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with Jesus

If you can suspend almost all critical judgment and subscribe to a Hollywood tear jerk formula, then this film might work for you. About 80% of The Notebook is a flashback to the 1940s and the improbable summer romance between Allie Nelson and Noah Calhoun that led to their marriage. She is from fabulous wealth; he works at the lumberyard for pennies. Surprise—her mother objects! But they canoe in sunsets, splash in the rain, separate for years, coincidentally find each other many years later, leave the respective people they love, and all through the power of a house Noah restored. In the present day, an elderly Noah reads this story aloud to his now demented Allie from a notebook she had written. The mere reading cures her of Alzheimer's, at least long enough for them to die in each other's arms. Sorry, it does not work for me. Much more interesting would have been an exploration of an aging couple still in love, or about that long interlude between a summer fling and death's doorstep; how does a couple keep the flame alive? This film cheats both ends with sugary sentimentality and leaves the middle passage unexplored.

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