Upon going to the theater, the romantic genre aims to please just a few people whether that be the single woman looking for that special someone or the already in love couple who look to enhance their love life through signs and images on screen. Whatever the case may be, “Safe Haven” from beginning to end, will make the effort in finding someone or loving someone even more, more fulfilling.
If many of you didn’t already know, Safe Haven is based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, the famous novelist who’s written popular stories like “The Notebook”, “A Walk to Remember”, and “Dear John”, all of which have been turned into films. As for what happens in each, they all share some sort of twist and rarity. The main character Katie/Erin (Julianne Hough) is seen in the beginning running from what seems to be a dead body on the living room floor of her house. Minutes later, she boards a bus which takes her to the small town of Southport, North Carolina. From there, she’s able to buy a small cabin in the woods, get a part time job at a local fish restaurant, and make close acquaintances with surrounding town folk, including local store owner Alex Wheatley (Josh Duhamel). After a few conversations with his children and him as well as some popular alone time, the two bond one evening together and things sky rocket from there.
After glancing at the poster for this film online, and reading basic plot information, some things weren’t being completely clear to me throughout the movie. Right from the beginning, we learn that she is obviously running from something, that something might being murder. We also learn that a related character that plays the cop trying to find her is more worried about the case than anything else in his life. And when everything seems to be ok, another twist is thrown at you making you question what really the film is trying to say. As an audience, we want to know as much as we can about what is happening in the film. Most of the time, films will have us trying to ask questions as to why things are happening in the circumstances they are. It’s our job to put the two together and solve the idea before the idea solves us. Like I said in the beginning, the film is based on a Nicholas Sparks Novel of the same name. When things are revealed, you will be upset, just be prepared.
Technically, the film depicts what a perfect life may be for two people who want to spend the rest of their lives together. A small town with a small population where everyone in it knows everyone is harmony with in itself. Medium shots of both Duhamel and Hough show the two have great chemistry in bringing love to one another. Constant shots of landscape and the environment really set the mood. But there’s more to the story than just these two characters sharing what they seem to believe is true love.
What keeps the movie going is the constant change in pace. Although it’s romantic in the sense that two people are sharing good times with one another, it also leads you to think about two other characters who may not look to be important but turn out to drive the overall final outcome of the film. Overall, the countless acts of love and caring shown in the film, will keep any single woman or loved couple holding on to one another until the end.