Safe Haven: Movie Review

Logline: 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.

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Safe Haven opened on probably the best day of the year for a Nicholas Sparks novel adaptation – Valentine’s Day. Sadly, I couldn’t go because I was too busy enjoying a Mumford & Sons concert. Ironically, one of the openers was Ben Howard, who is on the Safe Haven soundtrack (another post will follow re: soundtrack). Time moved forward and I finally got a chance to see the movie. For me, it was worth the wait.

I will preface this review by stating I have NOT read the book, although it’s currently on my iPad waiting for me to read it, so I can’t say how close this is or isn’t too the movie. However, I can say I thought the acting in this movie was superb. Nothing felt forced or uncomfortable. The chemistry was evident between Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough. Their emotions became my emotions. The soundtrack and score fit the movie and did a great job at setting the tone. The cinematography captures the small town in the typical manner described in Nicholas Sparks novels. It’s portrayed perfectly on the screen. This movie does a great job of making me crave the Atlantic!

Like 90% of Nicholas Sparks’ stories, Safe Haven takes place in a quiet, small town in North Carolina. It’s here, he teaches Julianne Hough’s character, Katie a major life lesson…how to LOVE. Alex, played by Josh Duhamel, is responsible for such a task. Alex’s daughter, Lexie makes it that much easier for Alex and Katie, by being adorable and catching on to the flirting and chemistry between her dad and the new pretty girl. Even Katie’s neighbor, Jo tries to convince her to open up and give Alex a chance. Unfortunately for Katie, she is married to an abusive, alcoholic cop, perfectly portrayed by Revolution’s David Lyons. He may not know where she is, but definitely knows how to make trouble for her. In the end, he does a very good job to complicate things for Katie.

I’ve read quite a few Nicholas Sparks books and, I have to say, the last few minutes of this film – WOAH! What a cool twist. I loved it so much. Be prepared though guys and dolls, you might need some kleenex at the end. I had a moment…This story does a great job at reminding us that everyone can be happy and have a second chance.

Did you see this movie? Will you see this movie? If you haven’t, YOU SHOULD! Go to a matinee if you aren’t sure you want to spend the money on it. I’m on a romance kick at the moment, which is killing my poor husband. It’s a stretch from my usual horror or sci-fi, but I’m enjoying it while it’s around. With that being said, what’s your favorite romance?

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