Safe Haven: DVD Review
Released by Roadshow Home Ent
In the latest weepie to hit the cinema and to prove the chagrin to all self respecting partners worldwide, Josh Duhamel stars as Alex, a widower with two kids who lost his wife to cancer. Alex runs a store in the quiet sleepy coastal town of Southport, which is in the middle of nowhere.
Into his life comes the blond Katie, (Julianne Hough) a mysterious young woman who wants to start life anew. But Katie has a secret and is unwilling to open up to anyone, preferring to keep to herself and stow her past away. Gradually though, she forms a bond with Alex and his two kids which blossoms into love. Until Katie's dark sercret from her murky past threatens their future happiness...
The movie Safe Haven is formulaic Nicholas Sparks drama. It ticks all of the boxes that you'd expect from the 8th adaptation from his batch of books. Scene in the rain? Check. Gooey romantic mush set to middle of the road music? Also, check. Cute kids, one who's for the new prospective love interest and the other who's against? Also, check again. Snatched looks between two people clearly meant for each other, despite adversity and who let down their guard to fall hopelessly in love? Again, check and you've got a full house from the Sparks' world of cliche and formulaic.
Vulnerable Duhamel and blonde quivery-lipped Hough have an easy affability to their characters, but there's little sizzle between the pair of them on screen. David Lyons plays the cop looking for Katie, and makes a reasonable fist of his baddie despite the OTT blaring of nasty soundtrack and attack of the sweats every time he's on screen.How I Met Your Mother's Cobie Smulderscomes away relatively unscathed as Katie's best friend in Southport.
If you lower your expectations going into this on a date night, then perhaps you won't be surprised by what plays out. But, to everyone else, this predictable mix of the relatively bland and inoffensive drama will set their teeth on end as it plays out in true romantic drama fashion - and it's a relative carbon copy of Sleeping With The Enemy in many ways too.
Until the final few minutes, which throws in a twist which is worthy of a certain Bruce Willis movie, and which is totally out of left-field and makes no sense whatsoever, no matter how good looking the main cast are.
Ultimately Safe Haven is by the numbers, pleasantly inoffensive and gentle enough to hook in some. It's not as mushy as some previous fare, but it doesn't offer any real surprises.