March 6, 2009
Review - " Nights in Rodanthe " - (on DVD) By Roland Hansen
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Nights in Rodanthe (2008)
Directed by: George C Wolfe
Starring: Diane Lane, Richard Gere, Viola Davis, Mae Whitman, James
Franco, Scott Glenn
I'm a big fan of romances. And in particular a big fan of Diane Lane's romance
films. "Under the Tuscan Sun", "Must Love Dogs", "Indian Summer" & "A Little
Romance" are among my all time favorites so subsequently I had high
expectations for "Nights in Rodanthe". I think we need more romantic movies -
I should qualify that - I think we need more GOOD romantic movies, But this
one isn't exactly one of my favorites.
Adrienne Willis, a woman with her life in chaos, retreats to the tiny coastal town
of Rodanthe, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, to tend to a friend's inn for
the weekend. Here she hopes to find the tranquility she so desperately needs
to rethink the conflicts surrounding her -- a cheating ex-husband who has
asked to come home, and a teen-aged daughter who resents her every
decision. Almost as soon as Adrienne gets to Rodanthe, a major storm is
forecast and a guest named Dr. Paul Flanner arrive. The only guest at the inn,
Flanner is not on a weekend escape but rather is there to face his own crisis
of conscience. Now, with the storm closing in, the two turn to each other for
comfort and, in one magical weekend, set in motion a life-changing
romance that will resonate throughout the rest of their lives. The Two unhappy people's lives become irrevocably intertwined.
Gere and Lane have been in film together before , they were married in Unfaithful but here they play lovers finding each
other when the people in their lives have abandoned them. They have a spark and a real chemistry.
Ms. Lane is such a triumphant joy to watch as she goes through transformations from the first scenes of the film until the
very end. Her discoveries become ours as we celebrate with her the power of hope and love. She is able to bring back the
unsurpassed joy of a person in love, much like a teenager does, and yet she never lets you think of her character as silly or
irresponsible. Her eyes are expressive gems that can move even the cynical in the audience. She is one of the stars that
can do wonders with just one look.
The chemistry between Lane and Gere is magical from the first scene in the film to their last embrace. The locations, beauty
of their attraction for one another when it unfolds when they first meet, and the story that follows, and as they begin to know
each other with the attraction they feel towards each other is real, is romance that is projected to an audience with tender
care. There's some fine acting & excellent production . The cast besides our 2 stars, includes Christopher Meloni, Viola
Davis & Scott Glenn. They all give real good performances and do the very best with the material they were given. Glen in
particular gives a superior performance as the grief stricken widower wronged by Dr Flanner. James Franco in another small
role is just the right casting. The elegance of Lane in combination with the beach house, the inn itself is absolutely gorgeous
even more gorgeous than Lane (if that's possible).
It's beautifully shot with a romantic setting and lots of quiet scenes. There's tragedy, romance, more tragedy and an uplifting
ending (sort of). The great acting by Gere and Lane helps disguise the fact that this film isn't really about much. There is a
good but not over done storm sequence, The sex scenes are well done, no nudity & next to no foul language. Unfortunately
every single bit of the plot is predictable. I saw what was coming a long way off I kept wondering how they were going to save
the movie. The answer was - they didn't. The ending ruined what was otherwise a wonderful romantic story. I rolled my eyes,
Adrienne has lost the great love of her life and somehow everything is going to be OK because she saw ponies running
along the beach. Gimme a freakin'
break! I have subsequently read the
book and I can tell you it is
absolutely wonderful. This movie
could have been saved by beginning
and ending it the way it was done in
print. Two scenes of no more than 5
minutes each and this would have
been a far superior film. It's a
tearjerker for sure but a
If you want romance rent Lane's
"Under theTuscan Sun" or Gere's
"An Officer and a Gentleman" or
"Pretty Woman" and skip this one.
It's not that "Nights in Rodanthe"
is bad, it's just that there are so
many movies that are so much better.
Maybe Rodanthe deserves 2 1/2
stars but it's really not good
enough to be called "good":