Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Random Movie Review: "Nights in Rodanthe"

I and my gracious spouse saw Nights in Rodanthe last night. I didn't especially want to see that movie, but I did kind of want to see a movie, and that one was free, so there you are. 

It turned out that there was also a free preview screening of Eagle Eye that night. We consoled ourselves afterwards with the thought that it's possible Eagle Eye was worse than Nights in Rodanthe. After all, Eagle Eye has Shia LaBeouf, for whom we have conceived an unyielding dislike. 

Nights in Rodanthe is probably just exactly somebody's type of movie, but not mine. It's about two wounded people who heal each other by challenging ingrained habits and falling in love. Smiling-through-the-tears kind of thing. Happiness! Sadness! Life! Finding out who you truly are!

It's full of overwrought dialogue and fierce emoting by Diane Lane, whom I quite like in some things, and Richard Gere. 

As I said, someone will probably love this movie. It's based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, who also wrote books that became the movies The Notebook and A Walk to Remember. I haven't seen those (and am not about to do so now), but if you liked them, you may like this one.

Briefly, Diane Lane, whose husband left her for another woman but now wants to come back because that didn't work out, is housesitting at her best friend's rustic inn in Rodanthe, NC. Richard Gere is the sole guest, visiting from Raleigh for some mysterious purpose. A hurricane is coming on.

They talk, they challenge each other, they bond, they put up storm shutters. But they're both so very hurt by life! Can they crawl out of their shells and blossom together like the free, beautiful people they were meant to be? Or will she take back her husband for the sake of her moody teenage daughter and sensitive, asthmatic son?

I found it heavy and predictable, with a shallow storyline and no very deep or interesting character development. We've seen all these people before: emotionally wounded artistic woman, callow cheating husband, spunky black best friend, withdrawn perfectionist doctor, sullen teenager, colorful rustic townsfolk, tragically deceased perfect wife, grieving angry family. Not that these can't be workable characters, but you have to do something interesting with them, right?

Because I am ever alert for ways to relate things to the purported subjects of this blog, I must note that it had little to no library application, but did provide the following medically-relevant bits of info:

  • Even routine surgery can be fatal
  • Doctors are human beings who need to give and receive a little love and understanding like the rest of us
  • Lard is bad for your arteries
  • Antibiotics and syringes are like gold in Ecuador


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