Nights in Rodanthe: Movie Review
Rating 5/10 for unromantic ladies and gents, 7/10 for the
more romantic of you who want to cuddle up in the cinema
Cast: Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Scott Glenn, James Franco,
Director: George C Wolfe
The cinematic pairing of Richard Gere and Diane Lane is a very popular
Their chemistry first melted the screens back in 1984's Cotton Club and then
again in 2002's Unfaithful which saw Lane nominated for a best actress
So it's no surprise to report they make a good couple in this film version of
Nicholas Sparks' book.
(Sparks himself is no stranger to the romantic genre having reduced many to
blubbering wrecks with The Notebook.)
Lane plays Adrienne Willis, an estranged mum of two, who offers to look after
a friend's beachside B&B in Rodanthe, while contemplating a desperate plea
from her husband (TV's SVU star Meloni) to let him return home.
There is only one guest booked in 4 days - Richard Gere's Dr Paul
But Dr Flanner's in Rodanthe looking for redemption - not only from a local
(Scott Glenn) but also to try and work out what to do to improve his
relationship with his son (James Franco)
So with a hurricane forecast to hit the B&B, the pair batten down the
hatches and prepare to weather out the storm.
What they're not prepared for though (but everyone else watching is) is how a
couple of days - and one hurricane - will change their lives&.forever.
As you can probably tell from the rating of this film, it's very easy to
dismiss it as romantic and sentimental film making, which tugs at the heart
strings and is usually summed up by the adjective "Schmaltzy."
Gere and Lane make a good pairing again on screen with easy chemistry -
however, Diane Lane gives the stronger performance of the two and is slightly
more plausible in her redemptive arc.
But the film itself is nothing different from the usual formulaic romantic
material (although you sense the stars, director and writer don't expect it to
The plot contrivances are there for reasons and glide you along the story
toward its (inevitable) outcome.
The ending is fairly well sign posted and will reduce some to quivering
messes as they leave the cinema (so best be prepared with some hankies).
The best way to judge if this is a film for you is this example from Nights
in Rodanthe - if you find letter writing romantic and scenes of Diane Lane
gazing wistfully into the distance, hiding letters from her teen daughter
appealing, then it's your cinematic choice for the weekend.
If you wonder why she's not sat in front of a computer reading e-mails in
this modern day and age rather than relying on the postie, then you're possibly
better off avoiding it and joining the rest of the cynical masses.