BOONE, NC – “There’s no better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day,” said Suzanne Livesay,
executive director of the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country, about plans to screen the
audience favorite film “The Notebook” during the theatre’s month long Romantic Comedy
Film Series. “There’s something for couples young and old to enjoy, as well as those who want
the perfect date night movie, or others who simply want to take in a classic ‘Rom-Com.’”
The film will be screened at 7 p.m. on February 14 and is a little over two hours in duration.
“The Notebook” is a 2004 romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes, with a screenplay
by Jeremy Leven and Jan Sardi. It is based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Nicholas
Sparks. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple who fall in love in
the 1940s. Their story is read from a notebook in the present day by an elderly man (played by
James Garner), telling the tale to a fellow nursing home resident (played by Gena Rowlands, director Cassavetes’ mother). Actors James Marsden, Kevin Connolly, Sam Shepard, and Joan Allen play supporting roles.
The film initially received generally mixed reviews but performed well at the box office and
received several nominations and awards, winning eight Teen Choice Awards, a Satellite Award,
and an MTV Movie Award. The film became a sleeper hit and has gained a cult following
generating $118 million at the box office in its initial release.
Cassavetes wanted someone unknown and “not handsome” to portray Noah; he therefore cast
Ryan Gosling in the role. Gosling was initially surprised by this: “I read the script, and I thought,
‘He’s crazy. I couldn’t be more wrong for this movie. It gave me an opportunity to play a character
over a period from 1940 to 1946 that was quite profound and formative.’”
To prepare for the part, Gosling temporarily moved to Charleston, SC prior to filming. For two
months, he rowed the Ashley River and made furniture while a nationwide search was conducted
to find the right actress to play Allie. Those who auditioned for the part included Jessica Biel,
Britney Spears, Ashley Judd, and Reese Witherspoon, before Rachel McAdams won the role.
On casting her, Cassavetes said: “When Rachel McAdams came in and read, it was apparent
that she was the one. She and Ryan had great chemistry between them.” McAdams commented:
“I thought it would be a dream to be able to do it. I read the script and went into the audition just
two days later. It was a good way to do it, because I was very full of the story.”
Gosling commented that, “I think that it’s pretty fair to say that we probably wouldn’t have madthe film if we hadn’t found Rachel… Really, Allie drives the movie. It’s her movie and we’re in it. It all kind of depended on an actress.” In comparison to the book, the role was extended. McAdams spent time in Charleston before filming to familiarize herself with the surroundings and took ballet and etiquette classes. She also had a dialect coach to learn the Southern accent.
“The Notebook” was filmed mostly on location in South Carolina, in late 2002 and early 2003,
as well as the wintery battlefield just outside Montreal. Production offices for the film were set up
at the old Charleston Naval Base in North Charleston. Much of the film’s plot takes place in and
around Seabrook Island, an actual town which is one of the South Carolina “sea islands” located
20 miles southwest of Charleston.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times praised the film, calling the photography “striking in its
rich, saturated effects” and stating that the “actors are blessed by good material.” Peter Lowry
of Film Threat praised the performances of both Gosling and McAdams; he wrote: “Gosling and
especially McAdams give all-star performances, doing just enough to hand the reins over to the
pros, who take what’s left of the film and finish the audience off with some touching scenes that
don’t leave a dry eye in the house.”
The remaining “Rom-Com” series film is the Julia Roberts and Richard Gere classic “Pretty
Woman,” which will be screened at the theatre at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21.
Note that all [email protected] are shown without movie previews or trailers, so please arrive a
few minutes before the scheduled start time to secure tickets and purchase concessions. The
general admission ticket price is just $6 per person, and attendees under the age of 13 must be
accompanied by a parent or guardian.
While the App Theatre’s online ticketing system is accessible 24/7, customers can avoid the
online service fees by visiting the lobby box office between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. from Tuesday
through Friday, or one hour prior to showtime for each film. For a complete performance
schedule of all upcoming events, or to sign up for the theatre’s e-blast distribution list, visit the
organization’s website at www.apptheatre.org
Events, days, dates, times, performers, and prices are subject to change without notice.
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