Fans who have seen “The Notebook” know that watching the ending requires the entire box of tissues.
In the UK, though, fans of the movie are crying for a very different reason.
Inexplicably, Netflix UK & Ireland is showing the movie with an alternate ending, leaving fans flustered and angry.
“Can we even call it an alternate ending?” wrote Metro, a UK newspaper. “If anything, they just cut the whole dang thing off.”
A spoiler alert is needed here for the 20 or so of you who have never seen the movie starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.
“The romantic classic, which follows the story of young couple Noah and Allie as they fall in love in the 1940s, is well-known for its heartbreaking ending,” writes Digital Spy.
“The story is narrated in the present day by an elderly man called ‘Duke’ to a fellow nursing home patient, before we discover that he is the older Noah, and she is Allie, who cannot remember Noah because she has dementia.
“In the movie’s original ending, the elderly couple embrace in bed as Allie finally remembers Noah, before they die in each other’s arms.”
But here’s what Netflix did.
“Instead of seeing a nurse rushing in to see an elderly Allie and Noah curled up in bed together, having died in one another’s arms, we’ve been denied such viewing heartache,” Metro reports.
“That’s the ending we know and love, even if it shatters us into a million pieces. Netflix perhaps thought they were doing us a solid when they shafted the ending for a less bawl-inducing shot of birds flying over a lake after Duke gets into bed with Allie.”
Rebecca Fearn, writing for Bustle online women’s magazine, wondered whether this wasn’t a gentler, kinder ending.
“While I think it’s actually kind of a nice ending (who really enjoys an ending where anyone dies, I ask?!), hardcore Notebook fans on the Twittersphere are pretty enraged,” she wrote. “As well as Twitter, fans have also taken to movie-forum feeds to express their confusion.”
According to Metro, “the change happened a few months ago,” but people really started to notice and protest over the weekend, “and since then the social media accounts of Netflix UK and Ireland has been inundated with calls for reparations and seemingly someone’s head on a spike.”
Fearn writes that “it’s clear this change hasn’t exactly gone down well, and it begs the question: why would Netflix UK do this?”
No one seems to know.
Digital Spy has reached out to Netflix and is awaiting comment; Metro reports that “so far Netflix has declined to comment.”
“The Notebook” debuts on Netflix in the United States on March 1, according to Teen Vogue.