No second chance for ‘Nights in Rodanthe’

Denise Wright

Film strays too far from roots of Nicholas Sparks’ novel

For those who haven’t read the novel or saw the film yet, “Nights in Rodanthe” tells the story of Adrienne (Diane Lane), an overworked single mother, and Paul (Richard Gere), the surgeon trying to escape his past. ‘Fate’ brings the two together for one romantic weekend alone at an inn located on the North Carolina coast (yes, this is a “chick flick”).

The story line, created by romantic mastermind Nicholas Sparks, is simple but solid. Sparks has viewers rooting for the couple from the very beginning until the point when they are both able to put their pasts aside and finally focus on giving themselves a second chance at happiness.

Lane, like always, glows on screen. While watching the film, I wanted to see more from Gere, but the novel clarified why he was so withdrawn more than the film could explain.

“Nights in Rodanthe” is refreshing in the fact that the characters are older and more experienced than characters we’ve seen in other Sparks works, such as “A Walk to Remember” and “The Notebook.”

At the same time, the writers failed to add much background between the nearly-teenage romance. In the film, the couple meets, spends a short amount of time together and falls in love almost instantly.

After reading the book, which contains more scenes between the two characters, I was able to appreciate their relationship a lot more. Overall, reading “Nights in Rodanthe” had a way of making me appreciate several aspects of the film more.

This problem could have been avoided if the makers of the film had simply thrown in a few more character-developing scenes, adding another 10 minutes to the film. Even if it is a “chick flick,” the writers underestimated the time it takes to develop a romance.

Once getting past the story development issue, the viewer should be able to appreciate the setting. The inn where the two are staying is beautiful, and the storm brewing outside only adds to the intensity of the story line.

I would have given the film a higher rating if there weren’t so many discrepancies between the book and the film. The writers should have stuck to the roots of the novel a little more. After all, Sparks grasps romance and human emotion in a way that is seemingly impossible for most men.

While I’d certainly recommend reading the book rather than watching the movie, “Nights in Rodanthe” is worth the $5 and 97 minutes of your time.

Contact all editor Denise Wright at [email protected].