Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Nights in Rodanthe: Movie Review

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, Christopher Meloni
Director: George C Wolfe
The cinematic pairing of Richard Gere and Diane Lane is a very popular one.
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 Oscar.
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 Flanner.
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 be)
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.

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