In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to write about an extremely popular movie for the romance genre. A couple of months ago, after a very long time of me begging my husband, I watch the movie The Notebook for the first time. My husband had seen it before and liked it but didn’t want to watch a “chick flick” with me so it took a little bit of convincing. 😉
There were a lot of women who found out I hadn’t seen it and threatened to remove my “woman card”. I wasn’t aware there was such a thing but apparently, you can lose it by not having watched this movie.😉
To give you an idea of what I was expecting, many of my Christian female friends had told me it was the best romantic movie ever. Essentially a must watch and fantastic love story. They may have set my expectations a little high.
I was thinking up there with Tangled or the Princess Bride. It definitely fell short of those two, by a long shot.
And full disclosure, I may just be picky but I like my romance movies and books to have an important message, and I’ll overlook overtly sexual aspects of the content if they aren’t a large part of the movie or book and are far outweighed by the message.
This movie didn’t meet the criteria for me.
Spoiler alert now, you’ve been warned.
This is how I would summarize the movie: A boy and girl have a summer romance. They are from difference social backgrounds (him being lower class and her being upper). Her parents don’t like that he is lower class but they write it off as a summer fling until the end of the summer gets closer. Eventually, the boy sets up a love nest in an abandoned house and tries to have sex with the (emotionally immature and unstable) girl. They get separated by the parents, have a fight, and she moves to the city. They end up mailing each other letters for a long period of time after she leaves that neither of them knows the letters aren’t getting received by the other. Eventually, they give up and she grows up and gets engaged to someone her parents approve of. The man ends up staying and fixing up the house they had planned on living in.
While she is getting wedding preparations underway, she happens upon a paper with his picture in it in front of that house. She leaves and tells her fiance that she has a few things she needs to do before the wedding.
She finds the guy, they hook up (I don’t buy the “on accident” excuse – it’s pretty hard to trip and land on a you-know-what) 😒and her mom makes an appearance. Her mom takes her on a trip to the lumber yard where she shows her the equivalent of what this guy was to her mother (I suppose “true love”?) She basically tells her daughter she’ll always wondering what could have been and that she still holds a candle for the guy. Then she shows the daughter all the letters she’d intercepted.
The main female character has to make a choice between the men after she already slept with the first guy while being engaged to the second. The second guy tells her to go after the first guy and she does. They live happily ever after until she experiences memory loss in old age and forgets who he and her family are. He reads their story to her frequently and she remembers for a short period of time before forgetting and being scared of him. The movie ends with them both dying together.
My husband liked it because the guy finally got “his girl”. I didn’t like it because I didn’t feel like there was any solid message that I could get behind. I’m sorry, but if you are mature enough to be getting married, you should be mature enough to call up your fiance and tell him the wedding is off before riding some other guy. Just my humble opinion.
I also don’t understand why this movie is so loved. Usually, I like movies or books because there is something I can identify with, so I’m wondering why on earth there are so many Christian women that love the message of immaturity, lack of communication and the ideology of “true love”.
I can’t imagine what the husband of the main female characters mother must have felt had he known that his wife still pines for some high school boyfriend. How many women are identifying with that and allowing themselves to be swayed by that message? The same women that cry when their husband’s use porn? You could expect your spouse not to engage in emotional infidelity, but if you are buying into that I would contend you are being a hypocrite.
These are just a few problems I had with the movie. I didn’t think the sex scenes were necessary or contributed to the story at all and I feel like the romantic message is incredibly irresponsible. If it had not been recommended to me by Christian women, I don’t think I would’ve been quite as perturbed by this. I just don’t see this movie as any kind of morally superior to 50 Shades of Gray, and the women who recommended it are not supporters of 50 Shades so I wonder what they believe the difference is.
Anyways…these are just some of my thoughts on this movie. It wasn’t what I expected for sure. Obviously, my husband enjoyed some aspects of it so if you do like the movie, I respect that and you just like I respect him. This isn’t meant to be judgemental, just my own personal convictions and concerns about the content of the movie.
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