I’VE ALWAYS THOUGHT it would be fun to write a really catty review about a really bad movie, but having high standards I almost never see any. So, recently snowbound with my husband out of town and my Cabin Fever reaching epic proportions, I rented a chick flick that I knew Mitch would never watch under normal circumstances. Armed with a box of Kleenex and a bowl of popcorn, I was good to go.
Released in 2008, “Nights in Rodanthe” stars Richard Gere the way God intended him: driving a Porsche, grey hair, white shirt and jeans, and no bags under the eyes yet. It also stars Diane Lane who is always beautiful and fun to pretend to be, especially her hair. The action takes place on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where our family spent many happy summer days when our son was young and adorable. What’s not to love?
Everything. Like, there’s a hurricane brewing, and the Rickety Inn (not its real name) where the two stars meet is already halfway in the ocean, and that’s on a clear day. Literally, it sits in the water, built up on stilts out of what looks like balsa wood, making you think maybe a strong sneeze could do some considerable damage, so you know at the outset it’s going to get it but good. It takes a pretty hard beating during the hurricane, but the next day there’s like one broken shutter and a skateboard flung onto the sand. Oh please.
Next, she’s on the verge of divorce and he’s already divorced, his wife having left him even though he’s a sexy and brilliant surgeon because he’s being sued for a wrongful death. As for Diane, her husband wants her back, her teenage daughter hates her and her nerdy, 10-year-old son has severe asthma. They each have terrible problems that are very upsetting to both of them. But since they meet in a romantic setting, of course they fall in love, and naturally they have sex–the kind where the audience has to watch her unbutton his shirt, button by button, and then watch him unzip her dress, etc. I went and got some cereal. (I had finished the popcorn long ago.)
Diane decides to leave her husband because she has finally found her soul mate. Richard feels the same way except he has to go to South America first to patch things up with his estranged doctor son who runs a clinic in the jungle but he’ll be right back so they can start their new life together. In fact, he can hardly wait! They exchange sappy love letters keeping the flame burning, and Diane starts getting better-looking just reading them, and Richard starts getting along great with the son he treated like shit when he was growing up, and guess what? Richard dies in a mudslide in South America.
Did not see that coming! I sobbed for the last 15 minutes, maybe you heard me.
— Andrea Rouda
MyLittleBird contributor Andrea Rouda blogs at “Call Me Madcap!”