“Safe Haven” is a safe bet for cheesy romance


Perhaps the waterfalls flowing from my eyes at the movie theater were due to the subpar acting in the film. Or, maybe, it was because its release date happened to fall on Valentine’s Day – a day in which my emotional scale normally is already tipping up and down.

“Safe Haven” was released Feb. 14 in what was most likely a clever plan to lure in most of the single, female and slightly emotional population who wanted to have the expectations of relationships raised once again.

The plot was one that many of us have seen before: the heroine, Katie (Julianne Hough), flees an abusive husband in an attempt to escape her past and recreate a new life as a different person. She then meets lonely widower Alex (Josh Duhamel), who is raising two younger children. As soon as Katie discovers she can live in peace, her past appears to haunt her once more.

The acting is not terrific in this film. I feel as though each Nicholas Sparks film keeps downgrading bit by bit in talent. The actors lack the chemistry Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams had in “The Notebook,” which was an unbelievable, lusty and sexual tension for each other.  They also don’t find the comfort and heartbreak that Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried shared in “Dear John.”

Hough didn’t make me believe in her abusive past once, and Duhamel’s reactions to events such as the loss of his wife or the discovering that his lover had an alter ego as a murderer were not dramatic enough to be shocking. In fact, they weren’t all too different from when I realize there’s regular milk instead of soy milk in my coffee.

“Safe Haven” did, however, manage to provide all of the steamy love scenes the trailer promised – and I’m not complaining. Fergie is one lucky lady, because the camera could have lingered on Duhamel for a good ten minutes and nobody in the theater would have complained.

The last 15 minutes tugged at my heartstrings. It’s just something about little children crying about lost parents that always puts a lump in the throat. But then again, I also shamelessly cried during “Finding Nemo” when a barracuda ate Nemo’s mother.

Overall the film started off quite dull and then fell victim to plot holes that left many questions unanswered, but I send my praises to the unexpected twist at the end.

That alone makes the first 90 minutes worth the watch.


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