Safe Haven Truly Thrills

Naris Barseghian

(February 28, 2013) — From the director of Dear John , Lasse Hallström has directed yet another Nicholas Sparks’ novel based movie, Safe Haven. However, this time there are many unexpected twists that keep you on the edge of your seat. As much as I wanted to relate this to Sparks’ other books made into movies, it seemed almost impossible. It may not be as full of romance as his other books, but it’s so full of other emotions that it doesn’t feel like it’s lacking anything. Safe Haven is full of suspense and unpredictable scenes. In Safe Haven, Katie Feldman (Julianne Hough) is shown running to a neighbor’s house as a cop frantically searches for her. From what we are shown, we come close to thinking she has murdered someone and is running away from the consequences. As she settles into her new town, the tension starts building. Feldman avoids forming relationships with anyone in her new town, yet somehow ends up forming really good ties with Alex (Josh Duhamel), his two kids, and a neighbor named Jo (Cobie Smulders). When you think things are finally in place, her past shows up and threatens her new life and family. As much as people want to categorize this movie with the rest of the cliche love stories made so far, I disagree with that judgement. The story does revolve around the characters falling in love and feeling safe with each other. Besides that, though, the plot gives hints of other genres such as mystery, romance, and comedy. Safe Haven fits many different people’s taste in movies because everyone can find something to relate to. There is romance, suspense, and mystery, which I believe are the ingredients to a well-produced movie. Comparing this movie to Hallström ’s other movie, Dear John , I would say this was definitely better because of the acting and the little details put into the dialogue and the set. One odd point of the movie is the confusion between what is real in Feldman’s life and the illusion of reality in her mind, with an imaginary “friend.” Throughout the movie, Feldman’s relationship with this friend had me wondering about what would happen next, although the parts with these illusions adds an element of surprise. Even though this film is rated PG-13, I would not recommend it for younger kids since it does have some emotionally draining scenes. Safe Haven deserves all the attention it is getting, because it’s been one of the movies that has stood out in the romance category of movies during the last year.