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RELEASED: Cert. PG
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 97 mins
DIRECTOR: George C Wolfe
PRODUCER: Denise Di Novi
WRITERS: Ann Peacock & John Romano
MUSIC: Jeanine Tesori
Diane Lane as Adrienne
Richard Gere as Paul
NB: FILM ONLY REVIEW
Adapted from Nicholas Sparks' novel of the same name, Nights in Rodanthe is a love story which I would guess may appeal more to women than men, and probably those of shall I say a slightly more senior age group. The reason why I feel it more suitable for older women, say those over 35-ish, is because the storyline concentrates on two middle-aged people becoming romantically involved.
I'm always a little suspicious of love story movies, as I can often find that they don't match up to my own personal ideals of love/romance, thus rarely will a film of this nature hit my spot; although there have been a handful which have plunged an arrow through the part of me I reserve for all things relationship/romance-orientated, but it's a rare occurrence. I managed to pick up Nights In Rodanthe for a pittance in the big Sainsbury movie DVD sell-off and watched it recently with some initial reservation, just in case it turned out to be what for me is a messy mish-mash of overblown emotion, or a silly, twittery romantic romp.
Adrienne is a 40-something woman who is separated from her husband, who makes a plea to return to her when he comes to pick up the children to take them out for the day. It isn't clear - and not really important to the story anyway, but I'm assuming he had an affair with another woman - what Jack did to cause the separation. Despite still being angry with him, Adrienne makes the decision to think about his request and to let him know when she's made up her mind.
Meanwhile, Adrienne arranges to spend a weekend at her friend's small hotel on the beach in Rodanthe, where she will only have to attend to the needs of a single guest. The guest arrives and introduces himself as Paul. During the first part of his short stay, Paul comes across as not hostile exactly, but a little edgy and withdrawn, seeming as if he has a lot on his mind and would prefer to be alone. Paul and Adrienne have a fairly awkward conversational exchange over dinner, through which she learns that he is a surgeon and is being prosecuted by the husband (who lives in Rodanthe) of a woman who died on the operating table during surgery which Paul had conducted. Very gradually, Paul begins to open up and warm to Adrienne, especially when she reveals she has problems of her own.
As it happens, a hurricane warning is in force and is set to hit the area over the weekend that Adrienne and Paul are together in the hotel....just the two of them. Whilst boarding up the windows and making other preparations to limit hurricane damage to the building, the couple let their barriers down to one another and discover a unique closeness which they spend the remainder of their time together exploring.
That's the outline....watch it to find out what happens.
The first few minutes of Nights In Rodanthe had me a little worried as to what it might evolve into, as it begins with that typical scene where a somewhat harassed mother is finding it difficult to be a single parent for the first time in her life, and her two children are reacting badly towards the separation between her and their father. I can't quite explain why, even to myself, but I find scenarios of this nature not contrived exactly, but perhaps a bit too 'fashionable'? I continued to watch though, despite my slight misgivings.
Once the film got underway and Adrienne took herself off to the hotel, with Paul arriving a little later, I found myself becoming more absorbed. I could predict that a romance was on the cards, but was interested as to how it would materialise, especially as Paul came across as preoccupied and dismissive at first.
Diane Lane as Adrienne presented as a typical loving, yet harassed and stressed mother, hurt at her husband's treatment which had caused them to split, and confused as to whether she should agree to take him back or not. I couldn't help thinking about a much younger Glenda Jackson, as to me Diane Lane bears a strong resemblance to how Glenda looked when the same age as Diane was when Nights In Rodanthe was filmed. I also felt that Diane's acting style for this particular role wasn't too far away from how Glenda Jackson may have acted the part herself....perhaps Diane came across with more warmth than Glenda often injected into her roles.
