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Typical Nicholas Sparks: Nights in Rodanthe

Published September 26, 2008 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros Pictures
Nights in RodantheNights in Rodanthe
You should know exactly what you're going to get from a Nicholas Sparks movie. I certainly do, and I'm ready for it. Come on, Nick, bring it. I've already been Notebooked, so take your best shot.

Review: Nights in Rodanthe

Nights in Rodanthe is your typical story about a frazzled single mom (Diane Lane) whose cheating husband wants her to take him back. She goes to Rodanthe to take care of her friend's inn one weekend and falls for the only guest (Richard Gere), a doctor with a troubled past.

It's pretty basic. There's good talking that tells us all the info we need, but in divorce decisions, your friends DO have to remind you of significant events. It just feels so sincere, just people sharing company together.

There are flashbacks, because why not? We're just talking anyway, so might as well show us what was going on before we met these two. There is just enough of a real subplot going on to ground the romance in the real world.

This is the perfect cast for this material. Richard Gere can make you sympathize with his sweet side no matter what you find out about him. Diane Lane makes you believe she's actually considering her ex and not the hot stranger. She even makes it plausible that her character dances to vinyl records. I would have even bought her singing into a hairbrush. Their fake bonding over the trashcan is just so whimsical!

Of course each one has total insight into the other's major character flaw (and there is only one, because otherwise they're perfect.) They're the opposite extremes of the same issue, so naturally they're experts on the subject.

By the way, I'm not sure about this so don't quote me, but I think the impending storm is a metaphor. Not sure what it represents, but it comes up so much that I'm wondering if that's some sort of subtle literary device.

It's totally predictable but it delivers. This is the Nicholas Sparks formula. I was pretty well braced for everything to come, but man, that scene with the daughter at the end still got me. Damn you, Nicholas Sparks, and your magical tear jerking super powers!

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros Pictures

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