Every other year or so, a celebrity “It” couple comes around that makes fans believe in love, sometimes for the first time ever. Way back in the day, there were the basic love stories (like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton or Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy) who people would tend to obsess over.
Later on, it became couples like Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston (and then Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie… which, itself, was a wild ride), and then a little movie called The Notebook came along.
Fans had known them from their hit movies before, but by the time Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams both starred in the movie that would rocket them to stardom, fans and onlookers weren’t actually prepared for the real-life love story that would happen to unfold right before their eyes.
Even though they’re no longer together as a couple, Ryan and Rachel’s relationship together seemed to be the fairytale of a lifetime (not to mention the ultimate real-life romantic comedy)–so much so that fans actually miss their courtship and their red carpet couple cuteness.
Here are the 21 major things that fans miss about this famous “It” couple that brought them so much hope for their own romantic futures.
21 That Love/Meh Thing They Had Going On In The Beginning
If you didn’t already know, both Rachel and Ryan were thrown together when they were cast as Allie and Noah, two people in 1940s South Carolina who fall in love despite the fact that her parents, a well-to-do Southern couple, don’t approve. The movie was a massive hit with young, starry-eyed adults.
The thing was, in real life… Rachel and Ryan, well, didn’t exactly get along.
Director Nick Cassavetes reminisced to Us about how they couldn’t really stand each other at first. “Ryan came to me, and there's 150 people standing in this big scene and he says, ‘Nick come here.’ And he’s doing a scene with Rachel and he says, ‘Would you take her out of here and bring in another actress to read off camera with me?’” Whoa…
20 Examining That Fine Line
After Ryan told Nick that he couldn’t work well with Rachel, the director tried to smooth things over by putting them in a room together to work everything out and they just started screaming at each other. Apparently, the aggression that came out in that little spat helped create a much smoother atmosphere during the rest of the shoot. However, that aggression between the two really brought out the love story on the screen. “We inspire the worst in each other,” Ryan said to GQ. “It was a strange experience, make a love story and not getting along with your co-star in any way.”
19 Watching Them Deny Their Love At First
At first, there was nothing there after filming wrapped, until the actors started thinking more about it. “I don’t know what happened,” Ryan said in 2007. “Two years later I saw her in New York and we started getting the idea that maybe we were wrong about each other.” It was clear that they had each settled down and realized that there were definitely feelings there under the rocky surface.
It took them two years of actually thinking about it to succumb to their feelings and start dating.
Of course, they had to keep it quiet at first (since, you know, all fans of The Notebook would scream in happiness), but it didn’t take long for the denials to turn to truth.
18 … And Then Suddenly Turning Into Everyone’s Favorite “It” Couple
If the couple had actually gotten together during the filming of The Notebook instead of around the time it was already out, people wouldn’t really have believed the chemistry between Allie and Noah. But it was clear that they had gotten together while doing press for the film itself because you can see it unfolding with every interview the two did together, and it was just adorable. They quickly became the new celebrity it couple that everyone was just fawning all over. And yes, it also helped sell more movie tickets after word got around that while the movie was good, it was their love/dislike for each other really stood out.
17 The Award Show Cuteness
Word spread pretty dang fast that Rachel and Ryan were the newest Hollywood couple so everyone wanted to tune into the award shows they knew they were attending together, especially the Teen Choice Awards, where they made waves with their new love.
The couple was nominated for “Best Kiss” (we’re guessing the one that specifically earned them the nomination was the famous rain kiss).
And when actor Paul Walker announced them as the winners, they reenacted that rain kiss on stage and the audience just went absolute bonkers. Of course, every time the couple would walk the red carpet that year, all eyes were clearly on them.
16 When They Would Bring Good To The World
If you didn’t already know, Rachel and Ryan were activists (and still are while in their current relationships) and traveled all over to give help when help was desperately needed. During 2005, after the monumental effects of Hurricane Katrina, the couple famously went down to Louisiana and volunteered for cleanup duty. Later on, Rachel would participate in protests (like a protest that went on in Los Angeles that aimed at the government criminalizing immigrants in the US), while Gosling ventured over to Darfur refugee camps in Chad to aid. It was clear that there was (and is) so much good in their hearts.
