Kristen Stewart, Maria Bello Compare 'Yellow Handkerchief' To 'The Notebook'

'I think it's a really gentle movie, and the kind of movie which you don't really see much these days,' Bello says.

BEVERLY HILLS, California — Six years ago, "The Notebook" was viewed as a bomb. Weeks before its release, the film had received negative reviews, bad buzz and was being viewed as a potential failure. Then the people got to see it and reminded critics that ultimately they're the ones whose voice means the most.

Opening Friday (February 26), "The Yellow Handkerchief" would seem to have a much easier battle. It has a young star in it far more famous than Rachel McAdams or Ryan Gosling were back in 2004 — "Twilight" icon Kristen Stewart — and similarly employs a dual depiction of romance for both old and young romantics alike. So why has it had such a difficult road to a theater near you?

"It's such a gorgeous movie — it has to be seen, so Arthur Cohn worked his butt off to get the movie out there," explained Maria Bello, invoking the name of the six-time Oscar winner who produced the film, which was made in mid-2007. "I'm really pleased about it [finally coming out]."

Both Bello (who appears as a skeptical woman wondering if she can once again trust her ex-con lover played by William Hurt) and Stewart (who plays a mysterious teen toying with the heart of a lovestruck character played by Eddie Redmayne) expressed happiness over comparisons to "The Notebook" — and like that film that many now consider to be among the best romantic films of the last decade, you'd better bring a box of Kleenex.

"I love that comparison; I love that movie," Bello said of the film that made McAdams and Gosling household names. "Our film is about four desperate characters who are wounded in their own ways. And by coming together and loving each other's wounds and broken pieces, they learn to love each other. I think it's a really gentle movie, and the kind of movie which you don't really see much these days."

In fact, you should consider yourself lucky if you get to see "Handkerchief" on the big screen, because under normal circumstances it most likely would've gone straight to DVD. Fortunately for Bello, Cohn and people who appreciate films like these, this one just happened to cast a 15-year-old actress on the cusp of superstardom.

"That's amazing," Stewart said when we asked about her fans' tremendous online efforts to get the film released theatrically. "That's awesome that 'Twilight' has given my other little movies a hand, because I am really proud of them. I like them, and why not? People should see them."

"I saw her in 'Into the Wild' and just thought she had so much soul, experience and a maturity about her, and I think she's wonderful in this film," Bello said of KStew. "And Eddie just blows my mind in this film. And the two of them together? I just think they're incredible."

Check out everything we've got on "The Yellow Handkerchief."

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