Box art for The Notebook

The Notebook

drama, romance

Behind every great love is a great story. Two teenagers from opposite sides of the tracks fall in love during one summer together, but are tragically forced apart.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 14
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
4 out of 5
2 out of 5

More sexy stuff than you'd expect for a syrupy romance.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this three-hanky World War II-era romance has pretty steamy sexual content for a PG-13-rated movie, including very passionate kissing and a fairly graphic lovemaking scene (though only shoulders are shown). A teenage couple agrees to have sex, but then she becomes very flustered and anxious, and an engaged girl has sex with a man who isn't her fiance. Characters drink and smoke; there's also brief battle violence and some poignant deaths. Teens will be watching with rapt attention to pick up clues about what true, passionate love looks like, but this type of sensual story may not be appropriate for the youngest teenagers.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how the movie depicts love and romance. Is this what a relationship is "supposed" to be like? Why or why not?
  • How does the movie treat sex? Parents, talk to your kids about the real-life impact and consequences of sexual activity.
  • How do we know who we are meant to be with? Who should we listen to as we think about making that choice?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 30
    see all The Notebook reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: This is a movie that isn't ashamed to wring each teardrop by any means necessary.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, June 25, 2004

Rotten: The movie not only approaches a level of shamelessness you have to see to disbelieve, it does it in a manner that's both inept and crass.

- Charles Taylor,, Saturday, July 3, 2004

Rotten: A gifted cast was bogged down by a treacly tale.

- Claudia Puig, USA Today, Thursday, June 24, 2004

Audience Reviews

5 stars

I'm not one for soppy romantic movies but this one pulls at the heart strings. An older gentlemen reads a story to an elderly lady in a nursing home. The story is about two teenagers Noah and Allie who meet one summer and fall in love. Allie's parents are well to do and Noah is poor. They fell out and Allie's parents send her away to school and they don't see each other for years. Noah writes to her every day for a year but there is no response. They try to move on with their lives but something draws them back to each other and they pick up where they left off. It reminds me of 'Fried Green Tomatoes', there are good and bad things that happen but it all comes good in the end. Excellent cast and story. Ryan and Rachel make a good on screen and off screen couple. Kevin Connolly plays Fin, Noah's best buddy. James Marsden plays Allie's dashing new society beau.

- thmtsang, Sunday, September 9, 2012

4 stars

The adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel is possibly the best interpretation of all. Gosling and McAdams really make the film better than anyone expected. The visualization from Nick Cassavetes places this film atop one of the most memorable, cult-like, romance films of all time. 4.5/5

- fb1442511448, Friday, July 27, 2012

3 stars

I think the way you rate this movie depends on how much of a romantic you are. Unfortunately, I am a hopeless romantic, so it gets a 3 1/2 stars - even though it overplays on the viewer's emotions. I believe this was the first time I saw Rachel McAdams, and to me, she is the best cast member.

- Redlats, Sunday, May 27, 2012