The Ending of ‘The Notebook’ (2004) Movie Explained

The Notebook 2004 Movie Recap

A poor yet passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman, giving her a sense of freedom, but they are soon separated because of their social differences.

Director: Nick Cassavetes
Writers: Jeremy Leven(screenplay), Jan Sardi(adaptation), Nicholas Sparks(novel)
Stars: Gena Rowlands, James Garner, Rachel McAdams

The Notebook, based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks, the master of romance.

“She made me who I am, and holding her in my arms felt more natural to me than my own heartbeat,” Noah recalls in one epic love story we’ll never forget.

This tearjerker of a film, which was released in 2004, has all the elements of a dreamy, timeless love story.

Naturally, it’s a tearjerker; it addresses the concept of finding one’s soulmate and makes us cry a lot! Whether you acknowledge it or not, you’ve probably dreamt of falling in love and being swept off your feet like this.

This isn’t the only reason why The Notebook is so lovely. It also has two more elements: a teen heartthrob (did I say only teen? Never mind.) Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, the queen of romantic comedies.

Both of them are such a star-struck couple that we nearly believe their victories and losses, feelings, and heartbreaks are real.

That’s how chemistry works. So, today, let’s take a trip down memory lane and enjoy this fantastic film. And, last but not least, don’t forget to bring your Kleenex.

This is going to be a tear-jerking trip down memory lane for you.

The Notebook Movie Plot Synopsis

What is the Plot of ‘The Notebook’ Movie?

Through a sequence of flashbacks, The Notebook depicts a beautiful yet sad love story. An elderly guy holds a battered notebook and reads a romantic romance to a fellow nursing home resident in the film’s opening scene.

The story is set in the 1940s on Seabrook Island, South Carolina, when Noah, a naïve rural kid working in a quarry, first sees the wealthy and youthful Allie at a carnival.

She’s come to spend the summer with her wealthy Hamilton relatives, and she’s also the heir to their fortune. As you could expect, Noah is smitten with her right away.

She continually resists his approaches at first, but their close friends eventually bring them together. What follows is a whirlwind, tumultuous, and intense love affair.

One week before Allie has to depart, Noah takes her to The Windsor Plantation, an old, abandoned house that he hopes to acquire for them.

Allie takes a look around the house and convinces Noah to swear that it will be white with blue shutters, a walk-around porch, and a room with a view of the stream where she can paint. After that, they try for the first time to make out.

They are interrupted, however, by Noah’s friend Fin, who informs them that Allie’s parents have dispatched the cops to find her.

The next scene shows the two fleeing to Allie’s luxurious estate, where her mother Anne becomes enraged and forbids the two from seeing each other again.

In the midst of the uproar, Noah walks out, and Allie chases him down, trying to convince him that they can make it work. When Noah refuses to agree, they fight and split up; Allie quickly regrets her decision, but Noah has already driven away.

The-Notebook-2004 Movie Best-Moments

Allie discovers her belongings being packed the next day and rushes to inform Noah that they are returning to Charleston. However, she is unable to locate him, and instead of alerting Fin.

She also requests that Fin inform Noah of her feelings for him. When Noah returns and receives the message, he rushes to the Hamilton estate, only to discover that it is deserted.

A heartbroken woman Noah continues to write letters to Allie every day for a year. The letters, however, never make it to Allie because Anne intercepts them.

Noah eventually loses hope in life and joins the military during WWII, where Fin is killed. Meanwhile, Allie has enlisted as a nurse to assist in the treatment of injured patients.

After a few years together, she meets captain Lon Hammond Jr., a young, wealthy lawyer, with whom she becomes engaged after a few years. Allie’s parents, of course, approve of the relationship.

When Noah returns home after the war, he discovers that his father has sold their home in order for his son to purchase the abandoned house.

Noah buys it with the intention of renovating it. He watches Lon and Allie kissing in a restaurant one day while on a trip to Charleston to file some papers. This drives him insane, so in a desperate attempt to reclaim her, he decides to repair the abandoned house.

