In 1996, Nicholas Sparks published his an initial book, The Notebook. He would go on to compose several an ext romance novels, many of which would certainly be adapted into films. Yet 2004’s film adaption that The Notebook remains the highest-grossing Sparks adaptation, make $115 million an international against a $25 million budget. It was Rachel McAdams"s breakout lead duty (it was released simply a couple of months ~ 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 choice Movie Love step and choice Movie Liplock.

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The book and also movie monitor a young pair named boy name (Gosling) and also Allie (Adams) in 1940s phibìc Carolina (the movie was filmed in southern Carolina). Despite some obstacles, the pair fall in love, marry, and spend the next 60 year together. In existing day, that revealed the Allie, now an old woman (played by Gena Rowlands), has actually 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 about the beloved romance, which arrived in theaters 15 years earlier today.

1. The was based on a true story.

Nicholas Sparks’s book was based upon his then-wife Cathy"s grandparents, that spent more than 60 years together. Cathy was close to her grandparents, and also visited lock frequently. The grandparents were as well ill to attend their wedding, in 1989, so the newly-married pair brought the wedding to them. Castle dressed increase in your wedding clothes and surprised castle at their house. Cathy"s grandparents said the Sparks exactly how they met and fell in love, decades ago.

“But though your story to be wonderful, what I most remember from that day is the method they were dealing with each other,” Sparks wrote on his website. “The means his eye shined as soon as he looked in ~ her, the way he held her hand, the way he acquired her tea and also took care of her. I remember watching lock together and also thinking come myself that after 60 years of marriage, this two people were treating each other specifically the very same as my wife and I were treating each other after 12 hours. What a exorbitant gift they’d given us, i thought, to show us top top our very first day of marital relationship that true love have the right to last forever.”

Unfortunately for Nicholas and also Cathy, your love didn’t critical forever—they divorce in 2015

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

Photo through Jason Merritt/Getty Images

“It appears that practically everyone i spoke with about the novel knew a ‘Noah and also Allie’ in their own life,” Sparks composed on his website. He also said the book was brief enough (224 pages) for people to check out it quickly. “I think the readers likewise appreciate that the novel didn’t incorporate foul language and also its love scene to be tasteful and also mild contrasted to what’s found in numerous other novels,” he said. “These determinants made world feel comfortable about recommending it to others.”

3. The screenwriter had actually to work tough to do the personalities seem real.

The Notebook screenwriter Jeremy Leven had actually the difficult task that adapting Sparks"s publication into a script. “The problem with the publication is the it’s melodramatic and sweet, and also you have actually to uncover a method to appeal to an audience the is apprehensive about yet another sweet movie,” Leven said The Harvard Crimson. “So you have actually to give it an edge, do it real, and also make the options the personalities face real.” that “edge” probably has the love step in the rain.

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

Melissa Moseley/New heat Cinema

Even though they played lover in the movie and also then started dating in real life, the pair clashed throughout production. Manager Nick Cassavetes called MTV a story about an event when Gosling and McAdams weren’t acquiring along top top the collection one day: “Ryan concerned me, and there’s 150 people standing in this huge scene, and also he says, ‘Nick come here,’” Cassavetes shared. “And he’s doing a scene with Rachel and he says, ‘Would you take it her out of here and also bring in an additional actress to review off camera v me?’ i said, ‘What?’ We entered a room with a producer; they started screaming and also yelling in ~ each various other ... The remainder of the film wasn’t smooth sailing, yet it to be smoother sailing.”

5. McAdams and Gosling"s on-screen chemistry more than likely wasn"t real.

absolutely wasn’t something that either that us had expected would certainly come out of the filmmaking experience,” McAdams said, “which goes to show you that you can engineer chemistry on-screen just by informing the audience that these two civilization love each other.” She stated it to be attributed come the acting. “As an gibbs you don’t need to feel it. Friend don’t need to feel anything. Just imagine it.”

6. Jessica Biel to be bummed she didn"t get to pat Allie.

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty pictures for NBC

Unlike Gosling, McAdams had to audition because that the function of Allie, and also so go Jessica Biel. “I remained in the middle of shooting Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and also I auditioned with Ryan Gosling in mine trailer—covered in blood,” Biel said Elle. “That’s one that I want so badly. But there’s a million that obtain away. We’re gluttons for punishment. It’s simply rejection.”

7. McAdams feel a lot of pressure to provide a great performance.

The actress said Film Monthly she knew she had actually to be an excellent in the movie, due to the fact that she had actually to carry it. “At very first I put way too much pressure ~ above myself and realized that it wasn’t getting me anywhere,” she said. “I was simply a sphere of stress, and eventually the character kicked in whereby she’s sort of free-spirited, doesn’t care what civilization think, and chases under those things she wants.” She eventually discovered the best balance.

8. James Marsden thought 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 not to make a bad movie, yet they sometimes turn out that way. “Then there are some movies the I’ve remained in that i was sure people would laugh at, that have become huge,” that said. “I believed The Notebook to be going to be a schmaltzy Movie of the Week–type thing, and also here us are!”

9. Nick Cassavetes to be the fourth selection to direct the movie.

New heat Cinema obtained the civil liberties to Sparks"s novel in 1995, before the publication was also published. In 1998, Variety reported that Steven Spielberg wanted to straight the film. Jim Sheridan was additionally interested, but he decided to straight In America instead. In 2001, The Mask of Zorro and GoldenEye manager Martin Campbel almost signed on, yet in 2002 brand-new Line brought Cassavetes aboard.

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10. James Garner ruined his very first take shooting v Gena Rowlands.

Melissa Moseley/New heat Cinema

Nick Cassavetes—son of legendary director man Cassavetes—cast his mother, the good Gena Rowlands, together the elderly Allie. Garner recalled the very first day he and Gena filmed together. “She"s going come come out and I’m sitting on the porch in a chair or something. And I hear Nick say, ‘Okay, mom. Action.’ Well, I destroyed that take because I just damaged up. That was so funny. That tickled me to death. Yet he verified his mother an excellent respect. He to be gentle v her and worked with her. What ns loved about it is the she listened come him. This is a skilled actress who’s among the finest ever, and also she’s listening come her child tell her about things. Ns really admired the in both of them.”