Film review: ‘Safe Haven’
Wed, Feb 13, 2013 (5:01 p.m.)
Safe Haven is the eighth movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, and if you’ve seen any of the previous seven, you know pretty much what to expect: There’s a predictable romance between two bland pretty people (in this case, Julianne Hough as a woman on the run from a dark secret and Josh Duhamel as the widower she falls for); someone dies or has died of cancer; and it all takes place in a small town in the South. For the most part, director Lasse Hallström (working on his second Sparks adaptation after 2010’s Dear John) moves things along smoothly if forgettably, and the lightweight Hough gives her best performance to date (which isn’t saying much). But just as the movie is about to go down as a perfunctory romance for Sparks fans only, it pulls out one of the most idiotic twist endings ever, setting it apart from other Sparks movies in the worst way possible.