3 1/2 Stars
Meanwhile a passionately focused cop is attempting to track down Katie and bring her to justice for her crimes. Meanwhile Katie slowly begins to fall in love with Alex, while becoming increasingly attached to the community. Even so her dark secret still haunts her and a decision must be made to leave the safe haven of Southport or risk being brought to justice by law enforcement personnel.
I assumed that Safe Haven would be typical Valentine’s Day cinematic fodder, a cardboard version of life full of obnoxious caricatures and trite clichés. So it was with some surprise that I realized how engrossed I’d become with the story. There is just something about Julianne Hough, she has the soft features of Meg Ryan and the smoky voice of Milla Kunis. Hough’s warmth leaps off the screen and you feel like hugging her when she explodes into tears during an emotional confession. Josh Duhamel is serviceable, he has an easy-going screen presence that suggests he could make a long career of love interest in movies like this.
The marketing on Safe Haven has gone to great lengths to keep some of the juicer plot points under-wraps, rare in this age of instant gratification. In doing so, audiences will be enthralled with a love story that resonates and a crime movie that satisfies. Safe Haven is the uncommon chick-flick that actually hooks viewers early and keeps us in its dream state to the end.
Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, Cobie Smulders