Nights in Rodanthe Combo Review

At forty-five, Adrienne Willis must rethink her entire life when her husband abandons her for a younger woman. Reeling with heartache and in search of a respite, she flees to the small coastal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina to tend to a friend's inn for the weekend. But when a major storm starts moving in, it appears that Adrienne's perfect getaway will be ruined -- until a guest named Paul Flanner arrives. At fifty-four, Paul has just sold his medical practice and come to Rodanthe to escape his own shattered past. Now, with the storm closing in, two wounded people will turn to each other for comfort -- and in one weekend set in motion feelings that will resonate throughout the rest of their lives.

Oh Nicholas Sparks, you sure know how to make a girl cry.

If you are anything like me, there are those times in your life when you just need to sit down and have a good cry. No real reason, other than to release some pent up emotions. This is one of those books (and movie) that will allow you to have a good ol' cry.

This movie sticks closely to the book, save for a few details. Those few details, for me, make the book better. I feel like some of the story and emotion is lost in translation of the movie. I love being able to hear what a character is thinking and you lose that in this movie, but its still pretty good.

Synopsis: Paul and Adrienne, both coming from damaged points in their lives, meet at an inn and a hurricane roles in. They basically fall in love over the long weekend and end up changing one another's lives for the better.

Paul is a great doctor, but a bad father and husband (well, ex-husband) because he was so devoted to his work. He came to Rodanthe to speak with a man whose wife Paul had operated on... she died on the table. He was trying to have some closure with the situation. After this weekend he was planning to fly to Ecuador, where is son is working in a medical clinic to try to repair their damaged relationship.

Adrienne comes to the inn as the caretaker for her friend. She is in the midst of a divorce and has an angry teenage daughter and a son (in the book 2 sons). As you might suspect, she puts her family before herself and is considering taking her ex back for the sake of the kids (apparently his fling didn't work out).

What I like about this book is that neither one of these characters is looking for love. I also like that they are very realistic people, damaged goods. She teaches him a little humility and he teaches her that she is worthy of love. It's great. They have a magical weekend together and then he flies off to Ecuador and they have a year of romantic old fashioned letter-writing. Through the letters they get to know one another even better and look forward to starting their life together.

Now, it IS Nicholas Sparks, so there is a heart wrenching twist ending that makes the whole thing bittersweet. I won't give it away.... The movie does stick to the original ending.
What I appreciate about the book is that it is mostly in a flashback. Adrienne is telling her daughter about the time at the Inn with Paul once she is a grown woman who loses her husband and is left with 2 young sons. Also, in the movie they kill off Adrienne's father (he is never introduced into the story other than being her dead dad who she was very close with) but in the book he is alive, but ill, and Paul arranges for him to be cared for through his life because he knows how special her father is to Adrienne.  Small things, I know, but it still made the book better for me.

The casting in the movie was spot-on. They could not have chosen a better Paul or Adrienne. I mean, you can't go wrong with Richard Gere! And, even though he is a minor character, it was a nice surprise to see a yummy James Franco as Paul's son Mark.

All in all, its classic Nicholas Sparks. I enjoyed it, but steer clear if you don't want to be sad. It is a tragic romance. I'd give it 3/5 stars.


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