Pass the tissues: The CW is reportedly developing a TV show based on The men-able romance of Allie and Noah. Since we’ve done the research (read: spent many a Saturday afternoon in our PJs watching The Notebook on TV), we have some do and don’t tips to make sure this doesn’t turn into a movie-to-TV disaster à la Clueless.
Do: Focus on the Lost Years
The Notebook was framed by two very specific times in Allie and Noah’s lives. Young Allie and Noah had a fraught courtship, and old Allie suffered from Alzheimer’s, with devoted husband Noah at her side. There are decades in between, and the film showed us a glimpse of that life (their grown children and grandchildren visit)—so what happened to Allie and Noah between the kiss in the rain and the nursing home?
Don’t: Play With Us
We all know how movie ended—it’s one of the most iconic romance films ever. So don’t try to tease us with fake breakups and cliffhangers, we won’t fall for it. Think of it like Titanic—we all knew how it ended, but it didn’t make it any less enjoyable.
Do: Bring Back James Marsden
We’ve always kind of wondered what became of Allie’s ex-fiancé, the handsome and moneyed Lon (that’s a rich person’s name, for sure). James Marsden has said he often gets flack from fans for getting in the way of Allie and Noah’s love story, but we’d like to see him pop up again on the TV show. He wasn’t a great threat to their romance, but it might be fun to watch Allie and Noah navigate their exes. I guess that means we also bring back the most understanding side piece of all time, Martha Shaw the war widow. Ooh! Maybe they got married. This stuff writes itself.
Don’t: Skimp on the Sex Scenes (or the Rain)
You would think audiences are immune to romantic clichés like kissing in the rain, but Ryan and Rachel get us every time (even their MTV Award show kiss was epic. And while The Notebook took a sweetly passionate (if old-fashioned) take on sex, Allie and Noah eventually grow up, get married and have kids. If the show wants to convert the movie’s audience into a loyal audience, don’t skimp on the knee-knocking sex scenes.
Do: Cast Canadians
There have been several Nicholas Sparks books adapted into movies since The Notebook (The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John, Safe Haven) starring some big names (Zac Efron, Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried). Despite the tried-and-true formula—courtship, separation, conflicted-but-inevitable reunion—none have become part of pop culture fabric like The Notebook. The reason is obvious: McGosling. Rachel McAdam’s and Ryan Gosling’s chemistry was off the charts and clearly elevated the source material. Casting two Canadian leads worked for the movie, so they should keep the vibe alive for the TV show.