The Notebook ★★ 2004 (PG-13)
An elderly man (Garner) tries patiently to reawaken beloved wife's (Rowlands) failing memory of their life together by reading the story to her. Couple is seen in flashback of youth and follows them through the struggles of romance. There are two stories here: one very interesting, the other rehashed saccharine. Story of the young lovers is harlequin romance cliche in which noble blue collar overreaches his station, but pretty rich girl just can't help herself. They love, they lose one another, they're reunited again. Sure to make many tender hearts quiver. When Garner and Rowlands share the screen there's true magic. Their chemistry is genuine and finally heartbreaking, and too little time is spent exploring it. A frustrating schizophrenic letdown. 120m/C DVD . US Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, Gena Rowlands, James Garner, Joan Allen, James Marsden, Kevin Connolly, Sam Shepard; D: Nick Cassavetes; W: Jan Sardi, Jeremy Leven; C: Robert Fraisse; M: Aaron Zigman.