Plot: What’s it about?
Adrienne (Diane Lane) has just experienced a betrayal that altered her entire life, as her husband and the father of her children was unfaithful. The affair wasn’t just a one time mistake either, as he has left his wife and children to pursue a life with this other woman, quite a blow to Adrienne. In an effort to escape and heal herself a little, Adrienne has taken a brief job running a friend’s secluded bed and breakfast. As she looks inside herself and searches for ways to cope, she also gets to know her lone client, a doctor named Paul (Richard Gere). He is also at the remote locale to look for answers, as he had made some poor choices that have isolated him from even his own family. The two strike up a quick bond and the attraction is obvious, but given their pasts, could these two broken souls forge a new future?
I don’t mind romantic films, but I dislike melodrama, schmaltz, and cheap emotional manipulation. So when I found out Nights in Rodanthe was based on a book written by the author of The Notebook and Message in a Bottle, I knew this would have all three of those elements in spades. I was right to assume as it turns out, as this is as cliched, predictable, and emotionally hollow a movie as I’ve ever experienced. Richard Gere and Diane Lane do their best and prove to be the bright spot, but when working with such thin, retread material, the performances still suffer. I watched this with a female friend who loves sappy movies and even she couldn’t believe how “romance by test audience” this was. I simply cannot recommend Nights in Rodanthe to anyone who likes good movies, as this is just a terrible, assembly line production.
Video: How does it look?
Nights in Rodanthe is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. This transfer is good and gives us a better effort than the DVD, but I still wasn’t floored. The visuals here are tweaked a little, as certain blues tend to dominate and that intent is preserved in this treatment. The image is clean as can be, while detail stands as rock solid, but not remarkable. Again, more detailed than the DVD, but not up there with the better high definition presentations. Even so, this still looks good and provides a solid, clear visual experience.
Audio: How does it sound?
Warner has chosen to provide only a Dolby Digital 5.1 option here, which is a disappointment. The soundtrack isn’t bad, but doesn’t measure up to the lossless options most high definition releases boast. This is your basic dialogue driven track, not much surround presence to talk about. The music adds some presence, but by and large, this is all in the front channels and not much stands out aside from the vocals. I know this movie wouldn’t have a dynamite soundtrack regardless, but I do think Warner should have included a lossless option. This disc also includes French, Spanish, and Portuguese language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Supplements: What are the extras?
In addition to the ever popular digital copy of the film itself, Warner has given us three promotional featurettes, four deleted scenes, and a music video from the film’s soundtrack.