“Take your hand off my man card!”

Just when I thought my “man card” was back safe and secure in my big manly wallet, Nights in Rodanthe blows in to theaters. I went to the press screening confident that this film would in no way appeal to me or be the least bit relatable. My intention was to view it in order to give you ladies an unbiased opinion of the film for you to decide whether you and your girlfriends, sisters, daughters etc would enjoy it. The problem is that Nicholas Sparks writes so suitably for the female at large but his main characters seem to resonate with the male species as well. Luckily after speaking with Mr. Sparks about this I can now feel ok about liking the film and I get to keep my man card to boot.

Dr. Paul Flanner (Richard Gere) is the lone weekend occupant of an ocean side inn during a terrible hurricane. The Inn is being cared for by Adrienne Willis (Diane Lane), a mother of two trying to cope with her ex husbands strive for reconciliation. Flanner, a divorced surgeon, has come to the North Carolina Inn in Rodanthe to get his head on straight and do some reconciling of his own. As these two weather the storm they find in each other a strength and soul stirring bond.

Nights in Rodanthe is a simple enough story and is not over run by too many characters or distracting sub plots. The movie moves like a good book reads. Each scene feels as smooth and easy as the turn of a page. Lane and Gere are solid enough to bring a genuine life to each character and this also adds to the beautiful feel of this film. Nothing is forced or rehearsed. You never get the feeling the actors are trying to manipulate emotions from the viewer.

There is something too to be said about the storm element. As the storm intensifies out side it enforces the turmoil of emotion in the characters. It becomes its own emotion. I truly enjoyed Lane in this film and I think she solidifies herself as an older female actress who can convey authentic sexiness in a down to earth manner. Adrienne is a female who has a need to live and feel again and Diane plays that role perfectly. Also, I must give applause to Scott Glenn who gives an emotive supporting role performance.

Nights in Rodanthe is rated PG-13 for some sensuality. This film could easily play as is on any network channel. Obviously your teenage son is not the target audience, so please do not force them to see this. But I think must husbands will find that this is not as brutal to watch as they might first think. It goes without saying that fans of Spark’s novels will feel right at home with this film. I give it 3.75 out of 5 hand carved mementoes. I liked it and didn’t have to forfeit my man card to do so. Nick even said so.

“Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and hosts a daily online talk show along with a weekend radio feature, The Mungles on Movies, with his wife Cindy. For additional reviews, interview clips and great DVD giveaways, visit the website”

Review copyright 2008 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

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