Newest Review: ... but a little edgy and withdrawn, seeming as if he has a lot on his mind and would prefer to be alone.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 aw... more
Two Battered Souls In A Storm.
Nights In Rodanthe (DVD)
Member Name: Machair1
Nights In Rodanthe (DVD)
Date: 26/05/10, updated on 26/05/10 (52 review reads)
Advantages: A love story in a spectacular setting.
Disadvantages: May not appeal to a younger audience or males with a dislike of this genre.
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.
Summary: A stunning location and superb acting.