Good news, shameless romantics: Today is the 10th anniversary of The Notebook! In honor of this momentous occasion, the audition reel for Rachel McAdams—who played spunky Allie—has been released.
Now, as a writer, I can't say I'm a heavy drinker of the Nicholas Sparks Kool-Aid. Yes, I've read several of his books, but it's always felt like my precious emotions were being formulaically manipulated. And I'm not alone; others, too, have vehemently criticized Sparks' work.
Yet haters be damned, The Notebook endures as a modern-day romance film classic. Back in 2004, Sparks wasn't the household name he is today, but the domestic gross for the film was over $81 million. To compare, the wildly popular teen indie flick Napoleon Dynamite raked in just over $44 million. IMDB has The Notebook sitting at #1 for 2004's most popular films, and US Weekly considers it to be one of the 30 most romantic films of all time.
Why? Easy: the acting. Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling had crazy awesome chemistry that made the sappy narrative believable. They even shared an intense sex scene in which McAdams' character openly orgasmed.
McAdams' audition tape illuminates the spark she brought to the screen before the part was even cast. Obviously she's a beautiful woman, but her passion and charisma are what made Allie so lovable—even when she was being a "pain in the ass."