Nights in Rodanthe Reviews
DIRECTED BY: George C. Wolfe
SUMMARY: 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.
MY THOUGTHS: I really liked the story, but the ending I am still unsure about. I didn't even for a second see that happening. I thought it was just going to be one of those predictable love stories. How very wrong I was. I am all for the non typical endings. But I wanted it to be typical in this film. It was just so sad. I really felt for the characters. Diane and Richard were great together. All of the acting was good. Seemed a little forced with Mae at times. But for most, all did a great job.
I actually think that with the cast this movie has and general tone, it is probably more aimed at middle aged women, who would probably enjoy this more than I did. Nothing too wrong with it, but just not that thrilling either. I don't feel moved to get hold of another copy and see the bits I missed.
First teaming for the ambitious 80's musical The Cotton Club, and later the sexy, but disquieting, thriller Unfaithful, Gere and Lane are paired again to headline this beautiful and stirring film adaptation of the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks - and it just may be the duo's finest hout.
but i wouldn't listen.
i'm not scarred for life but it might take some intensive primal scream therapy to recover. i apologise to my neighbors beforehand.
think "love story, part 2, 30 years later" and then stop thinking.
Nights in Rodanthe is your typical Nicholas Sparks drivel. I can see this guy as the kid in the schoolyard making girls cry by telling them that Barbie was a communist or something to the effect. Diane Lane is a seperated mom who takes care of a seaside inn for a friend. Richard Gere is the doctor who arrives and acts weird. They fall in love and the end.
But Nicholas Sparks is trying to be the next Apollo Creed. No, he's not retirning more men than social security. he's killing more men than cancer. Yes, it's time to weep.
But you can't because the film is so damn predictable. But ladies love to cry over stars whose hair still looks good even in a hurricane. The acting sucks. The direction sucks. The premise sucks. But Scott Glen is in it so I'll throw it half a star.
The film is hardly all that slow, and it's certainly a long ways away from being as generally bland as most every other adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, yet as reasonably engaging and entertaining as the film is, it still has its share of occasions in which atmosphere dries up, not so much so that you're somewhat bored, but decidedly to the point of shaking engagement value, which is shaken enough by, of course, development issues, which are getting to be expected in Nicholas Sparks films, even in one this fleshed out. Writers Ann Peacock and John Romano do a much better job than plenty in absorbing the depths of Sparks' characters, getting you associated with and invested in them adequately, yet this character drama would succeed more if Sparks's source material or whatever didn't still leave some holes in exposition, or at least in characterization originality, painting characters who feel a bit too undercooked and familiar for their own good. The characters of this film are fairly compelling, and that's more than you can say about many other Nick Sparks characters, but characterization is flawed, having only so many layers and, of course, only so much originality, something whose issues apply to plenty other storytelling elements. Where other Sparks stories are adapted so lazily that their conventions come off as all-out challeningly trite, there's a bit more heart behind this project to make its overly familiar beats somewhat worthwhile, but only so much can be done to obscure the fact that this story is so very formulaic and predictable, following a worn path that wouldn't be so bumpy if this story didn't take its beats from age-old tales that have always needed some punch-up in the subtlety department. This story is more down-to-earth than many Sparks efforts, or at least handled well enough in this adaptation for you to buy into it, but some histrionics can still be found in the midst of somewhat manufactured dramatic beats, and kind of understandably so, because without a bit too much juice pumped into it, this film's storytelling would be all but thin. There's only so much meat to Sparks' story, and no matter how much this interpretation tries to make and, in some ways, succeeds in making a relatively strong effort, it still has frustrating shortcomings that keep the film from achieving bonafide goodness. That being said, this film surprisingly borders on genuinely strong, and that's more than you can say about a lot of Nicholas Sparks adaptations, being an inspired effort with flaws, but inspiration, nevertheless, even when it comes to musical tastes.
Seeing as how this film is aimed at a relatively older audience, I don't know what kind of overly commercial soundtrack it could have had, but evasion of laziness can even be found in this efforts' music department, which features plenty of old-fashioned, if not just plain archived diddies of a jazzy or country nature that, while somewhat underused, entertain quite a bit when they show up, while Jeanine Tesori's score work colors up atmosphere with soulful compliments, in spite of minimalism and conventionalism. The film's musical tastes aren't outstanding, but they are clever, looking not to sell some kind of lame soundtrack like oh so many other films of type, but to grace resonance with colorful enhancements that gain your attention, while such aspects as, of all things, the writing, go so far as to earn your investment. Like I said, Nick Sparks' concept hamstrings the efforts of screenwriters Ann Peacock and John Romano, suffering from characterization, originality and dramatic subtlety flaws that can never truly be wiped away, and must stick with the final product as the things that prevent it from breaking out of some moderate degree of underwhelmingness, but what is done right in Peacock's and Romano's script cannot be ignored, being colorful with its punch-up, and still somewhat juicy in its characterization, which faces its share of natural shortcomings, but ultimately overcomes conflicts just enough to breathe genuineness into a dramatically flawed character study. The film's script is imperfect, but stronger than expected, as is the film's direction, for although George C. Wolfe, the director behind the acclaimed broadway debut of "Angels in America", can do only so much to fight back natural shortcomings in the dramatic department, he earns your investment with a toughtful atmosphere, punctuated by glimpses at what this film could have been, as seen through unexpected moments of genuine emotional resonance, which gives intrigue juice and dramatic bites an almost, if not decidedly piercing firmness. It takes a while for the film to really kick dramatically, as reflected by its final rating's not being as strong as the final product's higher notes, but make no mistake, the patient are bound to be rewarded with effective dramatic beats that, while too underexplored to save the film as rewarding on the whole, still stand, backed by inspired writing, direction and, of course, acting, something that is strong through and through. The acting isn't exactly stellar, as we are still dealing with a conceptually undercooked drama, yet this film's strong cast is ultimately put to generally good use, featuring such underused show-stealers as a particularly charming Viola Davis, a humanly subtly emotional Scott Glenn and even a surprisingly rather layered Mae Whitman, while being headed by a pair of strong leads, with Diane Lane being convincing as a woman who grows to find new revelation in life through new love, which in turns breathes new life into the initially quiet and guilty, and eventually humanly changed Paul Flanner character who Richard Gere portrays with subtle emotional range and genuine layers. If nothing else, our leads are charismatic, and such when their charismas clash, you end up with very strong chemistry that leaves this film to succeed in its noble efforts as a character study, and while the final product is still to naturally flawed to be as good as it almost is, it is underappreciated, having enough inspiration and strength to border on all-out strong, and decidedly achieve quite a bit of unexpected enjoyability.
At the end of the day... or nights, or whatever, dry spells slow down the momentum of the film's engagement value, though not as much as some characterization issues that leave you to meditate upon the conventionalism within Nicholas Sparks' characters, while histrionic occasions leave you to meditate upon the conventionalism within Sparks' story, which may be well-interpreted on the screen, but ultimately boasts too many natural shortcomings to escape some degree of underwhelmingness, though not so many shortcomings that you can't appreciate what is, in fact, done right, whether it be the strong soundtrack and score, or the inspired writing and direction that crafts enough meat and emotional resonance behind substance - anchored by a strong cast, from which leads Diane Lane and Richard Gere stand out as layered, charismatic and with strong chemistry - to make "Nights in Rodanthe" an albeit quite flawed, but occasionally resonant, often compelling and consistently enjoyable romantic drama.
2.75/5 - Decent