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Film review: ‘Safe Haven’

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Even if you’re a fan of movies based on Nicholas Sparks novels, you might want to think twice before seeing Safe Haven.

The Details

Safe Haven
One and a half stars
Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, Cobie Smulders
Directed by Lasse Hallström
Rated PG-13, opens Friday
Beyond the Weekly
IMDb: Safe Haven
Rotten Tomatoes: Safe Haven

Safe Haven is the eighth movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, and if you’ve seen any of the previous seven, you know pretty much what to expect: There’s a predictable romance between two bland pretty people (in this case, Julianne Hough as a woman on the run from a dark secret and Josh Duhamel as the widower she falls for); someone dies or has died of cancer; and it all takes place in a small town in the South. For the most part, director Lasse Hallström (working on his second Sparks adaptation after 2010’s Dear John) moves things along smoothly if forgettably, and the lightweight Hough gives her best performance to date (which isn’t saying much). But just as the movie is about to go down as a perfunctory romance for Sparks fans only, it pulls out one of the most idiotic twist endings ever, setting it apart from other Sparks movies in the worst way possible.

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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