movie trailer (apple.com - quicktime)
NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by Allie who says... "The notebook was a great love and romance story, really enjoyable."
The movie starts out with an overview of the water and crows overhead as the opening credits start. A woman (Gena Rowlands) is shown at the window, watching all that. We see she is in some sort of hospital, because a nurse is trying to make her go outside. A man (James Garner) appears and the nurse tells him its not a good day but the man persists and the nurse tells the woman the man is going to read a book to her. The woman agrees, and they sit down.
The Story begins at a carnival. We are introduced to Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) He is with his friend Finn, and he spots this new girl in the town, asking who she is. He meets Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) who is in Seabrook for the summer. Allie refuses to talk to Noah, and we see that Allie is a rich upper class girl who does not really want to bother with the more working class Noah. She goes on a ferris wheel with another boy. Noah is very determined, and literally jumps right on the seat in between Allie and the other guy. Since there can only be 2 to a seat, the ferris wheel is stopped and he hangs on to one of the poles above him. He makes Allie agree to go out with him, threatening that he would fall. He makes her scream I WANT TO GO OUT WITH YOU, and then he says "All right all right we'll go out." She pulls his pants down for everyone to see; he's humiliated.
Noah and his friend Finn go to the movies and bump into Allie and her friend. Noah and Allie's friends are making out during the movie, and then after, so Noah and Allie go for a walk by themselves. He walks in the middle of this road, right by a street lamp and lays down. He says he and his dad used to love to just lie there. And he asks her why she doesn't want to lie down with him, and they discuss how everything she does is for someone else. Like going to school and being educated for her parents. She never does anything she wants or for fun. So she lays down next to him. A car nearly runs over them and they run on the sidewalk screaming. Noah asks Allie to dance, and she agrees, and they dance in the middle of the street.
Cut back to the present with Rowlands and Garner (I'm not sure exactly when these cuts take place so bear with me.) She says she thinks she's heard this story before, and the man looks hopeful. We find out Rowlands is Mrs. Hamilton, and Garner is a man called Duke.
Back to past. Noah and Allie become absolutely inseparable. They fight, but always end up making up 2 seconds after, nothing breaks them up. Allie loves to paint, so one day she comes to his house with a painting she made, and she meets Noah's dad. He's really nice and really likes her. One day after a makeout session in Noah's car, Allie comes home and her father says he wants to meet Noah, seeing as they are very close (he had been watching from the porch). So Noah has dinner with the family. They question Noah about his job, and how much he makes (very little) They really disapprove of Allie liking a man so poor.
Noah comes by and surprises Allie by taking her to this old abandoned house that he says he wants to fix up one day and own. He describes how he going to build it up, and Allie says she wants a say in it too. She says she wants the house white with blue window panes, with a huge wrap-around porch, and a room overlooking the water where she could paint. She sits down at this old dusty piano and starts to play.
Cutback to older Allie with Duke. Allie says "they fell in love, didn't they" and says how she likes the story. They have to hold off for a minute because Duke had to visit the doctor. We find out that Allie has a disease that makes her lose her memory and mind, sort of like Alzheimers. Duke has had a couple heart attacks too. The doctor asks why Duke always reads to her, since its hopeless--she'll never get her memory back, but Duke disagrees. We see Allie with the nurse, all alone and the nurse tells her to play the piano and Allie doesn't realize she plays but she tries to anyway, and we hear her playing the same tune Young Allie played on the old piano. Duke, says I forgot to turn the page--she's playing that from memory, and leaves the doctors office.
Back in the past, Allie and Noah start to kiss and she asks him to make love to her. In a funny strip tease sort of thing, they stand there naked then lie down. Allie starts panicking and just talking about how maybe they should do this, did he have this in mind when they first came to the house, and what's on Noah's mind at the moment. Noah tries to calm her down. Just as they're about to do it, the door opens and its Finn saying Allies parents have the cops looking for her. So Allie rushes back to the house, and her parents scold her for being out until 2:00 AM with Noah. Noah is in the living room, and he overhears the conversation where Allie's mom and dad forbid her to see Noah, saying he's poor trash. Allie says she loves him, but they don't care. Noah starts to leave and Allie runs after him. They fight and he says they should cool it for awhile, then Allie goes crazy and says they should split up and Noah starts driving away and Allie runs after him crying saying something like "this is a joke right, we aren't really breaking up this isn't over in the morning it will be normal as always"
Cutback to present, Duke's kids are visiting. They are introduced to Allie, then Allie goes to take a nap. They call her mother, and we find out they aren't just Dukes kids, they are Allie's too They say she isn't getting better and they want Duke home, but he runs after Allie anyway, saying she is his home.
