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Safe Haven [DVD]
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Romantic drama following the fortunes of a guarded young woman who unexpectedly finds love in a North Carolina town. Katie Feldman (Julianne Hough) stands out on arrival in Southport. Beautiful but highly reserved, she makes it clear that she expects to have little involvement in the social life of the town and its inhabitants. However, an unforeseen chain of events brings Katie close to Alex (Josh Duhamel), a widower who runs a store while also attempting to bring up his young children. As she inexorably falls in love with Alex and the children Katie begins to let down her guard, but doing so threatens to raise the dark secret she has been protecting. Will she find a way to reconcile the trauma of her past with the possibility of a brighter future?
Safe Haven is just the kind of smaller film that's easy to overlook and dismiss. It comes from good pedigree, with Lasse Hallstrom directing. Hallstrom's CV is an impressive one, with the likes of The Cider House Rules and My Life As A Dog both firm recommendations. Safe Haven is a different beast, though, a tender romantic drama that, if you're in the right mood for it, sneaks into your heart.
It's based on the book of the same name by Nicholas Sparks, and stars Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough, with the former playing a young widower with children, and the latter a woman very much with her guard up. Circumstance throws them together, and Safe Haven continues from there. You can probably trace most of what happens quite successfully.
To be fair, Safe Haven makes its fair share of mistakes that prevent it really becoming something special. It relies quite heavily on cliches, the narrative stretches credibility, and it never feels like it's real enough to fully gel. And yet, there's still a lot to like here, with the lead two performances in particular contributing to a pair of characters who are worth rooting for, in spite of the film's problems. Safe Haven might not be a classic, but it's still worth spending some time with. --Jon Foster
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Top Customer Reviews
Story involves a girl running away from a house where a body is laying in the lounge, she jumps on a coach and ends up in a sleepy town, meets a single dad with 2 kids who never really get obnoxious or irritating like in some films. Makes a new life with family and makes a friend who directs her in all the right directions in falling for the lead. The film never really gets too cheesy or slushy and always there is that what really happened earlier to quite late in the film which is only to the movies credit. There are some fight scenes and enough romance for everyone concerned
Being a guy it is difficult for me to say I loved this film, but thats the truth.
HANG ON maybe I should have given it 1 star and then people will really go mad for it like I did.
Katie finds herself in a small town called Southport, North Carolina and after securing a job at the local restaurant and settling in to a small home in the middle of nowhere. Katie is finally starting to move on but despite the intention of not forming any solid relationships, she becomes friends with her single neighbor Jo (Cobie Smulders) and the local store owners young daughter, Kristen (played by the adorable Mimi Kirkland) and his seemingly troubled son, Josh played by Noah Lomax.
Through her new found friendship with Kristen, Katie gets to know her father, Alex (Josh Duhamel). Where from the get-go you can sense that he is fascinated by her and her decision to stick around in a sleepy town. With the encouragement of Jo, Katie lets go of her fears and begins to fall for Alex, just like he has for her. They're happiness isn't long lasting as a threat from Katie's past rears it's ugly head and threatens to sabotage the new life that she's made.
Safe Haven is a great romantic movie, with hints of thriller and suspense that will have you guessing wrong and guessing again as to what's going to happen next. With twists and turns throughout this at first seemingly simple love story about a girl wanting to move on and start a new life and falling in love along becomes so much more.
I cannot critique the acting or the settings - the film is beautifully made and the acting is good. At the beginning there's a certain suspense, and there are a couple of twists towards the end. The "spiritual" twist of the last 5 minutes of the film is what made me add additional star to my review (I did not see that coming!), otherwise, the film showed two guarded adults falling in love way too quickly, and then suddenly there was the climax. There is not much of a struggle or any emotional insights into the hearts of the leads. This is not a love story I was expecting and no tears were shed in the end.
Not the best Nicholas Sparks's adaptation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this film! Very moving love story with a few unexpected twists! Great chick flick definitely recommend!Published 17 days ago by marianna willcocks
Lovely storyline with some romance and drama. I didn't give it a 5 stars as I thought it dragged on a bit at the beginning of the movie and the at the end it all happened really... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Picia
A great book turned into a pretty good film.
If you loved the Note Book, you'll love this. Written by the same author, it doesn't disappoint. Read more
I love this film. If you're a fan of other Nicholas Sparkes adaptations, I doubt you will be disappointed with this film. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Anon