10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Notebook

It's 20 years old this year...

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This year marks the 20th anniversary of everyone’s favourite soppy romance film, The Notebook.

In 2004, this movie took the world by storm, and had us all sobbing in front of the TV. Now, twenty years later, we’d like to celebrate its birthday by telling you some interesting facts about the film that you might not have known before!

1. Allie and Noah are inspired by a real couple

The Notebook is based on a novel written by Nicholas Sparks, who has publicly stated that the relationship between Allie and Noah was heavily inspired by the grandparents of his then-wife Cathy.

The couple had been together for sixty years and many parts of their love story were included in Sparks’ writing. How cute is that!

2. Many other big names were considered for the lead roles

Notable celebrities like Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Reese Witherspoon were all considered for the roles of Allie and Noah. Tom Cruise was also put forward, but director Nick Cassavetes wanted Ryan Gosling because he wanted someone ‘not handsome’.

Don’t think that opinion would go down so well today.

3. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams really didn’t get along for a while

The pair argued a lot while filming, and it even got to the point that Gosling requested another actress to read lines with him instead of McAdams.

Thankfully, Cassavettes solved their problem by making the pair sit in a room together and talk it all out. This was obviously very effective, and the actors even dated for a while after the film was released. Who doesn’t love a bit of enemies-to-lovers!

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4. The movie explores Allie’s character a lot more than the novel does

Since Sparks’ novel is set mostly through Noah’s perspective, Allie’s character doesn’t get much exploration. The movie, on the other hand, explores the love story through both Noah and Allie’s perspectives equally.

In a 2004 interview with IGN, McAdams explained why this change gave the story more depth, saying: “I’m glad they’ve explored the young love a lot more. I think that it makes the end so much richer because you get to see their memories and you get to see the memories that she’s losing and the tragedy in that.”

5. The director’s mother played the role of Older Allie

Gena Rowlands, Nick Cassavettes’ mother was casted as Allie’s older self.

As well as that, the photos in the film of the older Allie and Noah are actually real photographs of Rowlands and her husband John, with Gosling’s face photoshopped over John’s.

6. Ryan Gosling improvised a lot of his lines

Gosling did a lot of improvising while filming, and he even improvised some of his most iconic lines, including his dramatic “What do you want? What do you want?”

7. Gosling had to wear eye contacts for the film

Blue-eyed Ryan Gosling had to wear brown eye contacts while filming, because Noah’s eyes were supposed to be brown and because James Garner, who played older Noah, had brown eyes.

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8. Gosling and McAdams both went method to prepare for filming

In the film, Noah’s character becomes a woodworker, so Gosling actually did an apprenticeship with a cabinetmaker in South Carolina before filming.

He even ended up building some of the furniture that appears in the film, including chairs and tables. Meanwhile, McAdams took ballet and etiquette classes, as well as working with a dialect coach to perfect Allie’s southern accent.

9. The movie has a different ending on Netflix

Netflix’s version ends the film at the scene with older Allie and Noah holding hands in bed, so the audience is completely oblivious of the actual final scene, where a nurse returns in the morning to discover that the couple died in each other’s arms that night.

10. Gosling and McAdams won the MTV award for best movie kiss

Gosling and McAdams’ intense and rain-soaked kiss scene won them the MTV movie award for best kiss in 2005. While accepting the award, the pair reenacted the fiery kiss on stage.