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  Publicity Stills of
"Nights In Rodanthe"
(Courtesy of GV)

Director: George C. Wolfe
Cast: Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Scott Glenn, Christopher Meloni, Viola Davis, James Franco, Mae Whitman, Pablo Schreiber
RunTime: 1 hr 37 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.nightsinrodanthe.com/



Opening Day: 16 October 2008


Adrienne 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.

Movie Review:

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.

Movie Rating:

(You either love Nicholas Sparks’ romances or you don’t. But either way, you’ll love Richard Gere and Diane Lane together)

Review by Gabriel Chong


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. The Notebook (2004)




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