Rated - PG 13
2 OUT 5 POPCORN BAGS
KAM WILLIAMS SAYS:
Three of his works have previously been turned into movies: Message in a Bottle (1999), A Walk to
Remember (2002) and The Notebook (2004). Now, Nights in Rodanthe is the latest of his bittersweet
soap operas to be brought to the big screen. Fans familiar with the source material, however, are
likely to be surprised at how the original storyline has been tweaked by scriptwriter Ann Peacock (Kit
Directed by George C. Wollfe (Lackawanna Blues), the film reunites Richard Gere and Diane Lane
who first appeared opposite each other in The Cotton Club (1984), and then again in Unfaithful
(2002). Other than crow’s feet caught on close-ups during their steamy clinches, it doesn’t look time
has aged either of these matinee idols much, or diminished their ability to generate chemistry.
At the point of departure, we’re introduced to Adrienne Willis (Lane), a married woman in the midst of
a meltdown. We learn that just in the past few months, her father has died, her husband (Christopher
Meloni) has dumped her and changed his mind, and her spoiled-rotten teenager (Mae Whitman) has
become impossible to live with.
Luckily, Adrienne’s best friend, Jean (Viola Davis), owns a bed and breakfast on Hatteras Island
located right, I mean, right on the ocean along North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Needing to go to Florida
on business, Jean offers Adrienne the comfy place for a little rest and relaxation on the condition that
she also serve as caretaker to the only guest she’s expecting, a surgeon arriving from Raleigh for a
Turns out, Dr. Paul Flanner (Gere) has his own emotional baggage, being inconsolable ever since a
patient (Linda Molloy) accidentally died on the operating table. He also has some issues to work out
with a 28 year-old son (James Franco) he hasn’t spoken to in a year.
What happens when two troubled souls in search of a little solitude find a soul mate instead of
isolation? This is Paul and Adrienne’s predicament as they conveniently fall in love at first sight at the
idyllic retreat and start whispering sweet nothings in each other’s ears while sharing the proverbial
candlelit meals and long walks along the shore. All this unfolds during the off-season, so there
shouldn’t be any annoying disturbances on the deserted isle spoiling their heavenly hideaway,
provided the approaching hurricane and the disgruntled family of Dr. Feelgood’s deceased patient
decide to cooperate.
Visually-enchanting, Nights in Rodanthe is ultimately more memorable for its cinematography than for
the myriad relationship dramas hastily introduced and unconvincingly resolved over the course of one
very eventful weekend.
That’s the trouble with trying to condense a 250-page novel into a 90-minute movie. You tend to
sacrifice character development in order to cram in all the plot points.
Another sappy soap opera for Nicholas Sparks fans satisfied by panoramic seascapes offset
intermittently by lingering interludes of dysfunctional strangers locking lips and loins.
George C. Wolfe directs Richard Gere and Diane Lane in
"Nights in Rodanthe."
Rated - PG 13
4 OUT 5 POPCORN BAGS
KAM WILLIAMS SAYS:
Compounding the problem is the fact that she makes more money than her husband. You see, she’s a
successful realtor who has recently been named salesperson of the year. And her man, by contrast,
had to settle with being a general contractor after an injury ended his dream of becoming a major
league baseball player.
It doesn’t help matters any that Dave is impatient to start a family after ten years of marriage, while
materialistic Clarice just wants to make more money in order to be able to continue to afford to live in
the lap of luxury. The net result is that, as the breadwinner, she feels entitled to criticize her hubby
constantly, especially about what she sees as his lack of ambition.
Dave, however, enjoys hanging with his pals, ladies man Brock (Eddie Cibrian) and equally-henpecked
Tree (Kevin Hart), with whom he coaches a little league team. Everything changes the day Clarice is
seriously injured in a car accident which occurs right while she is in the midst of nagging him.
First, Dave’s insufferable mother-in-law moves in with them, which means he now has to hear double
the nagging. So, it’s no surprise that his head might be turned by Julie (Maeve Quinlan), the friendly
physical therapist making regular visits to the house to assist his wife in rehabilitating her leg.
Thus, “Can this marriage be saved?” is the question at the heart of Not Easily Broken, a dysfunctional
family drama directed by Bill Duke. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by televangelist
Bishop T.D. Jakes who, by the way, makes a cameo appearance, here, along with his wife, Serita.
The picture is every bit as compelling as Jakes’ previous screen adaptation, Woman Thous Art Loosed,
another morality play revolving around the battle-of-the-sexes. This flick, however, is a little lighter in
tone, given that the marital tension is intermittently offset by comic relief coming mostly courtesy of trash-
talking Tree and Clarice’s colorful colleague Michelle Niecy Nash.
But the humorous asides in no way interfere with the ability of the modern parable to drive home a
sobering message about the sanctity of marriage. Faith-based entertainment at its best that you don’t
have to be Born Again to appreciate.
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