“Safe Haven” is a touching and emotional journey of love lost and love found from best-selling author Nicholas Sparks.
The story follows the struggles of a mysterious woman named Katie who has just arrived in a small North Carolina town. Her reluctance to join the tight-knit community raises questions about her past, and as she starts to put down roots, she gains courage to start a relationship with widower Alex and his two young children. Soon, her dark past comes back to haunt her new life, and she is forced to come to terms with her past and learn the power of true love.
A mysterious and broken girl, a sad and lonely widower, two rambunctious children, a terrifying unknown man and a yellow floor all combine to create a great romance that stays true to the standards Sparks set.
The beautiful shots of the North Carolina ocean, the singing of seagulls and the tall trees of an old forest create a backdrop as gorgeous as the movie’s romance. Katie struggles to build friendships in the town and is helped along by her neighbor, Jo, who is just as mysterious a character as Katie. Jo helps Katie learn to trust Alex and his children as well as make friends with other people in the small seaside town.
A mile’s worth of emotions are felt during this movie. The audience can feel the horror as Katie runs away from her past, the love between Alex and Katie grow and the rage as a mysterious person chases Katie down the Eastern Seaboard.
“Safe Haven” is not a typical love story but one that shows the reality of relationships, as well as the messiness, the hope and the love that can be found inside each relationship. This is not only a chick flick about romance and love, but also a film full of mystery and drama that brings the entire story to an intense and surprising ending.
Although fans of Sparks’ books will be able to pick out discrepancies between the movie and the book, the movie does a good job of getting rid of unnecessary characters and keeping to the storyline. At times the melodramatic story can get in the way, but let your brain relax and take in the sunsets and romance.
Rating: Four stars