The sparks between Richard Gere and Diane Lane--so memorable in Unfaithful--smolder again in the sweepingly romantic Nights in Rodanthe. Based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, the film is unapologetically sentimental, and enjoyable completely on its own terms--a small gem of an escape, complete with storm-tossed coastline. Lane plays Adrienne, a wronged wife whose husband (Christopher Meloni) was a heel, but begs for another chance. She goes to clear her head at a remote North Carolina inn, where the sole occupant is Paul, a doctor, played by Gere, who is battling his own demons. If the writing is on the wall about what will become of our two leading actors, it's to Lane's and Gere's deep credit that they make their tentative connection, wariness, and growing feelings human and quite believable. Love is messy, and grownup love, even more so. As they get to know each other, Adrienne shows Paul a small wooden box that holds her keepsakes: "I made it to keep special things safe." Paul turns to her, looking her squarely but gently in the eye, and says, "What keeps you safe?" At that moment, every woman watching the film is in the palm of his hand. The film squarely addresses the reality that people over age 25 do, in fact, yearn for, and find, love. If only more studios would realize the deep, appreciative audience for films like this. --A.T. Hurley
Stills from Nights in Rodanthe
The stars of Unfaithful rekindle their screen chemistry in this rich tale of hearts awakenings based on a bestseller by Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, Message in a Bottle). Richard Gere is Paul, a surgeon who long ago unwittingly traded career for family. Diane Lane is Adrienne, a devoted mother trying to move on after her husbands infidelity and struggling with his desire to return to their marriage. At a remote inn on the Outer Banks, Paul and Adrienne expect to do some serious soul-searching. But an approaching storm forces each to turn to the other for strength, setting the stage for a life-resonating romance.
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