15 Witnessing Their Tough Times
Like any couple, Rachel and Ryan would have their rocky times that would drive them apart at some points. Eventually, the couple would end up calling it quits the first go around in 2007.
People thought that they had split up because the press was endlessly bugging them, or that their relationship couldn’t live up to the public’s expectations of it after The Notebook.
However, Ryan said that the media had nothing to do with their breakup and that he wasn’t exactly sure what the reason was. “The only thing I remember is we both went down swingin’ and we called it a draw.”
14 … And How They Would Overcome Them
The split didn’t last long at all because it was clear they couldn’t stay away from each other for a long amount of time. It was clear that over the past few years, they were on a rollercoaster ride when it came to the two of them. First, they disliked each other and couldn’t stand to be in the same room together let alone shoot an entire movie together. Second, they realized that the intense feelings they felt was actually love (remember, there’s a fine line between love and despising someone, and these two managed to walk it) and decided to act on their feelings. It’s easy to see they would be able to overcome separations and obstacles set in their path since they’ve already been over them.
13 The Cute Little Things They Would Do For Each Other
No matter where they went or what award show they would grace with their presence, they always were the cutest two in the room. And no, it wasn’t just because they seemed to only have eyes for each other.
It was the little things they would do–the joking and jabbing they did at each other (always innocent enough)–to the silent, loving looks they would exchange with each other.
From this picture that was taken of them grabbing a bite to eat where she was jokingly sitting in his lap to them walking the red carpet with Rachel’s hair dyed pink, it was clear since they came out as dating that they were simply too cute for words.
12 What, No Notebook: The Sequel?
Anybody who is everyone has watched The Notebook will tell you that it literally is one of the most romantic movies of all time (well, almost any millennial will tell you this while some think that the movie went over the edge with the merging of the two separate storylines from different time eras) and that it deserves a sequel. Well, the more we think about it, the more you have to ask “why?” Even though the love between the two younger versions of Allie and Noah ended happily, their older counterparts did…. in a morbid way. Even both Rachel and Ryan in real life know that there is no reason to expand on the story if we know the end game of it all. And they have a point.
11 The Strange Ways Their Fans Would React To Their First Break Up
While, yes, we certainly miss these two as a couple (and even non-couple when talking about each other so lovingly,) we actually sorta miss hearing about the strange fan reactions to their break up (both the first and second one.)
“Women are mad at me,” Gosling said to GQ after their first breakup.
“A girl came up to me on the street and she almost smacked me. Like, ‘How could you let a girl like that go.’ I feel like I want to give people hugs, they seem so sad. Rachel and I should be the ones getting the hugs! Instead, we’re consoling everybody else.”
10 Knowing That Their Romance Was Better Than Any Movie
Sure, we all loved their stormy romance in The Notebook, but what they seemed to share together was better than any script written by a ghostwriter. From the moment they met and disliked each other to us reading how they realized they wanted to actually be with each other and then them actually falling in love with each other. When Rachel was asked about what she thought the best part of The Notebook was, she smiled and casually said “The best part of the film? Meeting Ryan Gosling.” You know right there that that’s some pure and utter magic.
9 The Way They Would Talk About Each Other (Even After Both Break-Ups)
Sometimes, after a particularly messy breakup, usually, either person who was involved in the relationship would rather just NOT talk about their ex let alone say nice things about them.
But Rachel and Ryan are not your average, everyday ex-celebrity couple.
“God bless The Notebook,” Ryan once said after their official breakup. “It introduced me to one of the great loves of my life. But people do Rachel and me a disservice by assuming we were anything like the people in that movie. Rachel and my love story is a heck of a lot romantic than that.” Now those are some golden words from an ex-boyfriend and we’re so here for it.
