Silent Film Trailers: The Notebook by @rahtzee


Recently I was in bar enjoying an alcoholic beverage and trying to avoid being spoken to by watching The Birds, which was playing on silent on the TV. I had never seen The Birds but I knew that’s what it was because hordes of children kept getting attacked by hordes of birds and that’s not really a recyclable plotline. Due to the lack of dialogue, I could only vaguely understand what was happening, which I liked and which gave me this idea. I somehow missed a lot of classic movies in my childhood and adolescence, and while I’ve been catching up on some of them, there are some I know I’ll never get to. Previously I was just going to watch the trailers, but now I think I’ll watch the trailers with no sound and record what I imagine is happening.


The only two takes on The Notebook that I’ve ever heard are “it’s so sad and cute oh my god” and “it’s actually not that good.” Neither of these interests me, so I’m never going to watch it, at least not proactively. So here is my interpretation of the trailer, with no sound.



Okay so there’s a boat and a swamp and then two couples from another time executing some unsafe maneuvers on bikes but then only ONE old couple. Ryan Gosling and Regina George killed the other couple and hid them in the swamp and now they’re laughing about it years later. I actually might watch this movie.



Having just stepped off the set of Newsies, Ryan Gosling cuts a whole line of children and grabs the handle (?) of the Ferris wheel. The ride manager finally puts down his cough syrup long enough to apply the emergency brake, allowing our hero to reach a conveniently fatal height and begin his blackmail. Regina George is simply trying to have a night out at the fair with her estranged father, but NO, says the baby goose, I can’t believe what you wrote about me in the burn book! Regina says, I can’t believe that ridiculous hat you’re wearing and goose says take it back or I’ll make you smell my hand! Terrified, Regina agrees to strike her comments about him from the records.



“Remember when we drowned another couple in the swamp?” “God we were good.” The old people are currently, if tentatively, my favorite characters.



Wow things are happening fast. After their spat on the Ferris wheel they did a little dance move and she invited him to her house but plot twist!! He’s poor!! We can see this because of his dark shirt and the lack of duck fat in his hair. Regina’s parents say please don’t bring that poor boy back he really ruins the aesthetic of brunch and he drank all the sweetened condensed milk we hid in the pantry.





Over on the “winter” set, Ryan Gosling holds a gun and stares at the sky, probably thinking about lint and how much he misses his ludicrous cap. Regina gets engaged to a man who looks like a combination of every man ever in a movie. Baby Goose returns to the “summer” set to serve as master of a cotton plantation and gets his picture taken for the newspaper to advance the plot. I am guessing that Regina and Ryan committed one too many murders and he had to go into hiding on a different studio backlot, explaining this contrast in seasons.



There are a lot of rowboats in this movie. And I cannot tell any of the men apart except for Private Ryan and his golden locks.   And old man murder. Anyway in this sequence Regina shows up all in huff at Ryan’s hacienda and he’s like ugh I told you I was fighting the Enemy and do you not see I have crops to tend? Also you have a miniature poodle growing out of the side of your head. While Regina films Say Yes To The Dress, Ryan takes advantage of some low hanging mist and rows furiously out into the swamp to dispose of the body she deposited on his porch. A chair he thought was a rocking chair is a regular chair and this is the young goose’s greatest pet peeve yet, it seems. Some religious archetypes test the air as we see, in quick succession, Ryan, the old lady, and Regina, all cloaked in red – a fairly obviously allusion to John the Baptist and the love all three characters have for “baptizing” in the swamp all those that dare cross their road to glory.



Full disclaimer it has now been nine hours since I wrote that last bit and I have had most of a bottle of wine and this movie has too many characters, I really wish R&R had finished a few more of them off à la the swamp but alas. Regina is striding about in the rain, pissed. I can’t believe you sent those letters, she yells over the monsoon, you know my mom reads all my mail! It wasn’t me, it was Malfoy, he’s trying to frame us, Ryan insists through the sponge that is his facial hair. That fucker, Regina seethes, practically drowning on what was once dry land. They should probably go inside but I didn’t direct this so both characters just stare and stare at each other forever until the swamp finally rises up around them and swallows them in its depths, bringing them, at long last, to the watery grave to which they sent so many who came before. That’s what would have happened if I had directed this BUT. No. Instead, New Line Cinema presents, Yet Another Rowboat But This One Is Silhouetted Against The Sunset. I’m tired of this trailer. This movie is terrible. Okay. Paint me like you paint your French girls, says a fully clothed Goose feat. a shit-eating grin. A nude Regina, because probably no one would have gone to see this movie without at least the suggestion of boobs, spins furiously from her painting of a totally different thing. You know how I feel about the French, she hisses, because her grandparents are also there. I hate this. What is happening. Lest the trailer give away the entire plot in two and a half minutes, the next four seconds throw us all by featuring the mysterious EveryMan to whom Regina was engaged before she drowned, Regina’s mother exhibiting one of her two facial expressions (“sunglasses” as opposed to “you’re poor”) and cameos by Betty White and Clint Eastwood. The Old People Dance, Regina and The Goose Dance and an elaborate title appears to remind us that this is all tiny pixels of light on a flat screen rendering images we’ve seen and will see forever and ever until we are all killed by the poodle Regina used as a fascinator. I don’t know why this movie is called The Notebook. I’d call it The Rowboat. Or The Swamp. Or Mighty Goose and the Big Hat. Regina and Ryan Take The South.


Overall I give this silent trailer a 6/10. Too many boats and too much montage, but I like the variety in scene and character, and I appreciate Ryan’s brief display of ingenuity and athleticism in the carnival scene.

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