Safe Haven - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Safe Haven Reviews

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½ January 8, 2017
One of my favorite movies based on Nicholas Sparks. Love this movie. Didn't care for some of the changes from the book to the movie.
October 25, 2016
As some men are oft to say "even when pizza is bad, it's still pretty good" females could be thought to echo the theory (especially on Valentine's Day) "even when a chick-flick is bad, it's still pretty good" but for this emotionally disengaged melodrama with its clunky gear shifts, overly sentimental dialogue and transparently familiar plot was leagues away from a worthwhile choice; even for the supposedly most romantic day of the year.

Adapted from yet another sappy Nicolas Sparks novel, Safe Haven with its picturesque small town locale populated by good-hearted southern folks in candy-box houses and a stunning sprawling coastline hits all the familiar notes but has an undeniable undercurrent of manipulation.

Taking a second giant career leap backwards (after his other schmaltzy Sparks project 2010's Dear John), Director Lasse Hallstrom, who created such dramatic treats as My Life as a Dog and What's Eating Gilbert Grape slips further and further into laughable territory with more predictably formulaically fare.

In an attempt not to divulge too many plot details, here is a really basic summary. But I warn you, not guessing the end may not be an option.

Running, bloody handed in the dead of night, Katie (Julianne Hough) abruptly jumps the nearest bus out of Boston. Stopping on-route to Atlanta in the charming tourist spot of Southport, North Carolina, Katie has a moment of serine clarity on the wharf and decides to remain.

Renting a rustic cottage, Katie hikes daily to the local convenience shop where owner Alex (Josh Duhamel) takes an instant shine. A recent widower and father of two; the willful Josh (Noah Lomax) and curious Lexie (Mimi Kirkland), Alex generous attempts at kindness unnerve the vigilantly alert and connection shunning Katie.

Although her self-preservation shield is slowly brought down by Alex, his children and the help of a close yet myserious neighbor, outrunning her past is not going to be so simple. When her drunkard abusive husband, Tierney (David Lyons) utilizes all means at a police officer's disposal to find her, no-one and nowhere; no matter how remote, is safe.

Dogged by dreadful dialogue and a lack of chemistry, Duhamel's charming warmth and trademark self-deprecating sense of humor has little opportunity to engage beyond the status of eye-candy, whilst trained dancer Hough with her limited acting credits is the weakest link seemingly unable to summon the requisite dramatic skills.

Almost as bad is the manic alcohol-swilling Lyons, who we no-more believe as villainous as gummy bears. Two redeemable and genuine appealing performances are from young Kirkland and Lomax, both terrific scene stealers with talent far beyond vibrant cuteness.

The Verdict: Personally if you're looking for an intriguing balancing act between blossoming love in the midst of suspense and anguish, I would look back 20 years when Julia Roberts slept with an enemy.

Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 22/02/2013
October 5, 2016
Not bad! Stuck fairly true to the book!!
Super Reviewer
½ October 5, 2016
Save Haven is a normal Nicholas Sparks movie - damaged girl finding love with a good looking widower - even in the face of the corrupt cop ex-husband hunting her. I didn't like the last five minutes of the movie - too much Stephen-King-like.
½ September 11, 2016
Watchable movie, sometimes slow, with underdeveloped characters. It's slightly predictable but the production values are fine.
July 8, 2016
Me and him sat down and ordered and turned out to be a really good movie five stars two thumbs up If there's anyone out there wanting to watch a good movie, it this one right hear, it is sweet and romantic but a little drama so it's not too boring a good movie if you're in the mood for a movie download Netflix and watch this movie
Super Reviewer
½ June 8, 2016
An abused wife flees her sadistic cop-husband and learns to love again with a widower and his kids in what could be a Lifetime movie - complete with big twist ending! - save for the big name actors and director. Julianne Hough shows incredible vibrancy and emotional range out on the dance floor, but in summoning bodily restraint for a film role, she becomes a personality vacuum. Josh Duhamel seems at home enough as the hunky and jovial single dad, and David Lyons really creeps it up as the corrupt and deranged abuser, hot on his wife's trail. The movie is heavy on the folksy charm of a seaside tourist town and only skin-deep with the abuse recovery, but it's still guiltily watchable.
May 23, 2016
Loved it! Awesome movie!
½ April 17, 2016
If you like lifetime movies, this is basically what would happen if lifetime got higher budgets. Into it.
April 11, 2016
I thought it was a great movie.
April 11, 2016
This was like watching an After School high school production where they mixed plot lines with aspects of Sleeping With The Enemy, Notebook, & Message In A Bottle. The most unoriginal thing I've watched in a while plus the character development was so limited that I had no understanding why they fell in love with each other except for pure physical attraction. It's worth a quick sift through, probably better than reading the book if this is what it's based on. Saves you time, kind of like Clift Notes.

For formulaic Girl Flick entertainment, if that's all I'm looking to entertain me, no one does it better than the South Korean TV industry. International licensing is great. Get subbed versions for free by downloading apps like Viki & DramaFever. Better yet just go online and stream them on places like KissAsian. They're more interesting than this stuff.
March 11, 2016
I thought the movie was good. It was NOT ludicrous at all. What is ludicrous is the critics' review. Find another job.
February 24, 2016
Good movie love story!
February 23, 2016
incredibly corny and terrible acting with everything else you see from a Nichole Sparks movie
February 9, 2016
Gud film but more 4 women!
January 7, 2016
Good plot/storyline but I'm tired of these insipid female characters. I'm glad the children's letters from their mom were not destroyed.

Loved the ending, too. Surprised me a little. Made me tear up.
December 26, 2015
Sentimental time-passer with a Highway to Heaven feel about it.
December 19, 2015
I've seen this film but I honestly can't remember the storyline that well need to watch it again but it was really good!
December 14, 2015
Really enjoyed this film nice, easy and sweet viewing and then the end ....oh the end caught me off guard completely. Such a moving end to the film.
December 3, 2015
Other than the crazy policeman husband .... What a sweet, romantic movie!! Sigh
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