Written by / 3/02/2013 / No comments / , , , ,

SAFE HAVEN

year: 2013 cast: Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, Cobie Smulders rating: ** 
Bestselling author Nicolas Sparks adapts his novel into yet another “chick flick," although this particular story has already been made in 1991 as SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY. In that movie, Julia Roberts escapes the clutches of an evil husband and finds... that’s right... SAFE HAVEN in a small town, protected by a gentle, loving man providing her a brand new start.

Julianne Hough’s vulnerable, desperate and beautiful Katie winds up in a quaint picturesque town consisting of a corner store, an outdoor restaurant, a beautiful lake, and rural cabins. The store owner is a tall handsome widower with two children who lost their wife and mother to cancer a year before.

It doesn’t take that long for Katie to realize Alex is the man for her. He goes out of his way to help her get paint for a dilapidated floor, and provides a bicycle so she can get around. The only obstacle for the romance to blossom is Katie’s initial stubbornness, refusing to realize she’s the star of a movie where everything relies on that inevitable steamy connection. The truth of the matter is: she has a murky past to contend with.

Enter her evil husband: a wiry, determined and downright psychotic cop doing everything possible to find where she’s hiding. In the Julia Roberts film, the husband/antagonist was the second main character. But "Tierney" is only seen through rushed scenes and jittery flashbacks, the latter trying to sum up their bad relationship without first establishing a real one.

As a romance, this haven plays it very safe. Katie and Alex have the dull chemistry liken to the best looking high school kids brought together because… they’re the best looking kids in high school. And yet, despite the many flaws, there is a creative – and somewhat spooky and downright preposterous – twist that reevaluates the weak chemistry, or non-chemistry, of the two pretty leads leading up to a conclusion that includes foreboding fireworks, a bloody fight, and an inferno where a child's life is put in danger.
"There's not enough room in this chick flick for the both of us."
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