It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what happens next, and the sheer predictability of it all is probably the biggest crime perpetrated in the storyline. True to romantic comedy formula, Paul and Adrienne don’t exactly get off to a promising start, with his need to be alone and her tendency to ramble on and on and on. But when the weather forecaster’s storm predictions actually come true, the strong gusts of wind force these two tortured souls together—even literally at one point—and an immediate connection is made.

For the record, I’m not one of those snooty film critics who loves to rip on chick flicks. My personal stash is filled with movies with the word “wedding” and “adapted from Jane Austen’s book” on the box somewhere. Still, this was all a bit much. While it’s fantastic to see a man and a woman of a certain age find unexpected love, there’s still something that ultimately rings hollow about Nights in Rodanthe. Sure, Paul and Adrienne say they’ve found redemption in each other, but are the carefully choreographed Kodak moments during their weekend together really substantial enough to forever change the course of their lives?

Maybe it doesn’t sit right because we know that Adrienne’s husband is still waiting in the wings back home. Even though Jack shows up without warning and doesn’t even really apologize for his blatant wrongdoing, it’s still somewhat bizarre to get all excited about Paul’s and Adrienne’s new relationship when she’s still sporting her wedding band in the middle of those late-night love-fests. Sure, great blessings often come unexpectedly, but shouldn’t someone deal with the past before jumping straight into a new relationship?

I know I may stand alone with this pet peeve, but that’s just one of the reasons it’s not easy to get completely swept up in the romance of Rodanthe. But the filmmakers, not to mention Gere and Lane, sure give it their best shot.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Wine and meals go hand in hand in Rodanthe, and there’s one scene where a little too much whiskey causes Paul and Adrienne to get drunk.
  • Language/Profanity:  A couple of mild profanities and instances where the Lord’s name is taken in vain.
  • Sex/Nudity:  There’s talk about Adrienne’s husband’s infidelity of seven months. It’s implied that Paul and Adrienne sleep together—kissing, caressing and the beginning of the removal of clothes is demurely shown. Paul is bare-chested in a few scenes, and Adrienne sports a couple of cleavage-enhancing tops and dresses.
  • Violence:  Paul’s car is kicked in anger by Mr. Torrelson’s son. A bad storm causes some scary moments for Paul and Adrienne at the beach house.

 

Christa Banister is a full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in St. Paul, Minn., she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog

For more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website.