The Notebook: Why Men Hate It

By Davina Dummer, BounceBack Editorial Staff

Ask any girl what they think of the movie The Notebook and her eyes will change, she'll say "Oh I love that movie," and visibly melt before your eyes. Ask a guy what he thinks of the movie and he'll pull a face and mutter with utter contempt "Ugh, I hate that movie." So why are there such opposing views of the film between the sexes? And why do men hate it more than every other romantic movie out there?

It can be universally agreed, by women, that The Notebook is a beautifully written romantic movie, filled with unrequited love, devotion, torn-apart lovers and true love. The reason we all really love the film? Because we all want a man to love us and be as devoted to us, as Noah is to Ally.

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In the film, Noah romances Ally despite her initially rejecting him, embarks on a romance with her, despite over hearing her family's dislike of him. After breaking up, he writes to her everyday for one year, 365 letters, rebuilds her dream house and informs every woman he meets that he still loves with Ally. Skip ahead and we discover that he has looked after her as she has battled Alzheimers. Is anything more romantic?

The problem is, and this is why men dislike the movie, that a man like Noah does not really exist. So whilst watching the movie, women think, on some level, of how wonderful it would be to have someone love us and be devoted to us like this. Men know this and dislike that we want something, which they ultimately are not able to have.

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No matter how independent and self-sufficient we are, it is still nice to be looked after and to be loved unconditionally. It provides a sense of security, similar to that of when we were young and our parents looked after us. In the film, Noah loves Ally at her best and at her worst and he stands by her no matter what. The film literally takes the traditional marriage vows and has Noah live by example with them 'in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer'. To see that he has stood by her like this makes women melt at the knees. However, it is important to remember that the film leaves out a good portion of their lives together, to which, who knows what happened between them.

Then there is the relationship between Ally and Lon, whom she is engaged to whilst separated from Noah. Lon loves Ally, is emotionally stable, financially stable, enamored by her, but it does not compare to the more raw and passionate relationship between her and Noah, and in the end Lon lets her go to Noah. Whilst it is easy to see the beauty of the true love between Noah and Ally in this situation, we forget that Lon is left behind and that this is a good man who loves and cares for Ally deeply. The fact that she leaves a man like this for a more tempestuous relationship and financially insecure man, leaves men to think, what do women want?

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Women will always love the movie, but it is important to remember it is a movie and is romanticized for the purpose of selling the story. So remember, your man may not be like Noah, but maybe he can offer you something better, something real. So what if he does not write 365 letters to you? If he makes you laugh, and holds you when you cry, and loves you despite your meltdowns, then he is a wonderful man. Who wants perfection anyway!?

Davina Dummer is a writer and acting coach originally from England, who runs the Malisa Theatre Company, a Theatre school in New York City. She is currently writing her first novel.

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