Jack Bool reviews: Safe Haven


(FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) NOAH LOMAZ as Josh, JULIANNE HOUGH as Katie, MIMI KIRKLAND as Kristen and JOSH DUHAMEL as Alex in SAFE HAVEN released in the UK on March 1 - Credit: PA

Normally when people come out of romantic movies the common reaction is to be either sad or happy, but upon watching Safe Haven I can guarantee I was neither of those things, as I came out constantly repeating the word stupid, as this movie just infuriated me due to how ridiculous it actually is.

Based on the popular novel by Nicholas Sparks' Safe Haven stars Julianne Hough as a young woman with a mysterious past settling in Southport, North Carolina where her bond with a widower (Josh Duhamel) forces her to confront the dark secret that haunts her.

Now as your most probably aware I am not really into romance movies and proof of that comes when I say this is the first ever movie I've watched that's been based on a Nicolas Sparks' novel and out of all the movies I chose to watch, I regret to inform you that it had to be this one.

Now don't get me wrong, before I rant about this movie I would just like to clarify that there were a few of things I liked about it. For example I felt the location in which the movie was set was very nice to look at and the score wasn't half-bad either. The film featured some impressive cinematography and to begin with it was simple and sweet, but obviously these minimal factors cannot save the movie as a whole, as the film is cliché, repetitive and pretty ridiculous.

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Now Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough do a good job on screen and I was particularly impressed by the latter's contribution, as it was nice to see her try and branch out from the typical musical roles she has recently become well known for, and whilst the two do a solid job I just didn't care for their characters or what I was watching on screen.

The thing that bugged me most about Safe Haven is the twist half-way through, as I thought it was completely unnecessary and the ending just felt cheap. In all honesty these two factors alone made me significantly dislike this movie. At first it seemed to show all the signs of your typical romance film, but once the twist kicks in, I questioned myself as to whether the audience would want this to happen or not? And personally I don't think they would. To me it felt incredibly forced and of course I am not aware if this 'twist' happens in the book, but I will say if it does I imagine the book executed in a more professional, sophisticated manner, rather than just quashing what seemed to be a good old fashioned love story.

Keeping on the subject of the twist, the main idea I got from it was that it was an incredibly cheap way to make Safe Haven stand out from your typical romance movie, and of course judging from my reaction it's safe to say I don't think they succeeded and if things couldn't get any worse, the ending without going into much detail was one of the worst I have seen in recent memory, as it didn't really make that much sense.

Overall Safe Haven is a bad movie. I personally blame this on the lacklustre script and the poor material that the actors had to work with, but if you're looking for any other type of safe haven, I recommend somewhere far away from this, as its most certainly for Sparks' fans only.



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