Most war movies recount battles like so many trips to the dentist, or play-offs to the World Series of War, but some fortunate few break down the horror into the individual traumas that constitute the one mass trauma that sometimes defines our existences, and if left unattended, our world. 'The Notebook' doesn't do that—recount the battles, that is. 'The Notebook' is a war movie without battles, except the internal ones that end up making us into something different from what we were before it started.
The worst thing about this 2013 (yeah, I'm behind) Hungarian offering is the title, it so easily confused with the Ryan ('Abs') Gosling and Rachel ('Dimples') McAdams vehicle of a decade or so ago that attempted to expand the favorite American 'Love is All/All is Love' theme into maybe the one new direction it'd never gone—senility. That's fine, of course, but this is not that. This is war, and you could be excused for concluding that maybe the overriding theme here is 'War is All/All is War'—close, but no cigarette.
Or if you were to conclude that 'Sex is All/All is Sex' then you might be even closer, but you'd still miss the point of the movie. Now, I'm not hung up on themes, but I am annoyed at reviewers who insist that this must be all symbolism and metaphor. Have you ever gone out of the house? Have you seen the world of hate and cruelty that passes for post-religion 'secular humanism' in 2015? Have you ever seen someone killed right before your eyes for the crime of—nothing? Welcome to the 21st century.