Everyone has now agreed that Drive is mankind's greatest achievement since the Renaissance, and every heterosexual man is going gay for Ryan Gosling. So last night I decided to watch Gosling-Rachael McAdams love 'n' Alzheimer's LOL-fest The Notebook. I actually knew absolutely nothing about the film, apart from that it was the source of the "I love those cupcakes like McAdams loves Gosling" line from that Lonely Island song, but everyone I mentioned it to went crazy about it, and it Gosling in it, so I was excited.
Spoiler warning: it's not very good. However, I did have a few stray observations.
1) James Marsden is AMAZING
James Marsden is totes one of my favourite actors. He specialises in playing the guy who gets with/ wants to get the girl so that the hero doesn't, and we are supposed to hate him. He's most famous for being Cyclops in the X-Men films, and he's brilliant at playing the dick role. He does the same thing in Enchanted. My favourite Marsden dick role is in Superman Returns, where he's essentially a very loving husband and father, but because he's not Superman, he's basically meant to be a dick (fun fact: his character was the influence for the theme song from Scrubs). Marsden is great in all these roles, and one of these days he's going to get a career defining lead role and everyone will be fawning over him, Gosling-style. Remember, I said it first.
Marsden plays his standard slick prick who McAdams is engaged to in The Notebook, and to be honest halfway through, I was hoping she'd end up with him instead of Gosling. Heresy, I know, but whatevs.
2) Gosling is kind of annoying
...at least in the first half of the film. Once he gets all depressed and emo and grows a beard he becomes the cool Gosling we all know and touch ourselves over. Yet to begin with he's this cocky, over-friendly prick, obsessed with vomit-enducing 'grand gestures' and wearing a stupid cap.
3) Kevin Connolly is basically just E from Entourage
With Gosling as Vinny Chase. I kept expecting him to keep disappearing off to take calls from Sloane.
4) McAdams' Dad is also AMAZING
He basically plays Daniel Plainview three years before There Will Be Blood came out.
6) If a girl refuses you advances, keeping hassling her constantly and then threaten to jump off a great height if she doesn't to go on a date with you
Because that doesn't make you look crazy or anything, does it? Maybe it only works if you look like Ryan Gosling.
5) The film is strangely pro-suicide
As well as Gosling initially wooing McAdams by threatening to jump off a ferris wheel, old-Gosling and old-McAdams die together in each others arms at the end. Thing is, while they are both old and ill, neither of them seemed to me to actually be on their "deathbed" - old McAdams even says just before the end that "their love can take them anywhere they want to go," which to me is a coded way of saying they OD'd on painkillers off-screen. Maybe I'm just reading to much into it, but i got a weird vibe off it.
6) I'm pretty sure that's not how Alzheimer's works
I'm very glad to say that no-one close to me has been effected by the disease so I'm not speaking from experience, but I'm pretty sure people with Alhzeimer's not just suddenly click and get all thier memories back for a pre-detrermined length of time. It's almost like old-Gosling had an emotional 'cheat code' to unlock his old love. It felt like a plot device from a Christopher Nolan film and pretty insensitive when you think about it.
7) The film would have been much more effective if it ended with old-McAdams screaming and being dragged away by the nurses
The bit was genuinely horrifying and was the closest the film came to provoking any reaction from my cold, black heart. The saccharine stuff that followed afterwards pretty much ruined it.
If you want to feel sick, try searching "the notebook quotes" on Goggle images.