"Heartfelt, Yet Formulaic"
NIGHTS IN RODANTHE, adapted from the best-selling Nicholas Sparks novel, is a mildly entertaining romantic drama about two people who get an unexpected second chance at love.
The story begins with Adrienne Willis (played by Diane Lane), a woman still healing from the pain caused by her husband’s affair and facing the decision as to whether she will forgive him and allow him to come back home. While struggling with this decision, she is continually confronted by her rebellious, disrespectful teenage daughter who seems to resent her every decision. In her angst, Adrienne retreats to the tiny coastal town of Rodanthe, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, to tend to a friend’s inn for the weekend while hoping to sort out the many conflicts in the tranquility surrounding her.
Almost as soon as she arrives, a major storm is forecast coupled with the arrival of Dr. Paul Flanner (played by Richard Gere), a man who chose to sacrifice his family to his career, resulting in his divorce and his son’s estrangement. He has traveled to Rodanthe in order to make amends with Robert Torrelson (played by Scott Glenn), the husband of a woman who accidentally died on his operating table.
Over the course of their weekend together, Adrienne and Paul grow close. They form a romantic attachment that helps them to sort out the differences in their lives.
NIGHTS IN RODANTHE contains many heartfelt moments due to the emotive character portrayals by Richard Gere and Diane Lane, yet surprisingly lacks any spark or ingenuity that will set it apart from the everyday predictable and formulaic love story. The movie is obviously geared toward older audiences, making it difficult for younger viewers to truly relate to the characters or the story. Happily, the movie has some redemptive elements, such as the reconciliation between Paul and his son and between Adrienne and her daughter, Adrienne’s forgiveness of her husband’s betrayal (although she decides not to take him back), and Robert’s description of his wife, whom he loved dearly.
However, there are elements of concern, such as the implied adultery between Adrienne and Paul and some light references to pagan gods. Also, in one of the scenes, Adrienne resorts to alcohol as a means of coping with the pain in her life.
One of the main elements of concern is the Romantic worldview followed by the two main characters who look to each other for salvation from their circumstances. At the end of the movie, Paul’s son says to Adrienne, “Because of you, he was a changed man, you saved him,” and she replies back, “We saved each other.” The movie completely leaves God out of the picture, which is greatly unfortunate because the truth of the matter is that He is the only one who can save us and change us to become better than the sinners that we are.
(RoRo, B, C, Pa, O, L, S, N, AA, M) Strong Romantic worldview with some moral, redemptive elements such as forgiveness and reconciliation but where a couple ultimately finds salvation with one another, plus light pagan and occult element with reference to paintings of spirit guides and the god of thunder; 8 obscenities and no profanities; no violence; implied sex, theme of adultery, woman makes three light sexual references, passionate kissing, man and woman lay in bed together; woman in towel after shower but everything is covered appropriately, upper male nudity, slight cleavage depicted; man and woman drink wine with dinner, brief alcohol use depicted when woman gets slightly drunk from drinking shots of whiskey; and, disrespect.
NIGHTS IN RODANTHE stars Diane Lane and Richard Gere in a mildly entertaining romantic drama about two people who find a second chance at love. Adrienne is a woman still healing from the pain caused by her husband’s affair. She is facing a decision as to whether she will forgive him and allow him to come back home. Meanwhile, Paul is a man who chose to sacrifice his family to his career, resulting in his divorce and his son’s estrangement. Both travel to Rodanthe to sort out their conflicts in peace. Unexpectedly, they find the answers they are looking for in each other.
NIGHTS IN RODANTHE contains many heartfelt moments due to the emotive character portrayals by the actors, yet surprisingly lacks any spark or ingenuity. Sadly, adultery is a major theme. The movie has some redemptive elements, although these are somewhat marred by the two main characters looking to each other for salvation from their circumstances. Thus, the movie completely leaves God out of the picture. Of course, the truth is that God is the only one who can save us and make us better than the sinners that we are.