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Nights in Rodanthe


Stars: Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Viola Davis, Scott Glenn, Christopher Meloni, Mae Whitman

Director: George C Wolfe

Is Diane Lane now one of America's best actresses? Only one Oscar nomination to date (for Unfaithful), but few can match her for warmth and the ability to express extreme facial emotions - something the camera rightly dwells on to lift this soapy but superior Mills and Boon-style romantic drama.

Deserted by husband Meloni (on leave from duty with Law & Order's Special Victims Unit), Adrienne (Lane) finds herself looking after a friend's beachside guest house, where the only guest (conveniently) is Dr Paul Flanner (Gere), a surgeon on the run from a failed cyst operation in which a woman died.

At Rodanthe (location work in North Carolina) to see the woman's husband, Paul's wife has left him and he's estranged from his son. Naturally the inevitable happens between our romantic leads, although only after a terrifying hurricane (which doesn't seem to wreak the destruction it should do) and the couple fall deeply in love, culminating in Paul's emergence as a new man and his departure to work with his son in Ecuador.

This is full of basically nice people doing good things - not even the growing pains of Adrienne's daughter (Whitman, good) run very deep. But, though Gere remains his shallow self, Lane will draw your tears in spite of yourselves. A notable mature talent indeed.

David Quinlan

USA 2008. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
97 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 07 Oct 2008