When film fans think of “The Notebook,” there’s one scene from the 2004 flick that immediately comes to mind — the one in which leading man Ryan Gosling picks up co-star Rachel McAdams, who’s seen wearing a now-iconic blue dress, and goes in for one epic and rain-soaked big screen kiss.
It’s an unrivaled romantic movie moment, and that’s why, in 2013, Kobe Bryant decided to buy that very same cornflower blue dress and present it to his wife, Vanessa.
And McAdams remembers when the late NBA great told her all about it.
“He came to the premiere of ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ and I got to meet him,” the actress recalled in a recent chat with Access Hollywood. “He said, ‘You know, I bought your dress.’ I didn’t know what he meant at first. I was like, ‘You bought my … what?’”
Bryant then went on to explain that he bought the actual dress she wore on-screen in “The Notebook.”
“I was, like, blown away,” McAdams shared. “I didn’t realize he was such a movie fan and such a romantic.”
That was news to many people, until Bryant’s wife opened up about it herself, first in 2013, shortly after he presented her with the dress — and the coordinating shoes and even the title prop itself — and then again when she spoke about it earlier this year, at the memorial service held after the basketball legend and their daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash.
Vanessa Bryant referred to her husband as “loving, adoring and romantic,” and she went on to prove it as she eulogized him.
“He just thought outside the box and was so thoughtful, even while working hard to be the best athlete,” she said. “He gifted me the actual notebook and the blue dress Rachel McAdams wore in ‘The Notebook’ movie. When I asked him why he chose the blue dress, he said it was because it's a scene when Ally comes back to Noah.”
At that time, the couple had recently reunited following a split of more than a year.
“The Notebook” costume designer Karyn Wagner only learned about the fate of the dress she created while watching the livestream of the memorial service.
“I started bawling,” she told The Hollywood Reporter afterwards. “I’m still drying the tears off my face. What a beautiful eulogy. I’m so honored that I was able to contribute in some small way to the history of this amazing man.”
As for Bryants, at the memorial, Vanessa noted that they “had hoped to grow old together like the movie.” Because like the characters Noah and Allie, “we really had an amazing love story.”