From novelist Nicholas Sparks (“The Notebook,” “Message in a Bottle”) comes another romantic drama, a passionate story about love, family and forgiveness, a tearjerker about how one long weekend can change the lives of two people.
Adrienne Willis’ (Diane Lane) life is in shambles. Separated from her philandering husband (Christopher Meloni) and continually criticized her by troubled teenage daughter (Mae Whitman), she’s delighted when an old friend (Viola Davis) asks her to manage her seaside inn in Rodanthe on North Carolina’s Outer Banks for an off-season weekend. After all, only one guest is expected for the next four days. That’s Paul (Richard Gere), a plastic surgeon from Raleigh, who comes to this remote town during a crisis of conscience. Thrown together during a hurricane, they reveal their respective hurts to one another and begin to heal — with the promise of love.
Adapted by Ann Peacock and John Romano and helmed by renowned stage director George C. Wolfe, making his feature film debut, it’s beautifully filmed and quietly moving. Previously paired in “The Cotton Club” and “Unfaithful,” this marks the third time Lane and Gere have played lovers — and it’s obvious that they’re comfortable with one another. Indeed, Lane goes so deep into Adrienne’s angst that you can almost feel her nerve endings.
On the other hand, these stereotypical, middle-aged characters — the estranged wife and the stranger — evoke memories of The Bridges of Madison County. And while it’s true that people can change at any age, the emotional impact of a couple of nights on the storm-swept coastline seems a bit far-fetched – with the conclusion not only obvious but inevitable. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Nights in Rodanthe is a sensitive, sentimental 6. Bring tissue, it’s a weeper.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Nights in Rodanthe” is a sensitive, sentimental 6. Bring tissue, it’s a weeper.