We watched this movie on DVD tonight. I've never read any of Nicholas Sparks's novels, and I think this is the first film based on one of his books that I've seen all the way through. It's about half of a pretty good movie. I'm a sucker for small-town, Forties Americana, and THE NOTEBOOK does a good job of providing just that for a while. The period details ring true, and the movie is well-photographed and looks great. But just when things are set up for a big, sweeping, epic yet personal story of the sort that Herman Wouk and Irwin Shaw did so well, the plot bogs down and never really moves its feet again. I try to avoid saying, "Well, the writer should have done thus-and-so, because that's the way I would have done it", because I didn't write the book, or the movie based on it. That wasn't my decision to make. Still, there are times when you see things that could have been and wish the author had gone another way. That's the way I feel about THE NOTEBOOK.