The Notebook makes me cry like a child who lost her puppy. And I still watch it all of the time. Seriously.
I went to see this with Mom because, obviously, it's a romantic drama with too much sap to force a boy to sit through. We were apprehensive because neither of us was sure whether the ending was supposed to be a comparatively happy one.
It does end well. Thank God.
The premise is simple. Logan is a marine who finds a picture of a pretty girl in some rubble after a raid. After failing to find the picture's owner, he carries it as a good luck charm. He survives all manner of impossible situations, and returns home convinced that the good luck charm worked. He wants to find the girl in the picture and thank her. The trouble is, when he finds her, he has no idea how to explain everything to her. He and the woman (Beth) start to build a relationship, and Logan bonds with her son, and everything is happy. But their happiness is threatened by Logan's secret and Beth's semi-abusive ex-husband (because who doesn't have one of those).
The Good: It's a really pretty love story. The idea is appealingly sweet, yet not overly cheesie. The relationship building is believable. The son, Ben, is adorable. There are dogs, and the dogs are adorable. I want a dog now. Also, no one gets sick and dies horribly for no good reason.
The Bad: Zach Effron, you're pretty, but you can't really act. That's unfortunate. Also, you are too pretty and too clean to be an ex-marine with PTSD that just walked half-way across the country. Everyone treats you like you do look like a crazy drifter, but you're too well groomed. Sorry. I'm also sorry that Beth reacts to you in all of the most predictable but unfair ways. I don't think she's emotionally stable. But she's attractive and she makes jambalaya and her picture saved your life and stuff so, what can you do?
So yeah, overall, I enjoyed the movie. You have to be willing to overlook some predictability. It's formulaic. But if you like romantic drama, there's no reason not to see this movie.