I ask in all seriousness: Does bringing a barf bag to this film qualify as an unprofessional predisposition or simple common sense?
I can only surmise that filmmakers who produce these so-called "chick flicks" think that women have the brains of monkeys, because only a monkey would be engaged by a plot that resolves with less surprise than a sunset. The story opens with a geezer (James Garner) telling a story to a geezerette (Gena Rowlands), who has a memory problem. He tells a story about two mismatched youngsters in the 1940s falling in love in the South. Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) is the poor kid with the quick wit and the pure heart. Allie (Rachel McAdams) is the rich girl who falls for Noah despite the prospect of living in a barn for the rest of her natural life.
The resolution of this story and every plot device in it crests the horizon like a flying cow. Director Nick Cassavetes tries to maintain the secret that Garner and Rowlands are the young lovers like a four-year-old with a bullfrog in his pants. As the predictably contrived conflicts keep the young lovers apart, watching the story unfold is like having a staring contest with Medusa. There's the chat from Noah's heart-of-gold dad (Sam Shepherd). There's Allie's overbearing mother (Joan Allen) who, horrified by the dirt poor Noah, does everything in her power to split them apart. There's the scene of Noah, dad and Allie dancing with the Negroes to remind us that the world can be a good place.
Now, if Noah and Allie didn't get back together somehow, the only tears jerked during this film would be from theater managers getting their eyeballs ripped out of their sockets by romance-mad women demanding refunds. In fact, Noah and Allie do find their way back into each other's arms, but not before destroying the self-confidence of two faux-suitors: one, a lonely widow named Martha (Jamie Brown), who falls for Noah, and the second, a soldier, Lon (James Marsden), who recovers from near-fatal injuries and proposes to Allie. Neither deserves to be emotionally crushed, but when young love is involved, it's get the fuck out of the way or get run over. Martha and Lon get run over, but they do that typically generous, romance-movie thing of wishing everybody well before they go because they too believe in true love and know a beautiful thing when they see it, even if it also means that their lives are now shit. Of course, in real life, they probably form a suicide pact and jump off a bridge.
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