Dear the 2004 Romantic Drama The Notebook,
I know this seems like it might be coming a little late, but as they say - better late than never! After all, Allie waited seven years for Noah to come find her, never realizing that he had attempted to write her every day for a year but her mother intercepted all of the letters before they reached her. And when Allie and Noah finally did reunite after years and years of being apart, they discovered their passion for one another had not died at all. I've taken this to heart and decided that it's never too late to tell someone how you truly feel. So let me just say this...
Fuck you, The Notebook. Why'd you have to do that to poor Lon?
You might be somewhat taken aback by this, so let me refresh your memory - after Noah and Allie break up, the two eventually find themselves involved in World War II (albeit, not together or anything). While tending to wounded soldiers, Allie meets a handsome young lawyer named Lon Hammond Jr., and the two eventually get engaged with the intent to marry. All the while, Noah continues to pine for Allie, unaware that his letters never reached her. And even after seeing Lon and Allie share a kiss from a distance, his resolve to get back Allie is only strengthened.
Here's the thing about Lon: he's what's known as "the baxter." In romantic films and books, "the baxter" is the protagonist's crummy/dull/jerk significant other, whom they must break up with to follow the path of romantic destiny with their true love. They're a plot point, an obstacle to be overcome - nothing more than a speed bump on the road to love. Think mom's new boyfriend Fletcher in Liar Liar, or Walter in Sleepless in Seattle, or James Marsden in Enchanted.
...or James Marsden in X-Men.
...or James Marsden in Superman Returns.
...OR JAMES MARSDEN IN THE NOTEBOOK.
See the pattern here? James Marsden is constantly getting Baxter-ed. But you, The Notebook, took things too far. James Marsden doesn't deserve to be Baxter-ed this consistently - he's usually handsomer than the leading men....
He's usually more responsible and grounded than them too...
...and he's just overall BETTER than the leading men the women he loves ultimately wind up with. And while the other films presented decent enough reasons why he was doomed to Baxterdom (he's usually something of a stick in the mud, or in the case of Enchanted, a near-braindead thoughtless cartoon man come to life through unnatural magic), there's basically no excuse for his treatment in The Notebook.
Lon is handsome, loving, sweet, funny, charming - and dedicated. He loves Allie truly and completely, and he dedicates himself entirely to her. There's no sense he doesn't value her, or treats her with any level of disrespect, or anything untoward that would justify her not only leaving him, but abandoning him unannounced to go hook up with her hobo-bearded ex for several days while poor Lon is left in the lurch.
The dude already has to deal with being named "Lon" - couldn't Allie at least do him the small mercy of a phone call?
And hell - when Lon finds out his fiance has been hooking up with Hobo Ryan Gosling, he remains kind and respectful and loving. He doesn't immediately break up or get mad at her or anything - he tells her that he loves her and wants her to himself, but realizes that she's still in love with someone else, so the mature thing would be to let her go gracefully and without a bunch of drama.
If you're going to Baxter this poor guy, at least make him a jerk or something so we don't have to feel SO BAD for him. Lon winds up being the only mature, level-headed person in the film - he's kind to a fault, wise beyond his years, and an upstanding character in general.
You did Lon wrong, The Notebook.
Just thought you should know.