Adrienne (Dianne Lane) drives to the small town of Rodanthe, to look after the romantic bed-and-breakfast of her best friend, while she is away. The rustic house is right on the beach. The only guest that weekend, Paul (Richard Gere), is a surgeon, who lost one of his patients. The patient's family, who live in Rodanthe, are now suing Paul and he came to Rodanthe, because the husband (Scott Glenn) wrote him a letter, asking to speak with him.
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A storm arrives and the Adrienne and Paul try to protect the inn. They have dinner together, share stories, and eventually turn to each other for emotional support. Romance ensues. Because of Adrienne's advice and support, Paul has a real conversation with the patient's widower.
Paul feels guilty for favoring his career over a relationship with his son, Mark, and decides to go to South America to mend his relationship with his estranged son. Paul is very reluctant to leave Adrienne, but he knows that he must go and see his son, who left the busy practice with his workaholic father to become a doctor over there. While separated, Adrienne and Paul exchange lots of letters expressing their wish to be together. On the evening Paul is to return, he doesn't show. Instead Mark arrives at Adrienne's door the following day, telling her Paul has been killed in a mudslide, and thanking her for making a positive change in his father's life.
Adrienne struggles with a nearly unbearable grief and is finally able to let go during a solitary walk along the beach, when she looks up to see a group of wild horses galloping by her, lifting her spirit.
Best part of story, including ending:
It's a bit of a formula movie but well executed and with good performances by the lead actors.
Best scene in story:
Where they dine together and have a fun time trying to dunk the cans into the waste bin, half tipsy.
Opinion about the main character:
The way she tells her daughter about true love.