The Unashamed Romantic Goo of Nights in Rodanthe


Nights in Rodanthe
Directed by George C. Wolfe
Warner Bros.
Opens September 26

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Nights in Rodanthe works so strenuously to satisfy its target audience's every desire that it's a minor surprise that the filmmakers didn't provide cashmere blankets, a snuggly pair of slippers, and a warm cup of cocoa for everyone entering the theater. Based on sap master Nicholas Sparks's novel, Nights introduces us to Adrienne (Diane Lane), an overworked mother separated from her no-good husband who decides to take a mini-vacation by running her friend's North Carolina beachfront inn for a few days. Her only guest is Paul (Richard Gere), a divorced plastic surgeon who also needs a break from his life. What follows is absolutely exactly what you think is going to happen every step of the way, with Lane doing her standard feisty-mature-hottie routine and Gere in sensitive-heartthrob mode. The feature directorial debut of theater veteran George C. Wolfe (Angels in America), Nights in Rodanthe exhibits a certain amount of integrity in its dedication to being uncomplicated, unashamed romantic goo, but after a while, its self-serious celebration of middle-aged ennui redeemed by screwing a handsome stranger with a full head of hair can't help but inspire a couple cynical chuckles. Still, don't be surprised if your mom loves it.

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