Fifteen years after its release, The Notebook is still one of the most romantic movies of all time. Yeah, you may be able to recite every word of Noah's impassioned monologue at the end of the movie, and you may dream of finding your true love a la Allie and Noah, but there's a lot you don't know about the iconic film. You'll never watch The Notebook the same way again after reading these facts about the movie.
1. The Notebook is the most successful Nicholas Sparks adaptation. According to Box Office Mojo, it earned over $116 million worldwide and got over $13 million in the US on it's opening weekend.
2. You can see Ryan's mic when he's hanging off the ferris wheel. If you look closely when the camera is pointing at him hanging from behind, you can see the mic on the back of his shirt.
3. Allie wasn't supposed to crash into Noah's gate. According to IMDb, it was a complete accident but it was kept in the film because they got a good shot.
4. Nick Cassavetes wasn't the first choice for director. Variety reports that Steven Spielberg, Jim Sheridan and Martin Campbell were also interested in directing the movie.
5. The Notebook is the first novel Nicholas Sparks published. According to Biography, he started writing books in college but, his first two books were never published.
6. Rachel and Ryan won The MTV Award for Best Kiss and forever changed how the award is accepted. That kissing scene is more than iconic and at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards they won the award for Best Kiss. When they accepted, they recreated the scene. Now, it's a tradition at the award show that the winners kiss when they accept the award.
7. The Notebook is making its way to the stage. Back in 2019, Ingrid Michaelson, told Today that she was working on the music for the stage adaptation. According to Playbill, it will premiere in Chicago in 2020.
8. Allie's part in the book was expanded for the movie. The book is mostly from Noah's perspective. You get to see his reactions to things Allie says or does, but it's not from her pov. The movie balances things out so you get both sides of their story and helps you understand her.
9. There's a special edition of the movie. A post on Nicholas Sparks' website talks about a special edition of The Notebook premiering on ABC Family (now Freeform) back in 2012. This edition features over 10 minutes of deleted scenes that were edited back into the film.
10. The movie has a different ending on Netflix. The Notebook is about to be added to Netflix in the US, but it's already available in the UK and fans are not happy with the big change that they made at the end. According to Twitter users, the Netflix version fades to black after older Allie and Noah hold hands in bed. This ending completely skips the scene where the nurses discover that they both died in each other's arms overnight.
11. The movie is based on a true story. Yup, there's a real life Noah and Allie. Nicholas Spark's book is based on his ex-wife Cathy's grandparents. The couple was together for 60 years and Nicholas's ex was very close to them. The grandparents couldn't make it to Nicholas and Cathy's wedding because they were sick, so the day after the ceremony, Nicholas and Cathy put back on their tux and dress and surprised the couple with a second, private celebration. That was the day Nicholas heard the story of how the couple met, which later inspired The Notebook.
12. Rachel McAdams had less than a day to prepare for her audition. She received her script for the movie the night before her audition when she happened to be at another movie's premiere! That only makes the fact that she beat out the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Biel with this flawless audition even MORE astounding.
13. Rachel "sobbed uncontrollably" when she read the script. Even though she only had a few hours to prepare for her audition, she still took some time to have a good cry after reading through the highly emotional story.
14. Rachel isn't wearing shoes in the rain scene because they disintegrated in the water. This happened a lot with her clothes, which were actually made in the 1940s, "so, much of it was falling apart."
15. There's little to no nudity in the film for a reason. Director Nick Cassavetes admitted he's easily embarrassed by sexual things. He also wanted the movie to be appropriate for a large audience. "I don’t want children seeing things they shouldn’t be seeing," he said in an interview.
16. Ryan Gosling wanted to burn the house that he restored in the film. He thought it would be fitting if Noah lit the house aflame after spending so long building it up. Luckily, Nick wasn't into the idea. "He’d come to me and say, 'Why can’t I burn the house down?' I’d say, 'Because I don’t even know what that means.' And he’d say, 'Cleansing my fire!'," Nick told VH1.
17. There was almost a The Notebook TV show. Ah, what could have been. Back in 2015, Entertainment Weekly reported on the news that a TV show based on the movie was in the works. The show, which was set to air on The CW, would have followed Allie and Noah's relationship "against the backdrop of the racial politics, economic inequities, and social mores of post-World War II of the late 1940s in North Carolina." Unfortunately, nothing came from it and a few years later we learned that the network was never able to find a writer for the series so "at the moment it's in the banks," whatever that means.
18. The director, Nick Cassavetes, cast Ryan Gosling as Noah because he wasn't handsome. Nick actually invited Ryan over to give him the news that he got the part and told him, "I want you to play this role because you're not like the other young actors out there in Hollywood. You're not handsome, you're not cool, you're just a regular guy who looks a bit nuts." Ummm... clearly he wasn't looking at the same Ryan Gosling we know and love.
19. Ryan wore brown contacts for filming. Since older Noah was portrayed by James Garner and he had brown eyes, Ryan had to wear brown contacts to cover up his blue eyes .
20. The movie was filmed in reverse. All the older Allie and Noah scenes (with Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling) were filmed FIRST. Ryan then had to lose 20 pounds of muscle during his Christmas vacation and shave off his older Noah beard to transform into the younger, fresh-faced Noah who wooed Allie on the ferris wheel.
21. Older Allie was played by the director's mom. Nick Cassavetes' mother, Gena Rowlands, stepped in to play the older version of Allie at the end of the movie.
22. The famous boat scene almost didn't have birds. You know the scene we're talking about — where Noah and Allie go out on the lake for a romantic boat ride and gorgeous birds surround them? Well, producers at New Line Cinema said that getting those birds to stay on the lake wouldn't be possible. But instead of giving in to the producer's pressure to cut the scene, director Nick Cassavetes found himself some hatchlings and raised them beside the lake so that when it came time to film, they'd feel comfortable on the lake. And obviously it worked! THAT'S dedication.
23. Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears were considered for the lead roles. In which case the movie would have looked more like this:
24. Jessica Biel also auditioned for Allie and she was covered in blood. "I was in the middle of shooting Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and I auditioned with Ryan Gosling in my trailer—covered in blood," she told Elle. "That’s one that I wanted so badly. But there’s a million that get away. We’re gluttons for punishment. It’s just rejection."
25. Ryan and Rachel didn't get along. Yup, despite Noah and Allie's intense chemistry on screen, Ryan and Rachel couldn't stand each other behind the scenes. They fought so much that Ryan actually asked for another woman to come and run lines with him during breaks, and Nick finally had to hold an intervention. "We went into a room with a producer; they started screaming and yelling at each other. I walked out. [Then] everybody came out like, 'All right let's do this.' And it got better after that," Nick said. Well, considering they went on to date for two years, things clearly did get better. The two eventually dated but that didn't last.
26. Ryan Gosling improvised that iconic, passionate line at the end of the movie. You know when Noah confronts Allie at the end of the movie and forces her to come to terms with what she really wants, shouting, "What do you want! What do you want?" Ryan was so committed to his character, he came up with that gem on the spot. Because he's that good.
27. James Marsden, who played Allie's fiancee Lon Hammond, thought the movie was going to be bad. "I thought The Notebook was going to be a schmaltzy Movie of the Week type thing," James admitted. Maybe he was just jealous Allie ended up with Noah or something. *shrug*
28. Ryan Gosling built the table in the dinner scene. Ryan decided to go method for his role as Noah and spent two months doing Noah things, like living in Charleston, South Carolina and building furniture. It was nice the set designer featured some of his hard work in the film. Rachel did the same and took etiquette and took ballet classes for the film.
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