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Where can romance fans watch one of the most popular romantic dramas of the last 15 years?
Love or hate it, you’re definitely familiar with The Notebook. With a heart-wrenching plot and standout performances by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, the 2004 film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel has become one of the most popular romantic dramas of the last 15 years. But fans of The Notebook have long suffered as they’ve waited for the film to become more readily available online. Is The Notebook on Netflix? The answer may frustrate fans–but not for the reasons you might think.
Is The Notebook on Netflix?
Stateside Netflix subscribers, rejoice: The Notebook is coming to Netflix in the U.S. on March 1. It’s a huge win for the platform and romance fans alike, marking the first time the movie has been available on Netflix in the United States. But these fans should also be wary: The Notebook is already available on Netflix in the U.K., but it’s not the version viewers have grown to know and love. As several fans have recently noted, The Notebook on Netflix U.K. has an alternate ending to the theatrical version of the film—and lots of people are upset.
Spoiler alert: In the original version of The Notebook, an elderly man named Noah (played by Gosling and James Garner) visits his wife Allie (McAdams and Gena Rowlands), who has memory loss, every day at a nursing home. Noah tells Allie the story of their romance every day in the hopes of jogging her memory. One day, Allie finally has a breakthrough and recognizes Noah. The two lovers fall asleep together in Allie’s bed, and in the morning, a nurse finds they have both died in their sleep.
The Netflix U.K. version of The Notebook eliminates the scene where the nurse discovers Allie and Noah’s bodies. This makes the ending more open to interpretation—but it also infuriated fans who have grown accustomed to one ending over the past 15 years. For its part, Netflix says it didn’t edit the film. That’s just the version it was provided.
Things you should know…
– we did not edit the notebook
– an alternate version exists and was supplied to us
– we are getting to the bottom of it asap
– apparently some films have more than one ending?!
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) February 27, 2019
It remains to be seen which version of The Notebook Netflix will bring to its stateside subscribers, but a tweet from See What’s Netflix claims it’s the version you’re used to.
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Other ways to watch The Notebook online
There are other ways to watch The Notebook online, if you’ve got a few dollars to spare. Currently, The Notebook is available to rent or buy on YouTube, iTunes, Vudu, and Google Play, starting at $3.99. It may not be the most convenient way to stream The Notebook in an age where viewers are used to having everything at their fingertips, but it still works. (Oddly, it’s not available via Amazon Video.)
The good news is, if you shell out a few bucks to rent The Notebook online, you won’t have to risk the blasphemous alternate ending.
Update 10:10am CT, Feb. 28:
Netflix UK & Ireland issued a follow-up tweet on Thursday morning announcing that it had uploaded the familiar version of The Notebook. Subscribers in the U.K. are now free to cry their eyes out to the ending they hold close to their hearts.
one more thing you should know: we've uploaded the correct (is it correct? who knows at this point) version so the familiar ending is restored
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) February 28, 2019
Here are our Netflix guides for the best war movies, documentaries, anime, indie flicks, true crime, food shows, rom-coms, LGBT movies, alien movies, gangster movies, Westerns, film noir, and movies based on true stories streaming right now. There are also sad movies guaranteed to make you cry, weird movies to melt your brain, old movies when you need something classic, and standup specials when you really need to laugh.
Bryan Rolli is a reporter who specializes in streaming entertainment. He writes about music and film for Forbes, Billboard, and the Austin American-Statesman. He met Flavor Flav in two separate Las Vegas bowling alleys and still can’t stop talking about it.