Good Movie Review On The Notebook Movie Critique
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Nick Cassavetes’ outstanding movie The Notebook (2004) profoundly depicts the life development of the young couple of Noah and Ellie, emotionally performed by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. According to the stages of lifespan development described in the textbook of Laura E. Berk (2014), the main characters of the movie to all appearances refer to the early adulthood age group. The greater part of the story is devoted to the development of the characters’ romantic affiliations and to the process of their psychosocial maturation. The main purpose of this essay is to analyze how the physical, cognitive and psychosocial domains of human development were reflected in The Notebook movie.
Development of physical features of the main characters was not specifically accentuated in the selected movie. Based on personal observation, it can be assumed that Ellie and Noah were quite mature and physically attractive. Their bodies seem to be fully developed.
According to the researches of Eccles and Gootman, and Benson et al. (as cited in Berk, 2014, p.373), cognitive domain in the early adulthood can be characterized: a) by the ability to make independent decisions; b) by effective information gathering and mature cognition; c) by good scholar performance; and d) by knowing one’s professional development options. As seen in the movie, Ellie and Noah had different cognitive development level. Ellie was working hard on her knowledge and skills to enter the college, and the most part of her day she devoted to studies. On the contrary, Noah was uneducated and spent his time working on a lumber mill (Cassavetes, 2004).
The main features of psychosocial development of Noah and Ellie can be analyzed through some theories presented in the textbook. Ericson’s Intimacy versus Isolation theory claims that the period of emerging adulthood introduces young people to such concepts as friendship, attachment, love, intimacy, selection of a mate, and formation of own family, and success in these categories can predict the further personal development “which focuses on generativity” (Berk, 2014, p. 374). An experience of Ellie differs from Noah’s; she can be seen as a deeply attached to her parents, as well as to her boyfriend. Such uncertainty resulted to the conflict of the young girl’s needs and wishes. Both Noah and Ellie seemed to have no troubles in building a strong intimate relationship with each other, but the forced parting had different influences on them. Ellie delved further into her studies and volunteering as a nurse, which presumably helped her to build new relationships. But Noah had difficulties with forgetting his first love, as he felt deep attachment to Ellie over a long period of time.
D. Levinson in his Seasons of Life theory suggests that people in their early adulthood tend to have a certain image of self which affects their decision-making (as cited in Berk, 2014, p.375). Based on this theory, Noah was dreaming about building a house and creating a family with Ellie, while Ellie’s priority was in her self-development and education (Cassavetes, 2004).
George E. Vaillant evolved Ericson’s theory and described it more broadly in his Adaptation to Life theory (as cited in Berk, 2014, p.375). However, it might be difficult to analyze the movie from this point of view, because a lot of facts from adult life of the main characters were left out.
Many scenes from The Notebook movie resemble my life experience. I am currently at the same age as the main characters and I felt empathy towards Ellie’s desire to satisfy her parents’ expectations, as well as a desire to be with a person she loved. And the Noah’s loyalty and how he kept his word evoked much respect in me. Emerging adulthood seems to be a very important and responsible period in one’s identity development. As suggested by L. Berk, “young adults do more choosing, planning, and changing course than any other age group” (2014, p.369). Therefore, person’s further life experience strongly depends on the physical, cognitive and psychosocial development in early adulthood.
Berk L. E. (2014). Exploring Lifespan Development (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Higher Education.
Cassavetes, N. (Director). (2004). The Notebook [Motion picture]. United States: New Line Cinema.
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