Allie’s wedding is approaching, and while trying on her bridal gown one day, she notices a newspaper item stating that Noah had restored the house according to the specifications she had prepared years before. She gets startled and passes out.

Allie returns to Seabrook after getting permission from Lon to pay a visit to Noah and finds him living alone in the repaired house.

They restart their romance soon after. After a few days, Anne knocks on their home and tells Allie that Lon is looking for his fiancee at Seabrook.

Gena Rowlands in The Notebook Movie

When she takes her daughter on a ride, she tells her that she once loved a man from a lower social level and that she still thinks about him.

Anne then drops Allie off at her house, admits to hiding Noah’s letters, and gives them back to her. Allie, who is once again perplexed, has no idea what to do and decides to meet Lon.

She understands, however, that she can only love one person and tells Lon everything before returning to Noah.

We now return to the present, where we learn that the elderly man’s name is Noah, and the elderly woman’s name is Allie, both of whom are suffering from dementia.

She tells Noah to keep reading to her from the old notebook to help her remember things in the early stages of the condition. Noah, on the other hand, had a heart attack that night and is admitted to the same hospital as Allie.

When Allie tells him she now recalls who he is, he pays her a visit. They both sleep with their hands clasped in one another. The nurse discovers that they perished together in their sleep, still holding hands, the next morning.

What Makes ‘The Notebook’ Movie So Unique?

If you read the plot above, you may be asking if this is a sad narrative in general. But what makes it so unique? Of course, if you’ve previously seen it, you’ll already know the answer. But, if not, allow us to assist you.

It is based on a factual story, for starters. Well, Nicholas Sparks was inspired to write this novel by his ex-wife Cathy’s grandparents’ love story.

The couple had been together for over 60 years when Sparks was inspired to write this book after hearing their story about how they met for the first time.

“But, though their narrative was fantastic, what I most remember from that day is the way they were treating one other,” Sparks writes on his website.

James Garner in The Notebook Movie

The way he looked at her, the way he held her hand, the way he got her tea and cared for her. I recall watching them together and thought to myself that after 60 years of marriage, these two individuals were still treating each other the same way my wife and I did after 12 hours.

What a lovely present they’d given us on our first day of marriage, I thought, to teach us that real love can last forever.”

And these were the emotions he hoped to convey through his novel, which was subsequently magnificently brought to life by Allie and Noah on screen.

Furthermore, the story is quite relatable. Even in today’s era of technology and social media, we’re sure you’ve had or still have someone who can connect to Noah or Allie.

And the film is incredibly realistic. We expect the same tropes and melodrama when we hear about another sweet, tragic, rich girl poor boy narrative as viewers.

But that isn’t the case here. Have you seen the iconic rain sequence in the movie? Or how about the breathtaking lake picture, complete with swarms of gorgeous white swans?

Also, the innocent and not-so-innocent kisses between Noah and Allie? You’ll understand what we mean when we say “genuine” and “raw feelings” here.

The soul-stirring soundtrack from The Notebook is also worth mentioning. It includes some of the greatest hits of the time, including songs by Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman, as well as Aaron Zigman’s scores – jazz and pop music from the 1940s.

The primary title track, Allie Returns, Overture, and Noah’s Journey, are among Zigman’s orchestral compositions.


I’ll Be Seeing You by the Holidays, Alabamy Home by Ellington, and Always and Always by Goodman are all beautiful, melodious compositions.

Glenn Miller, Rex Stewart, the Ellingtonians, and Jimmy Durante all contribute songs that add to the film’s personality.

The enchantment of love is intertwined in The Notebook with the captivating backdrops where the filming took place.

Beautiful lakes, huge oaks, flocks of birds, and the never-ending rain are just a few of the elements that help to tie the story together!

The Notebook, which was released on June 25, 2004, in the United States and Canada, made $13,464,745 in its first weekend.

It became one of the highest-grossing romantic dramas of all time with a worldwide total of $115,603,229, making it one of the highest-grossing films of all time.

The protagonists’ performances, too, received a lot of appreciation from critics and the crowd.

