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Nights in Rodanthe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks, “Nights in Rodanthe” manages a few tear-jerking moments, while squandering in unrealistic events and flat suspense.

Diane Lane plays Adrienne, who is soon to be divorced from her clingy husband, Jack (Christopher Meloni). Adrienne has just about had it with life; she’s over-stressed, over-worked, and exhausted from raising two kids. A weekend away at her friend’s beachside inn in Rodanthe seems the perfect getaway. At the same time, Paul (Richard Gere), a once-prominent surgeon in Raleigh, is still tormenting himself for a mistake he made during a surgery a year before. He uses Rodanthe as a time to reconcile with the ghosts of his past. Adrienne and Paul spend a turbulent weekend together that ends with passion and sparks of hope for both.

In the beginning, Lane and Gere’s chemistry seems awkward and forced, resulting in their characters seeming as ­fictitious as fairy tales. Yet as the weekend progresses, they come alive as though awakened from the dead. They truly begin to interact and portray their characters’ romance in a believable way.

However, no dose of reality can save viewers from the over-stretched emotions that sap most of the movie. Lane clearly wants to make her ­presence felt, and thus, she overplays many of Adrienne’s emotions – laughing too hard at her friend’s jokes and reveling in passion when she reads Paul’s letters.

Along with the unrealistic acting, “Nights in Rodanthe” has several technical errors. For one, the beachside inn’s location on the waterfront is obviously too close to the water. If the tide was lapping at its steps normally, it would have sustained major damage from the hurricane that blows in. In the same scene, Paul’s car is shown parked outside, completely unharmed, which is very unlikely considering the storm.

The screenwriters have also altered several details from the book. In the novel, Adrienne ­recounts her weekend with Paul to her 30-year-old daughter, who recently lost her husband. The movie shows the scene with Adrienne and her daughter, but the daughter is a teen­ager upset over her parents’ pending divorce. However, only those who have read the novel will notice the change.

Aside from its clear technical and acting flaws, “Nights in Rodanthe” is a beautiful example of Southern culture and scenery, from the sandy beaches and multicolored houses to the crab festival and classic Dixie music. If you love Diane Lane or Richard Gere or insanely ­romantic, cliché plots with a traditional Southern backdrop, “Nights in Rodanthe” should be worth renting.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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pm said...
Apr. 24, 2009 at 11:58 pm
Thanks for this very thorough review. Other reviews of this movie run the gamut from "loved it" to "hated it"; this review gives me a balanced look and the right amount of detail to make an informed decision. Thanks!
 
JohnC said...
Apr. 23, 2009 at 7:51 am
I very much appreciated this reviewer's candid assessment of this movie. Too often, we movie-goers are cajoled by writers into proper "admiration" (genuflection?) for a movie merely because it might have name brand talent in starring roles, such as Richard Gere. But the fact that the movie apparently did not adhere to crucial aspects of the novel, was not totally realistic, and has some 'over-playing' in the key roles has convinced me to go elsewhere. Hollywood had a golden age, and ... (more »)
 
Little Sis said...
Apr. 22, 2009 at 9:58 pm
This review rocks! I really want to rent this movie now! This review is awesome! I offically have a new fav writer!
 
Theresa S. said...
Apr. 15, 2009 at 2:49 pm
This is a really great reveiw....I haven't seen the movie yet but I did read the book and I hate the way Paul dies in the end it's so horrid....But all in all it's a good book/movie.
 
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