I don’t get it. They aren’t good. Most of the time, the story and characters are batshit crazy. (Not in a good way.) They’re sappy, over-dramatized, cliche-filled, poor excuses for romance that people flock too. I don’t get it.
The latest, “Safe Haven,” is not an exception.*
Julianne Hough stars as Katie. A beautiful young woman running away from something or someone in Boston. She hops on a bus and heads down south and starts a new life in North Carolina. She meets Alex (Josh Duhamel) and they fall in love. But Katie has a secret and can’t outrun her past for long and blah blah blah.
Everything you expect to see in a Nicholas Sparks movie is there: impossibly attractive couple, coastal town, kissing in a rainstorm, love against all odds, a not that surprising twist, and death. Not necessarily in that order.
Hidden under the surface love story is an almost decent mystery-thriller plot led by a Boston cop (David Lyons) trying to find Katie. That was actually okay, but felt like a different movie entirely. It was exciting and compelling. It just didn’t belong.
A lot of people might say I’m cold and heartless and hate love. That’s not true. A good romance movie should make you believe that anything could happen. You should watch these two fall in love, and no matter what the situation, believe that could actually happen.
All I want to do at a Nicholas Sparks movie is scream at the screen, “That would NEVER happen!”
I would love to really rant about just how ludicrous the story, especially the third-act twist, but can’t without giving spoilers.
Hough and Duhamel are alright as the leads. Their chemistry is decent enough, but it’s not that hard to look cute and stare into each other’s eyes. Neither one digs too deep. It’s not entirely their fault though, it’s the writing. Their character’s are static and as shallow as the rest of the story.
Oh, and Cobie Smulders, an actress I love and was kind of excited to see branching out of the small screen, had absolutely nothing to do. I wasn’t entirely sure why her character even existed, till the end at least. Even then, it was WTF?! You wasted her on THAT?!
My favorite part of the film was Mimi Kirkland as Alex’s precocious daughter. This little girl is adorable. She was the only one on screen with any sort of spark and likability.
In the Nicholas Sparks repertoire, “Safe Haven” is nowhere near the worst, compared to “A Walk to Remember” it’s brilliant. This movie is cheesy, predictable, and boring. I demand more from my chick-flicks.
- Plots I Have Imagined For New Nicholas Sparks Film ‘Safe Haven’ After Viewing The Trailer Once With No Sound (thegloss.com)
- Capone gives love a bad name by reviewing the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, SAFE HAVEN (web1.aintitcool.com)
*The only exception is “The Notebook.” That movie, however implausible, is chick-flick gold.