While some have praised The Notebook for its unashamed sentimentality, others have praised the film’s stunning photography, which has been described as “striking” in its rich, saturated hues.

In June 2010, Entertainment Weekly named Allie and Noah to their list of “100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years.”

The Notebook, on the other hand, was included in The Periodical’s list of the 25 Sexiest Movies Ever.

While Us Weekly named it as the 30th most romantic film of all time, ranked it as the third most romantic film of all time. So many awards for a romantic comedy? Isn’t it enough of a cause to make this film what it is now?

the notebook movie Love scene

“The Notebook” [2004] Movie Characters

Allie appears to be the perfect prim and proper, well-behaved, affluent girl when we see her.

She enjoys drawing and poetry, as well as learning the piano and taking French studies. She is a bit fiery, despite being raised in a conservative, rich family.

She doesn’t wish to follow in her mother’s footsteps. She appears uncomfortable, subdued in a rigorous and regulated setting, and it is only after meeting Noah that we see her revealing her adventurous, passionate, and free-spirited side.

Noah, on the other hand, is a carefree young guy who enjoys sitting on the porch with his father reading poetry, and passing the time.

He is a passionate, simple, gloomy, and dedicated man who enjoys his life and is unconcerned about worldly wealth.

Allie pulls out his wit and charm, despite his inherent silence. Noah’s primary purpose was to keep her happy from the time he met her.

Even after all these years apart, he still adores Allie and, yes, is finally able to claim her as his own.

“The Notebook” (2004) Movie Trailer

“The Notebook” [2004] Movie Ending Explained

Even though many people assume there is, The Notebook’s finale isn’t mysterious. It is also simple to comprehend what it signifies.

Furthermore, we were almost anticipating it. We knew this was going to be dreadfully, incredibly sad the moment we saw Allie and Noah for the first time!

Isn’t it a little bittersweet? Yes. Devastating? Unfortunately, yes! The pair struggles against all circumstances to live together and finally live together, symbolising unending, everlasting love.

The Notebook Movie Ending Explained

They are depicted as an elderly, wrinkled couple at the end, Noah suffering from arthritis that makes it difficult for him to walk, and Allie suffering from extreme dementia.

For a brief while, she remembers that she is the young Allie as Noah reads to her from the notepad. She had written out their experience in her journal when she first learned her disease and urged Noah, “Read this to me, and I’ll come back to you.”

But, after this little time of recall, Allie relapses and begins to fear, prompting the physicians to sedate her. Noah is fully unaware of this and is devastated.

He returns home, but the next morning, owing to a heart attack, he is discovered asleep on his bed. He is brought to the hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit, where he meets Allie in her room later that night.

After expressing their love for one other, Noah crawls onto Allie’s bed, and the two fall asleep clutching each other’s hands, with Noah adding, “I’ll be seeing you.”

A nurse discovers them quietly passing away in their sleep the next morning, their hands clasped together. A flock of birds is seen flying away in the closing scene.

What makes The Notebook’s final scene so wonderful is that it reveals how Noah and Allie found a way to remain together even in death.

Their bodies perished, but their love endured. Noah and Allie departed this planet to perhaps locate another planet, realm, or galaxy… who knows.

If you are religious or spiritual, you may relate to this version of the ending more. But wait… isn’t there another ending?

the notebook movie ending

There’s a twist in the final scene of the Netflix UK version of the film. Noah and Allie are depicted sleeping together in the final scene.

The nurse scene, which meant that both of them were dead, is omitted entirely. Instead, the picture cuts to a flock of birds fleeing, hinting that Noah and Allie did not perish.

As you can expect, the finale left fans perplexed and outraged. Despite its bleak ending, the film they had adored was no longer the same.

It’s as though the film’s DNA has been altered. The filmmakers most likely wanted to end the picture on a lighter tone. However, it is evident that this strategy backfired.

Netflix, thankfully, corrected the error and restored the original ending. A movie does not have to end with a pleasant tone throughout.

Sometimes, as in the case of The Notebook, it’s the sad ending that makes it wonderful.

The Notebook, with its original ending, is still available to watch here.