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He Said, She Said Review Site

Safe Haven

What She said:


Honestly, I have been avoiding this movie like the plague for quite some time.  I'm not a big Nicholas Sparks fan, and the previews for this film made it look like chick flick mush.  But people behave bizarrely when they're stuck at home plagued with illness and surrounded by the nagging companionship of three cats.  So yeah, Safe Haven finally happened.  I have to say, it wasn't the best, but it also wasn't as bad as I had imagined it to be.  It was just enough mind-numbing drama and romance for a day home from work.

The film tells the story of Katie (real name Erin), a woman on the run who ends up in a small, but beautiful southern North Carolina shore town.  It's the type of welcoming community where everyone knows everyone.  So petite and blonde Katie (Julianne Hough) shows up one day and immediately catches the eye of widower Alex (Josh Duhamel).  He runs a local general store/market, and has been left with two young children to raise on his own.  Katie decides to set up shop in her new town, at least semi-permanantly.  She gets a job as a waitress and even buys a tiny cottage in a remote area in the woods.  Katie, seems to successfully be eluding her past.

Safe Haven

But, there is a cop from Katie's home city of Boston on her tail, and he will stop at nothing to find her.  We learn through a series of flashbacks, and by following the detective that she was involved in the stabbing of her husband.  Of course, Alex begins to fall hard for Katie--that is until he spots a "wanted" poster for her.  Learning about her supposed past turns everything on its head, but all is not as it seems, and it turns out that Katie's life is actually in peril.

Does this film have some severely sappy moments?  Oh, heck yeah, but those were also the moments when I chose to take bathroom breaks.  While the story of this film is intriguing, I found myself wishing that a little more would happen.  The viewer is just sort of drifting along with the characters for the bulk of the film.  Yeah, we get to see Katie learn to trust again, but aside from that, there just isn't much substance.  In that sense, the writing is fairly weak.

On the upside, this film is filled with beautiful sceneries.  I think few would not agree that this town seems like an ideal place to live.  I doubt that such a place actually exists, but its simplicity is endearing and gratifying. 

One other fairly minor negative for me in this film was the acting.  I was back and forth over whether I actually believe Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel as a couple.  Their chemistry was a little hit or miss.  I think it's probably an issue with Duhamel's abilities for dramatic acting.  He's a much stronger action star than he is one for more subtle roles that require a nuanced touch.

Overall, this film did not totally disappoint.  Safe Haven is not particularly plausible, and frankly, not the best written film ever.  But it's also not offensive in any way, and is fine if you just want some fluff to turn your brain off and sit through.

Thumbs half up.

Safe Haven

What He said:


Yeah, that's a no for me.