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Film Review – Safe Haven

Director: Lasse Hallström
Screenplay: Dana Stevens,Gage Lansky
Cast: Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough, Noah Lomaz, Mimi Kirkland, Colbie Smulders
Genre: Romance
Rating: ***
DVD rental from DVD King

Rating Score
* – Poor
** – Average
*** – Good
**** – Very Good
***** – Excellent

The film tells the story of ‘Katie’ a woman on the run from an abusive husband. Her desperate flight takes her to a small coastal town in North Carolina where she ends up in the care of a widower, Alex (Josh Duhamel) and his two children. Her sudden arrival causes the people of the small town to be suspicious, however Katie ignores all the awkward talks and gossip in the hope of starting afresh when she develops a remarkable relationship with the widower’s children, Josh and Lexie as well as her charming neighbour, Jo (Colbie Smulders).

The film is roughly based on Katie, the widower’s family as well as her ability to fight for freedom and experience the true meaning of love. With Jo’s help she eventually realises that she must choose between a life of safety or risk it all and let love be her safe haven.
It starts off a little bland with a typical storyline (girl meets boy, they fall in love but then there are obstacles that threaten to block their love). However it builds up to a real tear-jerker as a surprise ending is revealed. I challenge anyone to have a dry eye after the emotional ending. Josh Duhamel as Alex and Julianne Hough as Katie are a perfect fit and carry the storyline perfectly. The film has many beautiful shots and the choice of location is brilliant. Nothing looks sweeter that a family under clear skies making memories and showing what it truly means to love. It is not only romantic, but also sentimental and encouraging. Katie manages to overcome the fears of her terrible past and gives herself, Alex and the kids a shot of happiness. This provides the audience with a perfect happy ending like all romantic movies should be.
I take my hat off to Julianne Hough. She is very convincing as Katie. She makes it obvious and certain that she is a versatile actress. Also very impressive performances came from child actors, Noah Lomaz (Josh), Alex’s son, and Mimi Kirkland (Lexie), his daughter.
I fell in love with the cast of Safe Haven and managed to pick up one or two messages that Nicholas Spark is trying to spread about love. The first is that when you do fall in love with someone, it does not mean anything if you are not willing to make a long term commitment to that person. You should not only think about pleasing that person at that present moment but also in the future. Great acting, an awesome storyline that has a mind blowing ending, and beautiful scenes are what best describe this film. I am not going to tell you what the mind blowing ending is, you will have to watch it yourself to see why I am ranting and raving about the film. Overall it is the ultimate chick flick for which one can curl up on the couch with some popcorn too. Ladies will love this one but men might find it a little weepy.  Safe Haven is available at DVD King outlets across Windhoek.

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