Created on: February 17, 2013 Last Updated: February 20, 2013
It’s really easy to scoff whenever a new ‘romantic’ film comes, after all most are predictive and let’s be honest pretty dull.
However one writer seems to be able to make most romance films watchable, that writer is Nicholas Sparks who of course was the man behind such films as ‘The Notebook’ and ‘The Last Song’. Now he delivers ‘
Safe Haven’ a film that has enough romance to keep the romance lovers happy but also enough suspense and drama to make it a great watch.
The film begins with young Katie (Julianne Hough ) desperate to find a bus anywhere as she seeks to escape from Detective Tierney (David Lyons), who highlights her as a murder suspect. Katie jumps onto the first bus she can get onto and soon finds herself in the small coastal town of Southport (in North Carolina) where she decides she can hideout.
Katie quickly finds a house and a job and she plans to try and keep herself as ‘out-of-sight’ as possible, but that plan fails as she soon as her next-door neighbor Jo (Cobie Smulders ) while she finds herself drawing closer to the local shopkeeper, Alex (Josh Duhamel ) and his two children Josh (Noah Lomax ) and Lexie (Mimi Kirkland ). But no matter what Katie tries to do with her life she soon discovers that you can’t just run from your past.
The first indication that ‘Safe Haven’ is going to be a good watch comes from the fact that it is directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who, of course has made great films like ‘Salmon Fishing In The Yemen’ and ‘The Cider House Rules’. Hallstrom really lifts the suspense thriller aspect of this film and delivers a brilliant twist that centers around one of the main characters... to give it away would be a crime against cinema, but it’s a twist that most won’t see coming... although you may find yourself questioning the validity of the plot until it is revealed.
This is one time where even the romance element of the film feels natural and in no way forced, so much so that screenwriters Leslie Bohem and Dana Stevens need to be congratulated for their beautiful script. Yes it is easy to see from the outset that Katie and Alex will end up together but with the Detective Tierney story always bubbling away in the background there is more than enough suspense to have the audience wondering what will happen next.
‘Safe Haven’ is also a massive step forward for its three leads. Julianne Hough shows Hollywood that she is capable of more than just singing and dancing (her recent films have included ‘Footloose’ and ‘Rock Of Ages’) while Josh Duhamel shows what all fans of the show ‘Las Vegas’ already knew – that he can do more than just battle big robots.
Australian actor David Lyons also announces himself as actor who seems to have a bright future ahead of him in Hollywood, while young Mimi Kirkland’s performance is far beyond what you would expect from a child actor.
‘Safe Haven’ is one of those romantic films that can be enjoyed by both men and women alike and is certainly one of the better films of this genre to surface in a very long time.
Learn more about this author, Dave Griffiths.
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Movie reviews: Safe Haven (2013)