It’s time to get romantic this week as we examine “Safe Haven,” the latest in a long line of adaptations of Nicholas Sparks books. You can find it on DVD and Digital Download now.
The film stars “Dancing with the Stars” alumnus Julianne Hough as Katie, a woman who is running away from an abusive relationship. She takes a bus from Boston, all the way down to a small spot on the water in North Carolina. There, as she is trying to make a new, safe and secluded life for herself, she meets Alex (Josh Duhamel), a charming, single father of two.
When her ex (David Lyons) catches up with her, however, it means trouble in paradise.
Sparks’ novels have provided the basis for such films as “Message in a Bottle,” “The Notebook,” “Dear John” and “The Lucky One.” Fans of the author are unfazed by critics who say the majority of his work is formulaic and melodramatic.
Many reviewers described “Safe Haven” in those exact terms, and they aren’t wrong. That being said, Sparks’ adaptations do have one thing in common: When you are ready for romance, they deliver.
Am I a fan? Not exactly. I’m not jumping up and down over here. Still, “Safe Haven” delivered exactly what I expected, and you’d be hard-pressed to find two more attractive actors to pull it off.
Believe it or not, though critics butchered “The Lucky One,” I felt that picture, though also highly, highly formulaic, delivered just a tad more color and depth.
But “Safe Haven” has a twist ending. I was genuinely surprised.