I've never been a great Richard Gere fan, but I must say he played the character of Paul with a sensitivity and depth that I hadn't previously considered him capable of. He managed to inject just the right levels of almost mystery about his aura - that's until he began to open up - and thereafter, developed into a complex, yet sensitive and interesting man who was hurting badly, embroiled in regret not just about the patient who'd died on his operating table and her grieving family, but about many other things from his past. This is by far the best role I've seen Richard Gere in, and I even began to find him attractive, which is something I've never experienced before.
As the storyline progressed, I did find it travelled more or less along the road I was predicting. It wasn't so much that I could tell what the people in the film would actually do or what events would take place; it was more a prediction of once given the start, I could tell what the middle and the ending would be, as I have seen many, many films and read just as many books which are pretty much the same basic story, but the stories happen in different ways to one another.
Once the film was over, I gave it some thought, looking for messages, meanings etc., and I settled on my own interpretation of the possible psychology behind the film - of course, also bearing in mind that I could be reading between lines which aren't even there! The sense I got from the film as a whole, was...and I'll try to explain this as best as I can....it being about giving, yet not always receiving back equally, and that which you give will be passed onto somebody else who is perhaps more needy.
Although I did enjoy Nights In Rodanthe and I felt it was a fairly classy film that came across more like a play, I don't think I will watch it again as it's a one-night-stand affair. I found the acting and storyline good, but as said, somewhat predictable and being as I managed to guess how the whole thing would shape up whilst the film was in progress, I suspect I may find further viewings at best unnecessary, and at worst boring. After having guessed the path the film would take, all I needed was to watch how it would happen, and I've now done that....so, time to move on. It was a reasonably strong film, but not what I'd call powerful and although I could up to a point identify with the situation though in entirely different circumstances, I wasn't moved strongly enough to want to repeat the experience.
Despite what I've said in the last paragraph, I would definitely recommend Nights In Rodanthe to anybody who loves a good romance movie....one that isn't full of twittery people blithering around the film set acting a lot of nothing. I don't doubt there to be a lot of both men and women out there who could strongly identify with not so much the storyline, but more the emotions which come out of it and the movie thus could be bitter-sweet, and/or thought-provoking.
I'm giving this 4 stars and will say that a less predictable, possibly less 'fashionable' storyline would have pushed me into awarding the full whack.
At the time of writing this review, Nights In Rodanthe can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-
New: from £1.99 to £22.73
Used: from 94p to £11.99
Collectible: one copy available at £4.99
A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above costs.
At the moment, until and if it is removed due to possible infringement of copyright, Nights In Rodanthe can be watched on YouTube in 12 parts, each lasting between 7 and 10 minutes. There are several clips and trailers also available, should you wish to get a basic taster of the film.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
SUMMARY OF THE DVD'S INFORMATION
> Name of DVD: Nights in Rodanthe
> Year of Production: 2008
> Director: George Wolfe
> Screenwriters: Ken Hixon & Ann Peacock
> Main Cast:
Richard Gere = Dr. Paul Flanner
Diane Lane = Adrienne Willis
Christopher Meloni = Jack Willis (Adrienne's estranged husband)
James Franco = Mark Flanner (Paul's estranged son)
Viola Davis = Jean (Adrienne's friend)
Mae Whitman = Amanda Willis (Adrienne and Jack's daughter)
Charlie Tahan = Danny Willis (Adrienne and Jack's son)
Scott Glenn = Robert Torrelson
Pablo Schreiber = Charlie Torrelson
> Run time: 93 minutes
> Viewing: PG (Parental Guidance) - it contains mild sex scenes and language
Site to learn more about Nicholas Sparks' Novels: http://www.nicholassparks.com/
Where to buy the DVD: the cheapest price I have found on Amazon.co.uk and Play.com : £3.69 which is an absolute bargain!
Nights in Rodanthe is a film based on a novel written by Nicholas Sparks. Nicholas Sparks was also the author of many other novels made into films such as Dear John, A Walk to Remember, A Message in a Bottle, The Notebook and the most recent film The Last Song.
