Friday, March 27, 2009

Nights in Rodanthe

I am a rare kind of guy, I actually like most “chick flicks” and upon receiving Nights in Rodanthe starring Richard Gere, Diane Lane and Scott Glenn for review, not only I, was excited. My wife and I had seen previews of the story based in the Outer Banks of North Carolina when the movie was in theaters. The packaging of the DVD did little damage to our excitement. The movie in both wide screen or full screen formats allowed us to check out both forms before deciding on what format to watch.

Both Gere and Lane have on screen magic, this is the third movie together and sure enough, the two on screen is a fun to see. In Nights of Rodanthe, both Gere and Lane play characters that have had difficulty in former relationships. Gere, playing the part of Paul, is a surgeon who is so caught up in his job that he forgets about the people around him. Lane, playing the part of Adrienne is a devoted mother who has gone through a 7 month separation and divorce from her husband. One weekend while working at the bed and breakfast for her friend Adrienne meets Paul as he is a guest. Bad weather sets in, a hurricane pursues, and the two develop a relationship that goes beyond a guest host relationship, they actually get to know each other and develop a loving relationship between each other.

Technically, there is little if anything to complain about regarding this movie. Gere and Lane are as good as ever. There is a tremendous chemistry between the two actors and they are fun to watch together. The cinematography, sound, editing and everything else is wonderful. The two aspects that were incredibly pleasing was the supporting role played by Scott Glenn and the music. Glenn is a local resident who has good reason to be upset with the doctor. It has to do with the loss of his wife, and the doctor not really taking the time to get to know his patients or their families. Glen has resentment due to this and he plays the part to perfection. I would have liked to have seen more development in his role but he does a suburb job with the part.

Another aspect of the movie I greatly enjoyed was the music. Mixing in Cajun with a Blues mix there is not a bad song in the entire movie. The movie highlighted almost everything wonderful about the Outer Banks, from her people, to the music, and from the scenery to the history.

There is a part of Nights in Rodanthe that I had trouble with, it is unfortunately one of the most important parts of any movie, the story. While the story flows quite nicely, it is even fun to watch and follow, it ends horribly. I have to say, I don’t like spoiler reviews, but I disliked the ending of this movie so much that I almost posted the ending to prevent people from seeing it. One can have a great story, but how it finishes has a tremendous effect on the story as a whole.

There are lessons in the movie we can all learn from regarding parenting, marriage, family and love. In Nights in Rodanthe we see two different types of parents, a father who neglected relationship with his son, and a mother who had a bad experience with her former husband. Despite this she still tries to be the best, most loving mother she can be. She has an understanding of relationship and has learned from her experiences while Paul is still in the process of learning. As the two come together Adrienne has a lot to give, and Paul has a lot to learn. We see these two teaching each other. The willingness of a couple working together, to share in life is experienced in a short time but the movie is realistic in its portrayal. There are lessons on communication we can learn, and caring for someone is more than just a casual comment, it is listening, hearing, and reacting out to ones joys, hurts, pains and experiences. The component of relationship is presented in a positive way here. The importance of each of us being real in our relationships is also something we can all learn from, whether via love or friendship.

At this point in the movie, things were great, it is here however that we see the two separate. Paul with the blessing of Adrienne decides to go to Peru to spend time with his son who is working as a missionary doctor. He knows of the need to heal his relationship with his son, and it is a journey he must take. Over the last bit of the film we see the two continue to keep in touch via telephone calls and largely by writing letters to each other. The two grow more in love and we see another example of the potential to love. It is obvious these two have a love that goes beyond the physical or sexual desires often related to love.

It is here that I could tell how the movie goes and how its ending for me, and my wife ruined the movie, but I won’t be so cruel.

Nights in Rodanthe is a strange kind of movie, it had so much potential yet ended so miserably. Maybe it was just me so it is the one reason that will keep me from totally blasting it, I suppose there are those that will like the movie, and will like the ending. I liked the movie okay; I would have liked it more if I had turned it off about 15 minutes earlier. I could recommend giving it a shot via rental, but I would be cautious of purchasing the movie unless it has gone to the discount racks. I don’t think one would be too disappointed with a rental though so check it out if you are a fan of any of the positive things mentioned.

On a scale of 1 – 10 for the three movies Lane and Gere have done together, plus the wonderful addition of Glenn, I will take those 4 off of perfection and give Nights in Rodanthe a somewhat disappointing 6.

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