THE third time is not the charm for Richard Gere and Diane Lane, as the stars of "The Cotton Club" and "Unfaithful" team up again for the inert romantic drama "Nights in Rodanthe."
They are a pair of strangers with more baggage than the Titanic who spend a life-changing couple of nights together at a storm-tossed island on North Carolina's Outer Banks - which looks even more picturesque than the agreeably weathered two stars.
She's Adrienne, looking after an overdecorated bed and breakfast/dinner owned by her best friend (Viola Davis).
Adrienne is weighing an offer by her straying husband (Christopher Meloni) to return seven months after he left home for another woman - something she's being pressured to do by her angry daughter.
Her only guest is Gere's Paul, a divorced surgeon who is in Rodanthe to meet with Robert (a fine Scott Glenn), whose wife died under Paul's care.
This incident left Paul shaken and estranged from his doctor son (an unbilled James Franco).
Lane and Gere have considerable chemistry together, and the performances under theater legend George C. Wolfe - making his feature debut - are beyond reproach.
But this is the sort of movie that's so unrelentingly telegraphs its plot twists that you're at least 20 minutes ahead of the story.
And there are howlers like: "It's beautiful here, but nothing can be more lovely than the peaks and valley I traced on your body."
And: "You gave me my father back."
Ann Peacock and John Romano are credited with the uninspired adaptation of a novel by Nicholas Sparks, whose oeuvre has so far produced only one good movie, "The Notebook."
"Nights in Rodanthe" aims straight for the tear ducts as well, but this weepie is a dry well.