The movie focuses on an old man (James Garner) reading a story to an old woman (Gena Rowlands) in a nursing home. The story he reads follows two young lovers named Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) and Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling), who meet one evening at a carnival. But they are separated by Allie’s parents (David Thornton, Joan Allen) who disapprove of Noah’s unwealthy family, and move Allie away.
After waiting for Noah to write her for several years, Allie meets and gets engaged to a handsome young soldier named Lon Hammond (James Marsden). Allie, then, with her love for Noah still alive, stops by Noah’s 200-year-old home that he restored for her, “to see if he’s okay”. It is evident that they still have feelings for each other, and Allie has to choose between her fiancé and her first love.
They met one evening at a carnival many years ago. Allie’s parents separate Noah and Allie. They disapprove of Noah’s lack of wealth, and move Allie away. After waiting for Noah to write her for several years, Allie meets and becomes engaged to a handsome young soldier named Lon. In a local newspaper, Noah’s picture catches Allie’s eye. He is standing in front of a fully restored, 200-year-old home. The article is filled with praise for his accomplishments.
Allie’s heart nearly bursts. The last time she saw this house it was a rotted decaying shamble. She stood enfolded in Noah’s arms in the great entryway and listened to his plans to buy and restore this house. Just the way she wanted it. With her love for Noah still alive, the picture pulls at her heart. She has to go back, see if Noah is okay, and tell him about her marriage. They both think the echo deep in their hearts, the one that has lasted all these years, is not shared by the other. The cry they could not stifle. It wasn’t over for me.
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Year of Release: 2004
Character to watch: Rachel McAdams as Allie.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?