on staying with Allie.

    The next morning, Allie and Noah go rowing on a nearby lake and begin to reminisce about their summer together. As a rain storm starts Noah rows to shore, where Allie demands to know why Noah never wrote to her. After the revelation that Noah had indeed written to Allie, they share a passionate kiss, before making love into the night.

    The next day, Allies mother appears on Noahs doorstep, telling Allie that Lon has followed her to Seabrook after Allie's father told him about Noah. Her mother takes Allie out for a drive to show her that there had been a time in her life when she could relate to Allie's present situation. On returning to Noah's, she hands her daughter the bundle of 365 letters that Noah had written to her. When alone, Noah asks Allie what she is going to do; Allie is confused and confesses that she doesnt know. Noah asks her to just stay with him, admitting it is going to be really hard, but he is willing to go through anything because he wants to be with her. Confused as ever, Allie drives off.

    Allie drives to the hotel and confesses to Lon, who is angry but admits that he still loves her. He tells her that he does not want to convince his fiancée that she should be with him, but Allie tells him he does not have to, because she already knows she should be with him.

    The film goes back to the elderly couple, and Duke asks Allie who she chose. She soon realizes the answer herself; young Allie appears at Noah's doorstep, having left Lon at the hotel and chosen Noah. They embrace in reunion.

    Elderly Allie suddenly remembers her past before she and Noah/Duke joyfully spend a brief intimate moment together; after originally finding out about her illness, she had herself written their story in the notebook with the instructions for Noah to "Read this to me, and I'll come back to you." But soon Allie relapses, losing her memories of Noah yet again. She panics, and has to be sedated by the attending physician. This proves to be too difficult for Noah to watch and he breaks down. The next morning, Noah is found unconscious in bed and he is rushed to the hospital; he later returns to the nursing home's intensive care ward. He goes to Allie's room later that night, and Allie remembers again. The next morning, a nurse finds them in bed together, having both died peacefully holding each other's hands. The last scene shows a flock of birds flying away.

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