Young Allie wakes up to find out her parents are making her leave Seabrook, cutting their vacation short. So she leaves without saying goodbye to Noah, only leaving a message of "I Love You" and "I'm Sorry" with Finn. After she leaves, Noah is very sad. He writes her every single day for a year, but gets nothing in return, so for his 365th letter, he says farewell. We find out Allie's mother had been stealing the letters before Allie saw them. Over the years, Noah and Finn get jobs elsewhere, and go off to WWII in North Africa as well. Finn dies there, but Noah comes home safe and sound.
Meanwhile, Allie goes to school and takes a job as a nurse for the war victims in hope that one would be Noah. One of her patients, really beaten up in one big cast, asks her out and she says she'll wait until he's better for that date. Awhile later, he is fully healed and he meets her and takes her up on her offer. So they start to date. He, Lon, (James Marsden) is from southern money, so her parents approve and really like him. He proposes, and she accepts. Noah is in town one day and by luck, he spots Allie and chases after her. He sees her in a restaurant, kissing Lon, and he leaves.
Back at home, his dad sold his house so Noah could start fixing up that abandoned mansion. His father dies, and Noah devotes everything to building this house, just the way Allie wanted, with white walls and blue shutters. The newspaper takes a picture of him and the house. Allie and her friends are shopping for wedding dresses and shes looking in the paper for her wedding announcement when she sees the picture of Noah, and she faints. She tells her fiance Lon she needs a vacation, and goes to visit Noah in Seabrook. Their meeting is very awkward, and he tells her to come back the next day for a surprise. He takes her on this lake to a place with hundreds of swans swimming right by them, and its beautiful. As they head back, it starts to pour, and they start to laugh. On the dock, Allie yells at him asking why he didn't write, saying she waited for him 7 years and now its too late. He says he wrote her every day for a year, and she realizes what must have happened. They kiss, and end up at his house, making love.
For two days, its like old times, and they are both so happy. He shows her the room he promised Allie, overlooking the water so she could paint. While painting, Allie's mother shows up at her door, and takes Allie for a ride. her mother shows her this man from Seabrook she had a summer love with, like Noah and Allie, but she didn't want that kind of life. She gives Allie the letters she had kept, all 365 of them. Allie cries, saying for months her mother heard Allie cry herself to sleep, and she didn't say a thing. Her mother says Lon is on the way, and she leaves. Noah and Allie fight, because Allie doesn't know what to do. Noah says Allie needs to do whatever she wants, so we see Allie leave and drive to Lon's.
Cutback to present, Duke and Allie sit down to dinner. They talk about the story, and she asks how it ends, who did she choose. Then suddenly Allie remembers. She sees herself at Noah's door, with her belongings, ready to stay for good. She starts crying, realizing that Duke is Noah. They dance and kiss, and he is so happy she remembers. She asks about the kids, and tells him to tell them she loves them and that she is sorry--the same thing she told Finn to tell Noah back when she left after that first summer. He says "I love You", and she loses it, saying she doesn't know him. He tries to touch her and she screams and backs away, and we see Allie lost the memory again.
Nurses rush in, trying to restrain Allie because shes going crazy. As the doctor tries to inject Allie with something, Duke/Noah sits down on the bed and starts to cry, (very heartbreaking scene) Then she is calm.
The movie fades, but its not over. We hear the nurse rush in Noah's room, and apparently he has had another heart attack. He's rushed to the hospital, and gets better.
Back at the place Allie is being kept , Noah creeps to Allies room. She remembers him as Noah again. She asks him things like if their love can survive anything. What will happen when she loses her memory completely, what will Noah do. They hold hands, and she asks if their love can keep them together forever. They fall asleep, sharing a bed, holding hands. The nurse comes in the next morning to see them in the same pose, since they passed away together. Obviously their love let them die together.
There is an overview of the water as the credits roll.