‘The Notebook’ Ending Edited Out By Netflix, Leaving Fans Outraged

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Film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks’ novels have become a mainstay of Hollywood over the years, with at least one releasing every year. The movie that can be most credited with this trend is none other than The Notebook. The 2004 romantic drama featured the love story of a couple from different social statuses falling in love and was told in a unique and innovative way. The film captured the hearts of audiences and remains to this day one of the best romantic movies of recent times. The Notebook can also be attributed to solidifying the current careers of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.

So when the ending of such a romantic and tragic story is edited, unprompted, the outrage is swift and ferocious. Many fans on Twitter recently noticed that the United Kingdom version of Netflix plays a noticeably different version of the film than the original. The ending of the movie is completely edited out by the streaming service, in exchange for a much more ambiguous, or arguably, happier ending than that in the original version.

For audiences unaware, the unique storytelling device behind The Notebook was that the story was being narrated by an elderly man named Duke, played by James Garner, to another resident of their shared nursing home, played by Gena Rowlands.

The story is that of a young couple named Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams), and their tumultuous love affair in the ’40s. The ultimate reveal is that Noah is Duke when he was younger, and the story is entirely a flashback which he reads back to a now much older Allie, given that she can no longer remember him due to her dementia. The reveal, however, is nowhere as heartbreaking as the final frame of the film, which sees Allie finally remember Noah, as they share their last breath together in bed.

Actors Ryan Gosling (left) and Rachel McAdams arrive at the premiere of New Lines' 'The Notebook' on June 21, 2004
Actors Ryan Gosling (left) and Rachel McAdams arrive at the premiere of New Lines' 'The Notebook' on June 21, 2004Featured image credit: Kevin WinterGetty Images

The version of The Notebook currently streaming in the UK has had that final scene completely edited out and instead features the couple holding hands, while birds fly over a lake. Many have taken this to interpret a happier and more palatable ending than the one that left fans devastated during the film’s theatrical release years ago. This has caused massive outrage by fans on social media who feel that the change is unnecessary and actually betrays the tragic ending that is built up towards over the duration of the movie.

There has been no comment from Netflix as of yet regarding the reason behind the change. The Notebook is set to arrive in the USA version of Netflix on March 1.