In 1996, Nicholas Sparks published his first book, The Notebook. He would certainly go on to write several an ext romance novels, many of which would certainly be adjusted into films. But 2004’s film adaption that The Notebook remains the highest-grossing Sparks adaptation, making $115 million an international against a $25 million budget. It was Rachel McAdams"s breakout lead role (it was released simply a couple of months after ~ Mean Girls); it solidified Ryan Gosling together a “hey girl” heartthrob; and also it swept all eight category it was nominated for at the 2005 Teen choice Awards, to win in categories like selection Movie Love step and selection Movie Liplock.

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The book and movie monitor a young couple named young name (Gosling) and Allie (Adams) in 1940s phibìc Carolina (the movie to be filmed in south Carolina). Despite some obstacles, the couple fall in love, marry, and spend the next 60 year together. In current day, it’s revealed that Allie, now an old mrs (played by Gena Rowlands), has Alzheimer’s, and also her doting husband (James Garner, together an elderly Noah) helps her remember your storied past. In 2003, Sparks released a loosened sequel called The Wedding, featuring the personalities Allie and Noah. Below are 10 facts around the beloved romance, which come in theatre 15 years earlier today.

1. That was based on a true story.

Nicholas Sparks’s publication was based upon his then-wife Cathy"s grandparents, that spent more than 60 years together. Cathy to be close to she grandparents, and also visited castle frequently. The grandparents were also ill come attend your wedding, in 1989, for this reason the newly-married pair brought the wedding come them. Lock dressed up in your wedding clothes and surprised castle at their house. Cathy"s grandparents called the Sparks how they met and fell in love, years ago.

“But though their story to be wonderful, what I many remember from the day is the way they were dealing with each other,” Sparks composed on his website. “The method his eye shined when he looked in ~ her, the method he hosted her hand, the method he gained her tea and also took care of her. Ns remember watching lock together and thinking come myself the after 60 year of marriage, this two human being were treating each other specifically the very same as mine wife and also I were treating each various other after 12 hours. What a wonderful gift they’d offered us, ns thought, to present us ~ above our an initial day of marriage that true love can last forever.”

Unfortunately because that Nicholas and also Cathy, your love didn’t critical forever—they divorced in 2015

2. Nicholas Sparks think the publication was successful due to the fact that it was relatable.

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“It seems that almost everyone i spoke with around the novel knew a ‘Noah and Allie’ in their own life,” Sparks wrote on his website. He also said the publication was brief enough (224 pages) for human being to read it quickly. “I think the readers likewise appreciate the the novel didn’t include foul language and its love scene was tasteful and also mild contrasted to what’s found in countless other novels,” that said. “These components made people feel comfortable around recommending it come others.”

3. The screenwriter had actually to work difficult to do the characters seem real.

The Notebook screenwriter Jeremy Leven had the an overwhelming task that adapting Sparks"s publication into a script. “The trouble with the publication is the it’s melodramatic and sweet, and you have actually to discover a means to appeal come an audience the is apprehensive about yet one more sweet movie,” Leven called The Harvard Crimson. “So you have actually to give it an edge, make it real, and make the options the characters face real.” that “edge” probably includes the love step in the rain.

4. Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling didn"t obtain along—at first.

Melissa Moseley/New line Cinema

Even though they played lovers in the movie and then began dating in real life, the couple clashed during production. Director Nick Cassavetes said MTV a story about an occurrence when Gosling and also McAdams weren’t acquiring along ~ above the set one day: “Ryan involved me, and also there’s 150 civilization standing in this large scene, and also he says, ‘Nick come here,’” Cassavetes shared. “And he is doing a scene with Rachel and also he says, ‘Would you take it her out of here and also bring in an additional actress to read off camera v me?’ i said, ‘What?’ We went into a room through a producer; they began screaming and also yelling in ~ each various other ... The remainder of the movie wasn’t smooth sailing, however it to be smoother sailing.”

5. McAdams and also Gosling"s on-screen chemistry most likely wasn"t real.

absolutely wasn’t something that either that us had actually expected would certainly come out of that filmmaking experience,” McAdams said, “which go to display you that you have the right to engineer chemistry on-screen simply by telling the audience the these two world love each other.” She stated it to be attributed to the acting. “As an actor you don’t need to feel it. You don’t have to feel anything. Just imagine it.”

6. Jessica Biel was bummed she didn"t acquire to beat Allie.

Photo through Theo Wargo/Getty pictures for NBC

Unlike Gosling, McAdams had to audition because that the duty of Allie, and so go Jessica Biel. “I was in the center of shoot Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and I auditioned v Ryan Gosling in my trailer—covered in blood,” Biel said Elle. “That’s one the I wanted so badly. Yet there’s a million that gain away. We’re gluttons for punishment. It’s just rejection.”

7. McAdams feel a lot of pressure to supply a good performance.

The actress told Film Monthly she knew she had to be great in the movie, due to the fact that she had actually to carry it. “At first I put means too lot pressure top top myself and also realized that it wasn’t acquiring me anywhere,” she said. “I was just a round of stress, and eventually the personality kicked in wherein she’s sort of free-spirited, doesn’t care what world think, and chases under those points she wants.” She eventually uncovered the right balance.

8. James Marsden assumed the movie was going to be "schmaltzy."

Melissa Moseley/New line Cinema

James Marsden played Allie’s fiancé—and Noah’s rival—Lon Hammond Jr. The gibbs told Out Magazine just how he tries no to make a poor movie, but they occasionally turn out that way. “Then there space some movies that I’ve remained in that i was sure people would laugh at, that have come to be huge,” he said. “I assumed The Notebook was going to it is in a schmaltzy Movie that the Week–type thing, and also here us are!”

9. Nick Cassavetes was the fourth choice to straight the movie.

New line Cinema got the civil liberties to Sparks"s novel in 1995, prior to the book was even published. In 1998, Variety reported the Steven Spielberg wanted to straight the film. Jim Sheridan was also interested, however he decided to straight In America instead. In 2001, The Mask that Zorro and GoldenEye manager Martin Campbel almost signed on, yet in 2002 new Line brought Cassavetes aboard.

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10. James Garner damaged his very first take shooting through Gena Rowlands.

Melissa Moseley/New line Cinema

Nick Cassavetes—son of legend director john Cassavetes—cast his mother, the good Gena Rowlands, as the yonsi Allie. Garner recalled the first day he and also Gena filmed together. “She"s going come come out and I’m sit on the porch in a chair or something. And also I listen Nick say, ‘Okay, mom. Action.’ Well, I damaged that take because I just broke up. That was for this reason funny. The tickled me come death. But he confirmed his mother good respect. He was gentle v her and worked with her. What ns loved about it is that she listened to him. This is a skilled actress who’s one of the finest ever, and also she’s listening to her son tell her around things. I really admired that in both the them.”