I’m a girl, so one might automatically assume that I’d love every Nicholas Sparks movie. While I did love The Notebook, thus fulfilling my stereotype, I found Safe Haven rather dull and the dialogue rather rehearsed, forced and unbelievable.
When Katie (Julianne Hough) arrives in a small North Carolina town, she’s rather reluctant to join the community and accept the hospitality offered to her, but as the time passes she slowly begins to relax thanks to one resident, Alex (Josh Duhamel). It’s clear that something happened in Katie’s past (she’s chased by the police at the beginning of the film), but we’re not exactly sure what happened – and we’re not exactly sure that Alex will accept her once he learns the truth as well… The love story ensues and soon the truth does come out.
One of the main issues with this film is the casting. I find Julianne Hough to be rather adorable in these types of roles, and Josh Duhamel is average as well – but together there just seems to that special “something” lacking. The chemistry is only about 60% which ends up affecting the dialogue – making it seem forced and unnatural.
Special features on this DVD release include a tour of the set, behind-the-scenes featurette, and more. Nothing too fancy – but they are a nice addition to the release.
Overall, Safe Haven is a sweet, traditional chick-flick, but I wanted something that was a bit more genuine than the tale that Sparks had to tell here. It’s a bit formulaic in comparison to his previous films, which is fine as long as there is chemistry between the leads. Sure there’s a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming, but the love story just didn’t sell me. And while I imagine it’s hard for Sparks to continually outdo The Notebook, it feels like this script was half the effort.
Review By: Emma