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The Notebook review

If Mills&Boon made movies, this epoch-jumping romance would be right up its street.

James Garner plays a crinkly old senior who reads a supposedly fictional love story from his notebook to mothballed Gena Rowlands in the vague hope it'll cure her Alzheimer's. Said notebook contains the story of the pair's star-crossed love affair during the '40s.

Slipping on the rose-tinted nostalgia specs, director Nick Cassavetes (John Q) takes us on a trip back to the age of Glenn Miller, Roosevelt and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams playing the young couple who come from opposite sides of the tracks. Overly sugared it may be, but at least Cassavetes wraps some good-looking chocolate-box packaging around the soft centre, producing a bland-but-inoffensive matinée picture. It also comes with a twist ending... That's blindingly obvious from 10 minutes in.

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