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“Safe Haven” – WTF Nicholas Sparks ?!

julianne-hough-josh-duhamel-safe-havenWhy do Nicholas Sparks movies keep getting made?

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.

Mimi Kirkland - cutest little girl in the world

Mimi Kirkland – cutest little girl in the world

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.

*The only exception is “The Notebook.” That movie, however implausible, is chick-flick gold.


5 thoughts on ““Safe Haven” – WTF Nicholas Sparks ?!

  1. I seem to be in the minority of people who was actually okay with this one, but mostly because I expected so little from it and ended up leaving feeling indifferent instead of nauseous. Totally get your reasonings though, this isn’t one I’m going to step up and defend

    Posted by r361n4 | February 17, 2013, 10:40 pm
    • Also totally agree about the little girl being the best part of the movie, but ignoring the horrible twist I thought that Robin actually fit into this role better than she did in The Avengers. She needs to take on more HIMYM-ish roles to ease into the big screen, otherwise I’ll never be able to look at her and think anything but “Oh look, there’s Robin”

      Posted by r361n4 | February 17, 2013, 10:42 pm
      • Thanks for commenting! I thought it could have been a great part for Robin, there just wasn’t much meat to the role. The movie overall was exactly what I expected it to be, exactly what I expect all Nicholas Sparks movies to be.

        The only exception to that is “The Notebook.” That one I recommend. But that has more to do with the talents of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.

        Posted by Ashley_Christie | February 17, 2013, 10:47 pm


  1. Pingback: 2013 Best/Worst Movies | i'm a movie nerd - December 30, 2013

  2. Pingback: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks | Gladys Book Nook - April 26, 2014

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