NIGHTS IN RODANTHE
Her life in chaos, Adrienne Willis (Diane Lane) retreats to the tiny coastal town of Rodanthe, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, to look after a friend's small inn. In the tranquility, she is trying to decide whether or not to stay in her loveless marriage and how to cope with a daughter who resents her. Her life changes forever when Dr Paul Flanner (Richard Gere), travelling to reconcile his relationship with his estranged son (James Franco), checks in for the weekend.
Review by Louise Keller:
The chemistry of Diane Lane and Richard Gere is the calling card of this unashamedly romantic melodrama in which two damaged souls discover that love makes anything possible. John Sparks, who penned the novel on which the film was adapted, is practised at writing such tear-jerkers as The Notebook, Message in a Bottle and A Walk to Remember. When you look at that incredibly romantic image of Lane and Gere gazing into each otherís eyes, one thing is certain. You will get exactly what you are expecting. More or less, in any event. More in the case of the filmís heart; less in the case of the last reel, when the storyline and execution dissolves into buckets of schmaltz.
Laneís Adrienne and Gereís Paul are two strangers looking for answers in the isolation of the beach-side Rodanthe. She has much to think about as she assumes responsibility for the guesthouse for her best friend Jean (Viola Davis); he is reliving the nightmare that has brought him guilt and his relationship with his son (James Franco). She is not sure whether or not she is married; he is a dislocated person with no address. They are alone in the middle of nowhere. It is the hurricane seasonÖ.. Thereís a passionate kiss during a thunderstorm, walks on the beach together and romance on a pier under the stars as they share a private dance. When she caresses his face in extreme close up, we can almost feel his stubble. Love finds a way as obligations, expectations, empathy and redemption meld together. This is indeed a weekend in which lives are changed.
The remote location of Rodanthe with its stretch of pristine white sand that disappears into the horizon is breathtakingly beautiful. The guest house where love finds its way is suitably magical: it looks a little like a house built from cards, its rustic staircase leading straight into the sea. Never mind that itís all predictable, but itís a shame the script finally drowns and succumbs to the schmaltziest of conclusions. But along the way, there are some rousing moments for fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, and our emotions are propelled high into the sky as we are reminded of the wonder and the power of love that makes us feel we are better than we really are.
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NIGHTS IN RODANTHE (PG)
CAST: Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Christopher Meloni, Viola Davis, Becky Ann Baker, Scott Glenn, Linda Molloy, Pablo Schreiber, Mae Whitman, Charlie Tahan
PRODUCER: Denise Di Novi
DIRECTOR: George C. Wolfe
SCRIPT: Ann Peacock, John Romano (novel by Nicholas Sparks)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Affonso Beato
EDITOR: Brian A. Kates
MUSIC: Jeanine Tesori
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Patrizia von Brandenstein
RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 6, 2008