Ryan Gosling’s Most Romantic Film Is A Streaming Hit

Ryan Gosling's The Notebook is currently top 10 in streaming on HBO Max

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

ryan gosling

Ryan Gosling has become the kind of actor who headlines many movies ranging from serious action pictures like Drive and Only God Forgives to ambitious sci-fi pictures such as Blade Runner 2049. However, many Gosling fans say he is best as a romantic lead, and the perfect example of this is the 2004 movie The Notebook. And more people are discovering this cinematic masterpiece because it is now one of the top 10 movies streaming on HBO Max.

If you’ve never watched this film, The Notebook is an adaptation of the 1996 novel of the same name that was written by Nicholas Sparks. It is a period piece set in the 1940s, and Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams play characters who fell in love together. The twist of this narrative is that it begins in the present day, with an old man reading this romantic tale from his titular notebook to an old woman who inhabits the same nursing home, and these old characters’ importance to the plot becomes heartbreakingly more important over time.

The rights to turn The Notebook into a movie were secured by New Line Cinema the same year the book was released, but it took eight long years to actually bring the film to life. Originally, Steven Spielberg himself was going to direct, and he wanted Tom Cruise to play the role that eventually went to Gosling. And as for Gosling, many other actors were considered for the role before him, including George Clooney, but the man who eventually became director, Nick Cassavetes, knew Gosling was the perfect actor for the job.

Ryan Gosling the notebook

Of course, the exact way that Ryan Gosling was selected to star in the film is a bit of a backhanded compliment to the actor. Specifically, Cassavetes wanted to cast someone who would both be less recognizable to audiences and less traditionally handsome (two reasons not to go with then-rising star George Clooney, though he had already passed on the chance to be in the film). As for Gosling, he originally thought he’d be a terrible fit for the role, but director Cassavetes knew that this young actor would really resonate with audiences.

When The Notebook came out, it wasn’t exactly a hit with critics (many of whom found it overly manipulative and obvious in its storytelling), which is why it currently has a 53% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the film notably has an 85% audience score, showing how those who dig the epic love story featuring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams really, really dig it. That’s likely why the movie really swept the Teen Choice Awards, taking home eight awards, including Choice Movie Actor–Drama and Choice Movie Breakout Performance – Male for Ryan Gosling.

And if you like the idea of watching two beautiful leads fall in love on screen, you should know that The Notebook even received the coveted MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss thanks to the tonsil hocket between Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams (a scene they even recreated on the MTV stage while accepting the award). If you’re ready to see what all the fuss is about, you can go stream the film on HBO Max. However, if you spend the rest of the week crying over that ending, you’ll have nobody but yourself to blame.