Safe Haven

Certificate 12A, 88 minutes, ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

I have never been a fan of romance novels, so maybe it’s a bit strange that I don’t mind sitting through the occasional RomDram. Or possibly it’s just cold and wet out and I need somewhere warm for an hour or two (that’s what I tell myself…)

Nicholas Sparks (The Lucky One, Dear John, etc) has often been accused of being formulaic, and certainly within a few minutes of the opening you can pretty much guess the entirety of the plot and the inevitable twist at the end. And so it is with this film. But if you go into it knowing what to expect, it that such a bad thing? It’s like comfort food.

And so we have Katie (Julianne Hough – Rock of Ages, Footloose, Burlesque), an attractive young blonde (possibly) woman, obviously running away from “something”, who ends up at a small North Carolina seaside town, where she meets Alex (Josh Duhamel – Transformers Dark of the Moon, New Year’s Eve), a hunky widower, who runs the small general store.

For a long time nothing much happens. But it’s pretty. Then the “something” catches up, and there is the obvious plot twist, followed by another plot twist that is either daft, or also obvious (if you ever watched an episode of The Twilight Zone). The end.

Julianne Hough is nice to look at. The North Carolina scenery is nice to look at. That’s me happy. It’s a Nicholas Sparks movie, what do you expect? 7/10