It could still be a top choice for Valentine’s Day movie watching and a romantic classic, but one psychologist has warned The notebook gives us a bad lesson in love.
Based on the Nicholas Sparks bestseller of the same name, Nick Cassavetes’ hit 2004 film tells the story of how Noah Calhoun (James Garner) regularly visits “Old Allie” (Gena Rowlands) at her nursing home. When he visits, he reads her an old notebook about the tragic love story of Allie and Noah, a young couple played by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.
Her story is meant to be a stirring tale of deep love full of dramatic gestures and explanations, but Dr. Nicole LePera, known as a “holistic psychologist,” warned that there are some important red flags to watch out for.
The popular psychologist, who has 6.5 million followers on Instagram, has completed a number of relationship reviews from popular TV shows and films, including Grey’s anatomy And Dawson’s Creek.
In her analysis of Allie and Noah, LePera describes them as “highly dysfunctional from the start” and that the film “glorifies love as possession”.
“Noah threatens to fall off a Ferris wheel to his death if she doesn’t date him,” LePera tweeted to her nearly 1 million followers.
“Allie has said no to him multiple times and instead of respecting her boundaries, he continues to pressure her. After they broke up, he wrote her a letter (without a reply) every day for a year, which could be seen as stalking.
“Later, Allie betrays her husband by visiting Noah without his knowledge. Noah pressures her to choose him, accusing her of being a gold digger. The notebook glorifies love as possession rather than what it actually is: insecure.”
news week LePera asked for a comment via Instagram.
The psychologist’s supporters were divided on her take, with some suggesting Hollywood can’t show normal romance because it would be boring.
“Well, the reason it’s a movie is precisely because normal love isn’t that exciting in real life. It’s one of the reasons we like drama and art… nobody wants to see a movie about two perfectly healthy people in a relationship because it would be absolutely boring,” one person wrote.
LePera replied, “I agree. Normal (safe) love isn’t exciting, and we’re drawn to relationships (in movies and in real life) that give us cortisol hits. Just something we need to be aware of, that’s all.”
Another simply added, “Hollywood!!!” suggesting the film industry is over-dramatizing the relationship, but LePera pushed back, asking, “Or is it a reflection? : )”
TV personality Erin Lee said, “I’ve actually made it a point not to watch this movie because every time someone talks about it I’m like, ‘Wow, that sounds unhealthy.’ Thanks for articulating that.”
The notebook is often seen as a “sleeper hit” that has grown in popularity over time.
It grossed $115.6 million worldwide at the box office, making it the 15th highest-grossing romantic drama of all time Box office mojo.
McAdams and Gosling won those MTV Movie Awards for Best Kiss in 2005 and recreated their infamous kiss-in-the-rain scene on stage as they accepted the award.