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Heroes of the Zeroes: The Notebook

by on August 5, 2010
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Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000-2009.

“The Notebook”
Rated PG-13

No film boasting a PG-13 rating solely for sexuality promises pure chastity, so only an ignorant fool would revoke the man card of pals taken by 2004’s “The Notebook.”

As stubborn lovers Noah and Allie, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams shared voracious kisses and brought torrid heat to anticipated touches, bedroom passion and orgasmic shivers.

Yet “The Notebook” was no tawdry Harlequin hay-roll — mindful of racing minds in moments leading to lost virginity — and its love story wasn’t the stuff of googly-eyed chick flicks.

Lust is easy. Intimacy is hard. So was the creation of chemistry for many Zeroes romances. In Nick Cassavettes’ adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel, Gosling and McAdams spark something akin to cinematically everlasting magic. Other guys impress Allie, but Noah inspires her, and are dares to be the best for each other not the true definition of intimacy and romance?

That same magnetism once defined Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as onscreen lovers, and Gosling and McAdams maneuver “The Notebook” through the same occasionally choppy narrative waters as “Titanic.”

See past cheeseball-combat World War II scenes, an utter waste of James Marsden as the other man and interludes plowing through deaths in five minutes or less.

“The Notebook” excels most when contemplating love’s obligations and responsibilities, that unique balance of fire and calm. It’s tenderly bookended by James Garner and Gena Rowlands in a subplot where the head betrays what the heart can’t forget — a wrenching coda to one of the Zeroes’ most winning happily-ever-after romances.