Nights in Rodanthe (DVD) (FS/WS)
Diane Lane, Richard Gere and James Franco star in Nicholas Sparks' tender story of hope and joy; of sacrifice and forgiveness--a moving reminder that love is possible at any age, at any time, and often when least expected--Nights in Rodanthe. At forty-five, Adrienne Willis (Diane Lane--Must Love Dogs) must rethink her entire life when her husband abandons her for a younger woman. She flees to the small coastal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina. But when a major storm starts moving in, it appears that Adrienne's perfect getaway will be ruined--until a guest named Paul Flanner (Richard Gere--Final Analysis, Chicago) arrives. At fifty-four, Paul has come to Rodanthe to escape his own shattered past. Now, with a storm closing in, two wounded people will turn to each other for comfort--and in one weekend set in motion feelings that will resonate for the rest of their lives.
The sparks between Richard Gere and Diane Lane--so memorable in Unfaithful
--smolder again in the sweepingly romantic Nights in Rodanthe
. Based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, the film is unapologetically sentimental, and enjoyable completely on its own terms--a small gem of an escape, complete with storm-tossed coastline. Lane plays Adrienne, a wronged wife whose husband (Christopher Meloni) was a heel, but begs for another chance. She goes to clear her head at a remote North Carolina inn, where the sole occupant is Paul, a doctor, played by Gere, who is battling his own demons. If the writing is on the wall about what will become of our two leading actors, it's to Lane's and Gere's deep credit that they make their tentative connection, wariness, and growing feelings human and quite believable. Love is messy, and grownup love, even more so. As they get to know each other, Adrienne shows Paul a small wooden box that holds her keepsakes: "I made it to keep special things safe." Paul turns to her, looking her squarely but gently in the eye, and says, "What keeps you safe?" At that moment, every woman watching the film is in the palm of his hand. The film squarely addresses the reality that people over age 25 do, in fact, yearn for, and find, love. If only more studios would realize the deep, appreciative audience for films like this. --A.T. Hurley
Stills from Nights in Rodanthe (Click for larger image)