Director: George C. Wolfe
Cast: Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Scott Glenn,
Christopher Meloni, Viola Davis, James Franco, Mae Whitman,
RunTime: 1 hr 37 mins
Released By: GV
Official Website: http://www.nightsinrodanthe.com/
REVIEW OF THE OFFICIAL MOVIE SOUNDTRACK
REVIEW OF THE NICHOLAS SPARKS NOVEL
Day: 16 October 2008
Willis (Diane Lane), 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 wayward
husband who has asked to come home, and a teenaged daughter
who resents her every decision. Almost as soon as Adrienne
gets to Rodanthe, a major storm is forecast and Dr. Paul Flanner
(Richard Gere) arrives. 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.
Nicholas Sparks does not believe in happy endings. At least
that’s what his stories seem to hint. But one thing
he does believe in is second chances- and Nights in Rodanthe
is essentially about second chances. That and third helpings.
Richard Gere is Dr. Paul Flanner, a surgeon who recently lost
a patient during a routine operation. Career has always come
first for him, and he has an estranged son whom he rarely
has contact with. He is going through what you could call
a midlife crisis, a re-evaluation of his life according to
what he has defined it by and what he has lost along the way.
Diane Lane is Adrienne Willis, a mother of two dealing with
a wayward husband who suddenly wants back into her life and
their kids, as well as a teenage daughter who resents her
every decision. She is also going through a crisis of sorts,
wrestling between her conflicted emotions with her husband
and choosing what’s best for her children.
So Adrienne retreats to a seaside inn run by her friend, and
there meets Paul. The setting is an island off the Outer Banks
of North Carolina. Two unhappy strangers, seeking escape and
solace, find in each other’s company a chance at renewed
romance and clarity in their own respective lives.
A hurricane builds and then strikes. Paul and Adrienne, the
only two people at the remote inn, find solace in each other’s
company and in the meantime develop a passion for each other
as the winds howl outside.
Indeed, its premise does reek of clichés. But hey,
the novel went on to become one of the New York Times bestsellers
of 2002. That must say something about the millions of fans
who lapped the book up. Still, one of the joys to be had in
Nicholas Sparks’ stories is in knowing that it’s
never too late to have a second chance at love.
Yes, it is quite rare to see a love story between two 40 year
olds these days. Instead of the headiness and raunchiness
of youth, here is a love story of mature sensuality- the challenges
that Paul and Adrienne face are real and palpable and the
comfort we all sometimes need by just being in the company
of another sincere and genuine.
But besides the sensibility of second chances, the movie also
boasts two actors who share great chemistry, Richard Gere
and Diane Lane. This is their third outing together after
the Cotton Club and Unfaithful, and their performances together
are a joy to watch.
They are however let down by the script by Ann Peacock and
John Romano, who seem to be unable to surmount the challenge
of adapting a Nicholas Sparks novel- that is, to work sometimes
unwieldy chunks of exposition into a movie. So while Paul
and Adrienne’s letters to each other may have been romantic
when read in the book, deciding to translate these letters
into voiceovers for Paul and Adrienne in the movie somehow
unfortunately turns the words into mush.
George C. Wolfe’s direction here also seems less assured
than this HBO-movie debut Lackawanna Blues. Some scenes especially
between voiceovers are rather uneven, and are seriously in
need of a smoother and less jarring transition.
Nevertheless, Richard Gere and Diane Lane manage to keep the
movie afloat through its more awkward moments. This is a movie
that thrives on its subject matter of second chances in life,
and third helpings of great pairings. So if you’re looking
for a hankie weepie, you can be sure that Nights In Rodanthe
will not disappoint.
(You either love Nicholas Sparks’ romances or you don’t.
But either way, you’ll love Richard Gere and Diane Lane
Review by Gabriel Chong