Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel star in Relativity Media's "Safe Haven."
Movie review: ‘Safe Haven’ follows the romantic formula
Review » Lack of chemistry hurts love story, though a surprise twist at the ending rescues this predictable Nicholas Sparks adaptation.
First Published Feb 15 2013 10:52 am • Last Updated Feb 15 2013 10:52 am

When seeing a film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, you know certain things will happen.

There will be a beautiful woman, who meets an equally handsome man, and they will become romantically involved until something tragic threatens their relationship and — well, you get the idea.

Photos

At a glance

HH

Safe Haven

A formulaic love story about a young woman with a mysterious past who falls for a widower living in a small tourist town.

Where » Theaters everywhere

When » Opened Thursday, Feb. 14

Rating » PG-13 for thematic material involving threatening behavior, and for violence and sexuality

Running time » 115 minutes

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

We saw it in "The Notebook," "Dear John" and now "Safe Haven."

This story begins when Katie (Julianne Hough) secretly boards a bus, obviously on the run. She gets off in Southport, a tourist town in North Carolina where she rents a small cottage, gets a waitress job at the local fish shack and avoids forming any close relationships with the locals.

But it’s a small town, so soon Katie lets down her guard, especially around Alex (Josh Duhamel), a widower who runs the town store while raising his two young children. A mysterious neighbor, Jo (Cobie Smulders), also pushes her way into Katie’s life.

Director Lasse Hallström, who has better films under his belt ("Chocolat," "Cider House Rules and "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"), gives Sparks fans everything they want in a blossoming relationship, including a scene where Katie and Alex get caught in a rainstorm. (Hey! Isn’t that the scene from "The Notebook"?)

The relationship is threatened when Katie’s past begins to catch up with her. Through flashbacks, we learn about the harrowing experiences that forced Katie to flee, but Hough never make us feel like her character has been traumatized.

We might give the Utah native and "Dancing With the Stars" alum a pass if she and Duhamel offered some on-screen chemistry. But even that barely simmers.

For those who haven’t read the book, the movie offers a surprise twist that upped the value of this film — even though realists might call it far-fetched.

Of course, none of that chatter matters to Sparks fans. They know what they’re getting into and they won’t be disappointed.


story continues below
story continues below

kathys@sltrib.com



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.