Adrienne Willis (Dianne Lane) is the harried mother of petulant teenager Amanda and preteen Danny. Adrienne's husband, Jack (Christopher Meloni), left her for another woman seven months previously, but now wants to reunite with Adrienne. Adrienne is overwhelmed by this proposal, and she uses a planned visit to her friend Jean's inn in Rodanthe, North Carolina, to consider the matter. Jean is going away and has asked Adrienne to look after the inn. Adrienne has fond memories of the inn, because it is where her recently deceased father brought her for holidays as a child.
Adrienne discovers that only one guest has booked into the inn - Dr Paul Flanner (Richard Gere), a well-respected and well-known plastic surgeon. Paul is struggling to cope following the break-up of his marriage, the death of a patient while he was operating, and the year-long estrangement from his son, Mark (James Franco). He has come to Rodanthe to meet the husband (Scott Glenn) of the woman who died.
Adrienne and Paul slowly warm to each other, and connect over their recent experiences of loss. As they each confront these losses and fears, and the hurricane that descends upon Rodanthe, they fall in love.
Loss and grief; loss of identity; family breakdown
There is some violence in this movie. The son of the woman who died in surgery becomes angry with Paul and kicks his car door. The door is slightly damaged.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of eight. For example:
- A hurricane hits Rodanthe and the inn is buffeted about by strong winds. The power goes out, glass smashes and a bookcase falls over, nearly crushing Adrienne.
- A scene depicts the operation during which Paul's patient dies and he attempts to resuscitate her. He appears upset.
- Another scene shows Paul and Mark having a verbal disagreement over Paul's handling of his relationships.
- Amanda and Danny are clearly upset by their parents' breakup and become angry and tearful when Adrienne refuses to get back together with Jack.
- Mark visits Adrienne to tell her that Paul has died. A scene depicting a mudslide in Ecuador is shown. Paul is not shown in the mudslide, but the ferocity of the mudslide is shown by its collection of objects and debris.
- Amanda and Danny appear concerned and scared when they return from their father's home to find their mother clearly grieving and distraught.
Children in this age group could also be disturbed by some of the scenes described above.
Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.
None of concern
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There is some use of substances in this movie, including the following:
- Paul and Adrienne drink wine and beer on three occasions.
- After an argument with Jack on the phone, Adrienne and Paul start drinking shots of whisky. They drink the whole bottle and become intoxicated and are shown to have a hangover the next morning.
Nudity and sexual activity
There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including the following:
- Jean is seen on holiday kissing a man. She refers to the fact that she is working very hard.
- Adrienne and Paul kiss several times in the movie.
- Adrienne and Paul are shown undressing each other and then lying and kissing in bed. Only their faces and bare shoulders are seen.
- The next morning they are seen lying next to each other in bed. Again, only their naked shoulders are seen. Paul runs his hands over Adrienne's body, renaming body parts as geographical points.
None of concern
This movie contains some mild coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Nights at Rodanthe is a romantic drama about love, loss, grief and redemption. The themes in this movie will be of little interest to younger children. Adolescents may relate to the plight of the young children in this movie. The movie is most likely to appeal to adults, because of its themes of loss and of defining one's identity through marriage, family or career.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:
- finding and knowing yourself
- being ready to recognise your own mistakes and learn from them
- importance of family.
This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:
- marriage breakdown
- death, loss and grief.