You can learn a lot from a less-than-classic movie. As a storyteller, it’s easier to learn what not to do from a bad story than a good one. If something bugs you about a story, take a closer look at what isn’t working and why. It’s great practice for asking better questions in your own work.
The thing that bothered me about The Notebook wasn’t Gosling envy. Gosling’s character and I actually have the same problem–Allie’s father. But my beef with the guy is strictly a matter of craft. Allie’s rich father is a caricature, not a character. He isn’t just rich, he’s the Monopoly Man.

the-notebook-father

The Monopoly Man is part of a larger problem with the movie, one that has relegated it to the shallow end of a genre that includes classics like The Bridges of Madison County, among others. The problem is that The Notebook doesn’t trust the audience. So it uses types, like the Monopoly Man, and tugs at our sense of pity (Alzheimer’s is sad stuff) instead of developing real conflict and convincing forces of antagonism. In other words, The Notebook tells us how to feel. That’s what irks me about the notebook. That’s what I’m going to try not to do when I write conflict.     

But I digress–here’s the ‘why didn’t you write me?’ scene.

The Notebook – Why didn’t you write me? HD VERSION!

A Scene From The Notebook. I Encourage People To Buy This Movie, It’s Really Great. 🙂 Enjoy! =)