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Aditya Roy Kapoor
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When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family. But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo's empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and ... Written by
¨There's no safer place for you than here with me.¨
Chicks will definitely love this film, but I found it to be yet another
recycled Nicholas Sparks adaptation. Sparks may have a fan base through
his novels and movie adaptations, but if he continues to write the same
movie over and over again he will eventually lose them all. I was a fan
of The Notebook because the relationship felt authentic and Sparks
writing was new to me, I really liked it, but Safe Haven is completely
flawed. Not only is it full of romantic clichés (we get to see another
canoeing scene in a lake interrupted by rain like in The Notebook), but
it has some of the worst plot twists I've seen in film history. I guess
it was an attempt from Sparks to make this film different from the
rest, but the suspense and thrills never worked. It felt like The
Stepfather with the melodrama from any chick flick you've seen. It's
too bad Safe Haven didn't work because I like Swedish director, Lasse
Hallstrom, who has made Chocolat, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The
Cider House Rules, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. This is one film
that he would probably want to erase from his resume. The writers in
charge of adapting Sparks' novel were Dana Stevens (City of Angels and
For Love of the Game) and Gage Lansky. The script was weak,
predictable, and extremely mushy. The film also suffers from a weak
lead performance from Julianne Hough who was much better in the
musicals she starred in: Burlesque and Rock of Ages. Her performance
never felt believable and that hurt the chemistry with her co-star Josh
Duhamel, who has also made a living off rom-coms like When in Rome, or
Life as We Know It. Those mediocre movies look like masterpieces when
compared to Safe Haven. Duhamel is a likable actor, but Hough's
performance made it difficult to tolerate this film.
The movie begins with a young scared girl named Katie (Julianne Hough)
making a frenetic escape from her hometown in Boston to a small North
Carolina town known as Southport. She's running from something, but we
are never shown exactly what happened. All we know is that something
happened in her home involving a knife and a man, and now she has cut
her hair and died it blonde and has escaped to this isolated place.
Police officer, Tierney (David Lyons), tries to hunt her down but gets
to the bus station a few seconds late. Katie decides that Southport is
the perfect place to start over and finds a nice little cabin in the
woods and a job at a local coffee shop. Katie tries to keep to herself,
but she forms a nice bond with a little girl named Lexie (Mimi
Kirkland) who is the daughter of widowed Alex (Josh Duhamel). Alex soon
falls for Katie's good looks and they grow closer together. However
Katie never mentions anything about her past. Katie also befriends her
neighbor, Jo (Cobie Smulders), who seems to always be there for her for
good advice. As Katie begins to fall for Alex more and more, she is
still haunted by her past and isn't sure what her next move should be.
Thus the melodrama begins.
Safe Haven had some beautiful shots of romantic locations, but it was
full of clichés and bad dialogues. At times while the music was playing
the film even felt like one long music video or commercial. Safe Haven
also suffers from an extensively long plot. At almost two hours I kept
waiting for the end to approach, and it never did. One plot twist after
another the film continued to grow increasingly tiring and tedious. By
the end if you thought the film was entertaining you will be left with
a bad taste in your mouth because the final twist is just ridiculous.
Yes the film is romantic and sweet and girls will love this movie, but
I don't think the male audience will be won over by the suspense and
thrills. It didn't work for me, there was just no depth to the
characters or the story.
24 of 45 people found this review helpful.
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