Netflix Has Responded To The Notebook's Ending Controversy, But So Has Nicholas Sparks

Ryan Gosling as Noah and Rachel McAdams as Allie in The Notebook
(Image credit: (New Line Cinema))

Few endings have the staying power of 2004’s The Notebook. The tragic love story adapted from Nicholas Sparks’ novel tracks Noah and Allie’s young whirlwind romance before picking up with the couple in their elder years, as Noah helps his wife rediscover their past before they pass away together while holding hands, in a perfectly bittersweet tear-jerking conclusion. When UK Netflix users recently decided to revisit the romantic classic, which recently made its way on the streaming platform, something stuck out to viewers… the ending had changed.

Instead of the couple dying together, the movie cuts at the two lying in bed together before flashing a scene of a flock of birds flying over a lake. Wait… what? Twitter is so confused, check out this reaction from user @gcmenight below:

Did Netflix just pull a Bandersnatch on the classic love story? Fans were perfectly content with crying their eyes out at the sight of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdam’s older counterparts in The Notebook, played by James Garner and Gena Rowlands, dying together/ They were in love! They had a beautiful life together. It’s actually quite sweet. Here’s another comeback to the Netflix controversy from Twitter user @huggydaddy:

Following the collective confusion by fans of The Notebook questioning reality, Netflix UK & Ireland recently tweeted this to set a few things straight:

There you go! Somehow, the copy Netflix obtained was one in which Noah and Allie’s demise was cut. The streaming giant didn’t go into the movie and cut out the ending itself to stop us from feeling or tease some upcoming Black Mirror episode.

Netflix UK & Ireland’s response came shortly after The Notebook author Nicholas Sparks visited the Today show to talk about his own feelings about the cut ending. In his words:

I didn’t know it was coming, so I find out about this just like everyone else does and think hmm… why? For me it’s an opinion thing, hey it’s a different ending, you’re definitely going to have an opinion one way or the other. I like the original film.

So strange! Nicholas Sparks was just as surprised about the new ending as everyone else! The change is so minor and feels unnecessary, so why is there this alternative version out in the world that ended up in Netflix’s lap? Just to spare people from seeing two happy elder people dying beside one another after living happy, full lives together?

For Netflix users in the United States, they will also soon be able to relive The Notebook when it hits the streaming site on March 1. Following the backlash to the new ending, the film could be updated to its theatrical version, though all we know is Netflix is "getting to the bottom of it." You can check out more exciting titles coming to Netflix in March with our guide.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.