Monday, February 16, 2009

Nights in Rodanthe (2008)

Adrienne Willis (Diane Lane) is a woman at a major decision point in her life. Should she reunite with her philandering husband or stay the course on her own and endure her kid's disappointment if she doe not allow him back? To give her time to think, she agrees to take care of her friend's inn so her friend, Jean (Viola Davis) can take a vacation. She only has one guest to attend to at the inn, Dr. Paul Flanner (Richard Gere). It is quickly discovered that Flanner is at a turning point in his life as well and the two bond over their shared disappointments and future decisions.

Richard Gere and Diane Lane in a love stare down

I really wanted to like this movie. It is an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel and I have liked those in the past. "The Notebook" is a favorite. Plus, I am all for any movie that shows the over-40ish movie actors carrying a romance flick. I think older actors should be given more opportunities in movies to have a strong romantic story and carry some box office power. Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to like this one, I really didn't.

I like both Richard Gere and Diane Lane. I think they are both great actors and I think they gave fine performances. My problem was how the story lumbered along for most of the movie. It took quite a while for Flanner's storyline to be presented. Even when it was finally presented, it still seemed rather confusing and convoluted. Also, the two of them falling in love seemed so contrived. Maybe I am a sucker for the necessary meet cute? These two just seemed to be pushed onto each other and with a hurricane raging outside it seemed more like, "Well, why not?" than real love. Almost more like an act of desperation and that is never fun to watch.

After their weekend in Rodanthe, they began writing letters back and forth to each other and that is the minor bright spot in the movie for me. I enjoyed watching Adrienne running to the mailbox and ripping open the letter and devouring every word. I love the art of letter writing and I think it is a shame that no one puts pen to paper anymore, especially for wooing.

The bright spot of the letters is short though and the amount of time it took to get there, and then the dreadful part afterwards just doesn't make it worth the effort. The only thing this movie sold me on was that men should write love letters more often and I should go visit the Outer Banks region sometime as it looks interesting. I think I would have rather seen more of what Viola Davis' character was doing on her vacation (at least that looked hot) than what was going on in her absence in Rodanthe. So, I would give this one a pass unless you are into slow tear-jerkers.

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