Nights in Rodanthe is a film which my mum has been going on at me to watch for so long now. She knows how much I love other films based on Nicholas Sparks' novels and she believes this is the best one. I was so pleased she did urge me to watch it because it was an excellent film.
When I saw the cover of the DVD I thought it looked like a film for slightly older people than me, perhaps more my mum's age because of the actors and actresses in it. But I was wrong I think it is a film based at late teens onwards. I think all age groups can enjoy it and relate to it in some way.
Richard Gere, I do love him from other films but I do feel he is getting a bit old now. But this film was released in October 2008 and I must say he looks good for his age.
Gere plays the role of a sought after surgeon called Paul. Paul was not interested in his family or any other aspect of his life apart from his career. Patients came from near and far to get him to perform operations on them. But fortunately and unfortunately one patient changes his life for the better and for the worse.
Diane Lane plays an estranged wife called Adrienne. Adrienne finds life very hard looking after her children mainly by herself whilst her husband plays away from home. The kids are her entire life until one week when she goes to help a friend out called Jean (played by Viola Davis) by looking after her guesthouse for a few days. The guesthouse is in the middle of Rodanthe.
Before Adrienne sets off to look after the guesthouse her estranged husband Jack (Christopher Meloni) turns up begging them to start over with their relationship and her children are making her life very difficult. Adrienne is given one of her only breaks from the kids and she sets off to the guesthouse for a few days to help Jean out. Paul turns up to stay at the guesthouse whilst Adrienne is running it. Paul has some unfinished business which he must attend to in Rodanthe to do with the Torrelson family whilst he has put his career on hold. The Torrelson family involves a distraught husband and son after the misfortune of Paul performing an unsuccessful operation in his surgery.
Whilst Paul is staying in the guesthouse a storm arises and Paul helps Adrienne to look after the guesthouse in the awful weather condition for her friend. Paul and Adrienne share stories about their lives and realise that they are both in quite a similar state of not knowing where their life was taking them. They both help each other out in different ways and grow quite close together in such a short number of days.
I cannot explain anything more about the plot or else I will be at risk of giving too much away.
WHY I LOVE THIS FILM SO MUCH AND THE EMOTIONS IT EVOKED
It evokes such strong emotions and both Paul and Adrienne change so much throughout the film due to each other's influences on the other. It is such a heart warming film to see two quite lonely people come together. It gives the audience that feel that if life isn't going well for them that it can change in an instance. However there is a big twist to this film which I was not expecting, although it was a very sad twist it almost made the film seem more realistic which was nice. Nicholas Sparks is such an amazing writer and he always manages to come up with some surprises/ twists in his novels. I love this about his novels because it means that it won't be a predictable film like so many films out there.
There is also such a great interaction through the film of Adrienne with her two children. This evokes many emotional feelings for mothers out there who are watching it. Showing the difficulties that mother's are faced with children. I am not being sexist by saying that mothers go through more than fathers do with their children. But it is just the way the film was, that the father went off only having the kids when he felt like it and the mother was left alone to be there for the kids 24/7.
For people out there who have been part of a divorce whether you are the parent or the child from the divorce it evokes again a different kind of emotion. For me having my parents divorced it shows how mixed up it can cause children to be and how although they think they may understand reasoning's for parents not being together that actually they do not. Furthermore it shows how horrible kids can become when they are so mixed up and how unknowingly it can cause the parents to despair.
HOW LANE AND GERE WORK TOGETHER?
This film is also made fantastic due to such fantastic actors and actresses. Diane Lane and Richard Gere worked together in the film Unfaithful together (in 2002). This film was such a success due to their incredible combined acting ability that obviously the directors of Nights in Rodanthe wanted to create that fantastic partnership again in this film and it worked just as well. They seem like a really good age to pair together to act so well together. They certainly were the reasoning behind such a fantastic film along with Nicholas Spark's novel.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS FILM?