8 Knowing That They Kept A Lot Of Their Relationship Private
We like to think that we know EVERYTHING there is to know about a celebrity couple, even one as open as Ryan and Rachel. Since we saw some of their love story play out on the screen (both big and small) we like to play know-it-all in this sense. But what’s better is knowing that the best parts of their romance were the little, private things they went through behind closed doors. Sure, the paparazzi would catch them off guard at times, but do we really know what the heck was going on? Absolutely not, and they preferred to keep it that way. We’re lucky they shared as much as they did with their fans.
7 Friends Make The Best Partners In Life
It sounds like at the beginning of their famous love story, Rachel and Ryan weren’t exactly on the friendliest terms considering the fact that the two would have screaming matches with each other whenever the camera wasn’t rolling while filming The Notebook.
But what is even better is when you become so close in your relationship that even when the relationship part crumbles, you can still be close friends with your former significant other later down the line.
Sure, based on their spats in the movie itself, we’d always assume the fallout would be just as messy, but not for these two. It’s good to know they’re still close even though they’re in new relationships.
6 “She’s One Of The Great Loves Of My Life”
Most people in the real world have yet to have ONE great love in their lives, but according to Ryan Gosling, he has multiple, and Rachel McAdams is clearly and utterly one of them. He went on to say that she is one of the great loves of his life and she does interviews where she said she would absolutely love to work with him again (you know, despite them not getting along on The Notebook set). “No! Not at all, I’d love to work with (Ryan) again,” she said after she was asked if she “dreaded reuniting” with him after he was linked to a project she was working on. We, frankly, would love to see another film starring them.
5 Leaping Foward From Real Love
Rumors started swirling that Rachel was dealing badly with the news that Ryan and his wife Eva Mendes were expecting their first child back in 2014. But Rachel did an interview with Allure magazine saying that she was happy for the couple and she was happy moving on in her own world.
When asked if she believed in finding true love again, Rachel said “Oh yeah, for sure. Absolutely.”
If you’re truly burned in your last relationship, usually it would be hard to move on. We know it’s not always easy seeing a love of yours move on with his own life, but Rachel has done so with incredible grace.
4 The Tabloid Art
Goodness, these two couldn’t go anywhere with all the cameras attempting to poke and prod at their life together (yes, even when there were at the airport together–can’t a couple just get a moment or two alone with each other?). As annoying as it was for them, we sort of miss seeing it in our timelines and when we’re standing in line at the supermarket when their pictures would grace the pages of gossip magazines, mainly because even their stolen moments look pretty cozy. While we know they’re still dealing with invasions of privacy in their new lives with their new partners, we still miss these little stolen moments to witness.
3 All The Amazing Red Carpet Cuteness
Something even better than the stolen moment cuteness? The ones that we were actually invited to witness. Yes, we’re talking about all their adorable gestures and looks toward each other when they would walk the red carpet together. Sure, back when they were a couple, Twitter and IG were around, but they weren’t as huge as they are now.
These days, red carpet moments are caught and shared by celebrities themselves (if you’re not following Ryan Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively, you should be because you’re missing out on THEIR red carpet online jabs at each other).
But back then, you had to be paying close attention, and if you were paying close attention to Ryan and Rachel, you were rewarded with cute love.
2 The Denying Of Future Children
Like with every young and famous couple, you’ll always get some nosey entertainment journalists that would snoop around and ask really off-the-mark questions about any future children–especially when it comes to asking the actress and not the guy in the relationship. Lately, we’ve gotten better at asking such personal (and questionable) inquiries of actresses, but that didn’t stop people from asking these two when they started dating. Luckily, these two were always able to get out of answering pushy questions like that with some grace (though we’d rather they had called out the person asking the question, and they probably would in this day and age, but maybe not then).
1 Moving On With Grace And Poise
Like we said before, Ryan is now married to actress Eva Mendes and the couple has two adorable daughters. Rachel has been in and out of other relationships as well. Since being so open about his relationship with Rachel, Ryan has decided to go the opposite route with Eva and keep their relationship surprisingly private.
The two don’t even really walk the red carpet together and no one really knew they were even dating for a long while, which obviously makes for a happy home.
Rachel tends to do the same thing. She dated actor Michael Sheen for a while and then moved on to screenwriter Jamie Linden, whom she shares a child with.