Writer: Dana Stevens, Gage Lansky (Screenplay) Nicholas Sparks (Novel)
Starring: Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, Cobie Smulders, Mimi Kirkland, David Lyons
Plot: A young woman with a mysterious past lands in Southport, North Carolina where her bond with a widower forces her to confront the dark secret that haunts her.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Lacks That Spark Needed
Story: Safe Haven starts as we see Katie (Hough) running from her past with Tierney (Lyons) fast on her tail, but for now Katie finds herself in Southport North Carolina. Katie looks to make her own life away from her past with a new job in a diner and a place of the radar.
In this new town, Katie makes a friend in Jo (Smulders) as well as striking up a new potential relationship with widowed father of two Alex (Duhamel) who has been raising his two kids Josh (Lomax) and Lexie (Kirkland). As the romance blossoms Alex’s kids have a different reaction to their father meeting a new woman but does Katie want to get involved in a relationship when she might have to run if anybody from her past finds her?
Thoughts on Safe Haven
Characters/Performance – Katie is a character that is all too familiar in modern relationships, a victim of domestic abuse who is trying to make a fresh start away from her abusive husband. She tries to keep to herself but is drawn to the kindness in a stranger. Alex is the loving father and widow who is trying to do the right thing for his kids as well as grieving for his own wife’s death. He is a good man full of acts of kindness to the community. The Tierney character is the one hunting down Katie, he is a drunk and a police officers that is filled with twists to the outcome. Jo is the friend Katie makes in the town that helps her with the hard decisions.
Performance wise Julianna Hough and Josh Duhamel struggle to carry this film as well of not having the best chemistry in this film. David Lyons does well with his limited time and does Cobie Smulders who shows she could easily be the star of this movie.
Story – The story is 101 of Nicholas Sparks story, we have a damaged person going to a new location and falling in love with a broken person as we wait for the past to catch up with them. Nothing feels too fresh in the movie but it will work for the fans of the style of the movie.
Romantic/Thriller – We have all the romantic story that will work for the fans but doesn’t have much that comes of realistic throughout. There is a thriller side of works in places but you never feel on edge until the final act.
Final Thoughts – When you look at this film the leads lack that chemistry need for the lead roles, it also has a selection of terrible decisions which would only make things worst with a twist that will only work for certain people.
Overall: The fans of Sparks will enjoy but others will find this too much.