If you are a lover of other films based on Nicholas Sparks' novels then this will undoubtedly be one of your favourites. Like all of Nicholas Sparks' novel there are many teary eyed moments which must be prepared for with your tissues beside you... This may tell you who I would recommend this film to... the girls! It is a chick flick completely, but I am sure there are the guys out there that secretly love chick flicks too so it is for you as well! It is certainly a film not to miss and I am so glad my mum urged me to watch it! It shows how one mishap in your life can completely turn your world upside down in more ways than one. Definitely one to book an evening in for.
Nights in Rodanthe is one of those films which, if you are a lady of a certain age, you will want to keep for those nights when you are alone, and in need of a romantic few moments. This movie is set in what has to be one of the most stunning set locations in modern film, and is based on a book by Nicolas Sparks.
Last night my husband was working late so this film emerged from my collection to once again grace my DVD player. I have several of these films for these nights, and with a rug and a Persian cat on my knee the hours pass very quickly!
Northern Carolina is where most of the film is centred around a magnificent beach house. The house, actually called Serendipity, lies on the edge of the sea on a beautiful golden expanse of sand. The waves lap the house, and decking juts out over the edge of the water. It's a location many dream of, and even if you never see the film have a look on YouTube as there are videos there showing the house, which have been taken by tourists. Approaching it isn't easy; access to the area is by ferry which adds to the isolation of the spot, which is wild and desolate.
Richard Gere stars as Dr. Paul Flanner in this tear jerking love story between him - the overworked and dedicated doctor, who leaves a medical catastrophe, and a failed marriage in his wake, and Diane Lane who stars as Adrienne Willis - the mother who leaves her family for a weekend break to think over her feelings for her husband, who has a fresh affair behind him, and yet still wants to reconcile the marriage. The two find themselves in the house overlooking the sea as a violent storm approaches. The isolation of the setting and the intensity of the approaching hurricane set the scene for a love affair, which is sensitively portrayed and superbly acted.
Critical reviews of this film are littered over the internet, and it has been listed in the top 100 worst films of 2008. In a way I can see why, as although the location is stunning there is also the cheesy aspect to it, as it is almost predictable that the two main characters will fall for each other when put together in that situation.
For me, though, it is more about the issues relating to love between older people who have seen the storms of life, and who have responsibilities which far outshine their own needs as individuals. So many of my friends have divorced in their forties; I now have more divorced friends than those still married. In every case the partner who ended the relationship was searching for that deep love affair, which had been diluted so much by responsibility, and houses crammed with teenagers, that it no longer had the passion that put them together in the first place. This film portrays this so clearly. Diane has a teenage daughter, Amanda, who is more than a handful, and makes her presence known by phone in the beach house. This is a reminder to her mother that responsibility is never far away. Despite this, and an unresolved issue surrounding the medical disaster which plagues Dr Flanner, which I won't elaborate on further, suffice to say that there is so much more to this film than two middle aged people simply falling for each other amongst the tassels of the marram grass, and the crashing waves of ever building white horses as the storm closes in. As the pressure on the barometer falls the passion builds, and the night cements a relationship which will change the way they feel about themselves, as well as about each other, for the rest of their lives.
I really admired this as a concept because the film explores the way that deep love can bring out the best qualities in someone, and each character goes on to develop in a positive way after their relationship encounters loss and separation.
In many ways I see this as the better film of another with a similar theme that being "Bridges Over Madison County". Here a middle aged housewife experiences real love for the first time in her life, and has to contrast that between the stability of her existing relationship, which is devoid of passion but keeps family and stability rock solid. There is no doubt that Diane Lane excels in this film as her feelings appear genuine, as she wrestles with them. Richard is convincing in his role as a doctor who has had to face adversity head on, and battle with his now less than flawless career history.
There are other excellent characters who play supporting roles in the film including, Christopher Meloni, Viola Davis and Mae Whitman. Mae who plays the teenage daughter Amanda is superb, and she tests her mum to the bitter end constantly questioning her behaviour. She gives a stunning performance later in the film when she is told about the love affair, and then seems to take on an adult understanding which engulfs and quells the teenage rebellion with a new understanding and empathy,
This film is now with my other romantic films to be watched again. The setting is captivating, the emotions ride as high as the waves, and the entire film is a reminder that anything is possible.
