Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Nights of Rodanthe
Nights of Rodanthe (I still have no idea how that is pronounced) is Nicholas Sparks' fourth novel to be made into a film. Which means, this movie is A) a dramatic, tear-jerking romance, B) set on the North Carolina coast and C) concluded with someone dying. I forgot about this last characteristic that almost every single Nicholas Sparks novel has, until it became apparent toward the end that someone was getting the axe. I literally rolled my eyes, shook my head and yelled a silent, internal "DUH!" to myself. How had I not seen that coming?! He ALWAYS has someone die, and not just a supporting character, but one of the two main love interests. Why is it he thinks love can't be true love unless one of them dies? I think it's his goal to extract as many tears from our eyes as possible (hah! In his face! No tear-leakage from this heartless gal) and what better way to do that than spend the entire flick leading up to an undying, passionate love....and then kill one of them off. Seriously, someone tell him we're women--we (and by we I mean all the rest of you) will still bawl at a sappy, happy, lovey-dovey ending, where the couple actually (gasp!) ends up together, both alive. You know, "You had me at hello." That kind of ending.
But I got ahead of myself. Back to the beginning. So Adrienne (love that name), played by none other than the fabulous Diane Lane, is debating whether or not to let her cheating husband come back home, when she agrees to help out her friend (the token funny BFF) by taking care of her inn for a weekend. A weekend that happens to get hit with a hurricane. Paul, (Richard Gere, more on him later) a divorced father of one son who won't speak to him, checks in at the inn on this very weekend, despite the fact that he is fully aware of the impending hurricane. Being the off-season for tourists, he is the only guest. I don't see where this is headed at all, do you?
Playing out exactly as you would expect, there's the nervous awkwardness, the little side-glances here and there as they check each other out, and so on and so forth. The build-up actually went on longer than I expected, to the point where I was like, "Okay, hook up already." But in the meantime, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Ms. Lane. I haven't seen her in a lot of things, regretfully. She is amazing. Every line she spoke, or didn't, was accompanied by the slightest eyebrow movement, or tiny smile, some facial expression that was so real and natural and said so much more than her lines. Now that's an actress.
Mr. Gere, on the other hand....well, I'm sorry to say, I don't like him. Maybe it's because he's as old as my dad, but I've just never understood what makes women go gaga over him. I get as much feeling from his acting as a limp noodle. Even as I watched him stand there, professing his love to Adrienne, I kept waiting to feel something that never came. And the onscreen chemistry between them I kept hearing about? I was watching for it. And watching. And watching.
But the beach was beautiful, and I kept picturing myself holed up in that inn, walking right out into the surf at sunset. And just when I was thinking that, despite the cliche mushiness, the movie was turning out to be better than I thought....someone dies in a mud slide. A MUD SLIDE! Oh, well, at least I got out of the house for a couple hours.