Back in the early days of 2004, the world didn't know that the soon-to-be released film version of Nicholas Sparks novel The Notebook would turn out to be one of the most favorite modern-day rom-coms ever.
And it seems that even upon watching the film, some critics wouldn't have predicted it either. Here are some of the, let's say, less favorable reviews of the movie when it first came out. Oh, how wrong they were.
"Mercilessly plodding pacing, problematic character motivations and a fundamental lack of chemistry between the two star-crossed lovers in question don't do a lot to help its cause." -Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter
What did Nicholas Sparks ever do to you?
"I have the same allergic reaction to this open faucet of tear-jerking swill as I do to the 1996 Nicholas Sparks novel that inspired it." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"From the first soft piano that accompanies white geese flying toward a humongous orange sunset, The Notebook racks up the sugary clichés till you're screaming for mercy." - Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly
"The movie not only approaches a level of shamelessness you have to see to disbelieve, it does it in a manner that's both inept and crass." - Charles Taylor, Salon.com
"[It] has a single goal: to prod your tear ducts to open up. It is very, very good at this task. Whether The Notebook is good in any other respect is a bit more complicated." - M.E. Russell, Portland Oregonian
"The Notebook is meant to be a romantic weepy, and you will shed tears—but only from the consistent and exhausting effort of trying to control your gag reflex." - Rick Groen, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Come on, it's not that bad
"Two hours of the worst sort of sentimental sap." - Jack Matthews, New York Daily News
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.