Earlier this year the house where the film was made had to be moved to a new location as coastal erosion was threatening its existence, so this film has actually captured a moment in history as well as a love affair between two troubled souls.
Available from Amazon for £3 including postage.
This review is also posted on Ciao under my user name Violet1278.
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Adrienne is having a hard time, her husband left her for another woman 7 months ago leaving her to explain to the children what was happening and now she needs a break. She is helping her best friend by looking after her guest house in Rodanthe for a weekend and having some much needed space from her husband and children. Unfortunately for Adrienne as she is about to leave her husband drops the bombshell that he wants to move back home leaving her with a lot to think about.
After arriving at the guest house Adrienne meets Dr Paul Flanner who is the only guest in the house and she sees he is troubled. After a shaky start they open up to each other and she discovers he is being investigated for the death of one of his patients and he is also having a hard time with his son who he has not spoken to for over a year.
When a storm comes to Rodanthe the pair are trapped in the house and start to really get close and discover they have a lot in common and they try to help each other with their problems. Can Adrienne work out her family problems and discover what she really wants from life and can Paul finally pluck up the courage to get n touch with his son and just how close will the pair get?
This film really appealed to me as it is based on a book written by one of my favourite authors, Nichols Sparks, unfortunately I have not read this book yet so cannot comment on how well the story has been adapted for the film but what story we did get was excellent. I loved how we were seeing older people with problems and not young people who had no life experience as it would not have worked. The way the story came across was quite moving at times and I think the acting was so good it really did help with the emotions and the way the story came across.
Diane Lane played the role of Adrienne and she was great. She was a perfect choice as she was a normal woman who lived for her children and always put them before herself. She was a very easy character to get to know and understand and I loved the way she would show what looked like genuine emotions when talking about her children. I did think she showed a lovely soft and vulnerable side for the majority of the film but there was one point when she was drinking whisky that she started to loosen up and show she could have fun. She worked very well with Richard Gere who played the role of Dr Paul and they suited each other very well. I found there was a lovely chemistry between the two even at the start of the film when they did not know anything about each other. The role of Paul was good but I have to say he did not come across too well at the start of the film and it was only when he opened up that I fully understood why he was so angry and uptight. I loved seeing how he softened and changed as the story moved on.
We had some good supporting actors in the film including, Christopher Meloni, Viola Davis and Mae Whitman. There was a nice mix of characters and I thought the performance of the stropy teenage daughter of Adrienne's, played by Mae Whitman was very good.
The film was mainly set in Rodanthe with the guesthouse on the beach. We got some really nice shots of the ocean and surrounding beach and for me this was the perfect setting for the story. We did have small parts which were set back at Adrienne's house and this again worked well and all of the scenery and props were well made and looked great. There were some effects used in the film, the storm was one of the main ones and for me I thought it was well produced and looked good. I did not notice any badly added backdrops at any time during the film. The music was good although it was not amazing and none of it really stood out. I did at the time of watching notice how it added to the drama and emotions of the storyline.
As this is a film only review there are no bonus features to speak of. The running time of the film is 97 minutes and I did think this was just the right length as the story moved at a good pace from start to finish. The certificate is a PG but I have to warn there are some scenes which you may not want young children watching and the storyline does get a bit heavy towards the end so I would personally say this should be a 12 rate. I am a little confused as to the rate anyway as it came up as a PG at the start of the film and shows as a PG on the internet but for some reason this was a pin protected film on Sky. The film is available to buy on DVD from Amazon.
I highly recommend this film as the storyline is great and quite moving towards the end and the acting is also very good. I am definitely going to be buying this book to add to my Sparks collection! One for all fans of a good romantic drama or just fans of Richard Gere!