Australian Council on Children and the Media

Nights in Rodanthe

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Short takes

Lacks interest and not recommended under 8, PG to 15 (Adult themes, coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Nights in Rodanthe
  • a review of Nights in Rodanthe completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 12 November 2008.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended for children under 8 years. Adult themes (sex, infidelity, death and grief), coarse language, lacks interest
Children aged 8-15 Parental guidance recommended due to adult themes

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Nights in Rodanthe
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and coarse language
Length 97 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

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 7 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, as it is where her recently deceased father had 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 breakup 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 hurricane that descends upon Rodanthe, they fall in love.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Loss and grief; loss of identity; family breakdown

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • The son of the woman who died in surgery becomes angry with Paul and kicks his car door. The door is slightly damaged.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • A hurricane hits Rodanthe and the inn is buffeted about by strong winds. The power goes out, glass smashes and a book case 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.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group could also be disturbed by some of the scenes described above

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group could also be disturbed by some of the scenes described above

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • 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.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Paul and Adrienne drink wine and beer on 3 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.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Jeez, idiot, stupid, ass, hell, dammit, bullshit, crap

In a nutshell

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, with the 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
  • forgiveness
  • 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

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