Nights in Rodanthe (7/10)
by Tony Medley
Runtime 94 minutes.
Richard Gere and Diane Lane
are back again; last seen together in the steamy “Unfaithful” (2002),
which still gets people’s pulses rising when they think of it.
Directed by George C.
Wolfe, with a screenplay by Ann Peacock and John Romano, this is from a
book by Nicholas Sparks (2004’s “The Notebook,” and 1999’s “Message in a
Bottle”) who has made a career of manipulating the flow of tears. This
one is no exception, but it doesn’t come close to the water that flowed
from “The Notebook.”
Adrienne (Lane) is trying
to adjust to her abandonment by her husband, Jack (Christopher Meloni
from “Law and Order SVU”), when she agrees to run the picturesque inn of
her friend, Jean (Viola Davis), which sits on stilts on the Outer Banks
of North Carolina for four days. Only one guest is scheduled, Paul (Gere),
a surgeon, who is coming to face the husband (Scott Glenn) of a woman
who died on Paul’s operating table.
Naturally, they become
involved or there would be no movie. They become quickly intimate, and I
don’t just mean sexually. It was the emotional intimacy that seemed a
little presumptuous to me. They have just met and Paul, who, according
to Gere, is “an A-type who sucks the energy out of every room he’s in,”
goes over to see Glenn; Adrienne accompanies him. It doesn’t go well.
When they return, Adrienne berates him for the way he acted, and he
fights back attacking her for her situation. They’ve only known each
other for a few hours. Lane, however, rationalizes, “You can open up to
someone you’ve known for six hours because you don’t think you’ll ever
see them again, never realizing they will change your life.” Maybe.
Anyway, as might be expected, from contention comes romance.
Someone wasn’t thinking,
however, when it comes to believability. After a hurricane batters the
house all night long, knocking down all the furniture, blowing the
windows open, making a heck of a noise, the next morning Paul goes down
and gets in his car to drive away. The car looks as if it just came out
of the carwash, not a spot on it.
I’m not sure about the
location, either. The inn is built on stilts, so close to the shore that
the tide actually runs under the house. A hurricane is coming. If
Adrienne and Paul are half as smart as they are beautiful, they wouldn’t
stay in this flimsy structure with a hurricane approaching. The inn
doesn’t look as if it could withstand someone’s strong breath blowing on
it, much less 100 mph winds. And hurricanes bring tides. If a hurricane
actually hit with the ferocity it hits in this film, the inn would be
quickly converted to kindling. But they don’t even think about leaving.
Oh, well, this is a movie
and it has two gorgeous people. Gere basically just plays the hunk, but
Lane has to show some emotion since she’s concerned about her children
and her philandering husband. Her emotions run the gamut from A to maybe
E or G and she does give a good performance. For 94 minutes women (at
least middle-aged women) can drink in Gere and men (of all ages) can
gaze at Lane (whose beauty makes me gasp for air). What’s wrong with
September 24, 2008