Home > Reviews > NIGHTS IN RODANTHE – Jeanine Tesori


September 26, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A romantic melodrama based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks and directed by George C. Wolfe, Nights in Rodanthe stars Richard Gere as a doctor who travels to the outer banks of North Carolina to see his estranged son, and embarks on a romantic relationship with an unhappily married woman (Diane Lane), who runs an inn on the Atlantic coast. The score for Nights in Rodanthe is by Tony Awards winning Broadway composer Jeanine Tesori, for whom this is her film music debut.

Her score is generally very pleasant and romantic, although not quite as lush and emotionally overwhelming as I had anticipated (especially considering that two other Sparks stories resulted in the scores for Message in a Bottle and The Notebook). The opening cue, “Sandstorm”, is quite lovely, with a sweeping string melody, prominent timpani rolls, and an unexpected Gaelic inflection which is very welcome, and also features prominently in the delightful closing pair, “Horses” and “End Credit Suite”. Many of the cues feature a warm acoustic guitars and tender pianos alongside the warm string orchestra, with the likes of “White Wine Dinner”, “Walk on the Beach” and “Maps in Bed” standing out as being especially enjoyable.

“Jean’s Studio” is an unexpectedly lovely piece in which celesta, harp and cello combine to excellent effect. “Devastation” has a slightly starker, darker sound, with a heavier percussion undercurrent and vivid cello chords. “Ecuador” interjects fluttering pan pipes into the orchestra for a flash of local color. There’s some peppy, contemporary writing in cues like “Jean in Miami” and “Box Montage”, and is occasionally reminiscent of Thomas Newman’s more upbeat urban sound, and there’s even a hint of jazz in some cues through the use of stand-up bass and snares.

Basically, the whole thing is a slightly more grown-up version of the “chick flick” sound which has dominated the scores for films of that type since time immemorial, and although Tesori’s work here is never going to set the world on fire, and while she still has a while to go before she emulates her stage success, Nights in Rodanthe still makes for a pleasant and undemanding way to spend half an hour or so.

Rating: ***½

Track Listing:

  • Sandstorm (1:31)
  • Romeo and Juliet (1:40)
  • Face off with Charlie (1:16)
  • Jean in Miami (1:23)
  • White Wine Dinner (2:04)
  • Jean’s Studio (2:42)
  • Embrace (0:58)
  • Devastation (1:20)
  • Opening Shutters (1:13)
  • Walk on the Beach (1:44)
  • Maps in Bed (2:28)
  • The Goodbye (1:33)
  • Box Montage (4:15)
  • Ecuador (2:29)
  • Loss (1:41)
  • Tell Me About Him (1:27)
  • Horses (1:37)
  • End Credit Suite (3:54)

Running Time: 35 minutes 15 seconds

Varèse Sarabande VSD-6924 (2008)

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