Whether or not it is a good thing or a bad thing, I’ve read most of Nicholas Sparks’ books except for Message in a Bottle (because I had already seen the movie) and his non-fiction book that he co-wrote with his brother about a cross-country trip they took. I have also seen every single film adaption of a Nicholas Sparks movie so far.
Amongst my favourites are The Notebook and yes, A Walk to Remember. Now I wouldn’t add Safe Haven to my favourites but it is definitely one of the better film adaptation of one of Sparks’ novels of late.
When i read the book a few years ago, I really enjoyed it and thought it had a very strong story, which is basically about a young woman (Julianne Hough) who flees her abusive, drunk, Boston police detective husband (David Lyons). She eventually finds a safe place to stay in Southport, North Carolina and goes by the name “Katie.” In due time, she gets a waitress job at the local fish and chip restaurant, is befriended by her neighbour Jo (Cobie Smulders) and meets the local grocer, Alex (Josh Duhamel), a widower with two young children.
Of course, Alex and Katie eventually fall in love with her bonding with his kids and each helping each other out.
Meanwhile, Katie’s husband abuses his power as a police detective to try and find his wayward wife. If you’ve never read the book, the movie makes it look like Katie committed some sort of crime or perhaps murder and that Lyons’ Kevin Tierney is kind of like Tommy Lee Jones in the fugitive trying to track down Katie but you kind of do see a mile a way that Katie is his wife.
Hough here is surprisingly good at playing a battered woman who is skittish at any wayward noise or police officer. And she and Duhamel share a great chemistry together that I haven’t seen in a Sparks movie in a while. While Lyons definitely did his job real well, because you definitely hated his vile drunken character. Also, because I read the book and [SPOILER] I knew there was a twist to Cobie’s character but I couldn’t quite remember what that exact twist was until it came up in the movie.
But why do all Nicholas Sparks’ movie always have to feature some sort of romantic seen that takes place in water. Here we have a canoe ride, in the Lucky One it was a sex scene involving a shower and of course The Notebook had that rowboat ride. It seems that every single Nicholas Sparks movie features the same scenes and even the posters for all the film adaptations follow a similar pattern.
Anyways, as far as romantic drama goes, Safe Haven is a pretty safe bet.