Safe Haven

Directed By: Lasse Hallstrom
Starring: Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough, Cobie Smulders, David Lyons, Noah Lomax, Mimi Kirkland

I’ve never been a big fan of Nicholas Sparks movies. I liked A Walk To Remember and The Notebook (even though I think the Notebook is overrated), but I also hated a lot of his other movies, The Last Song, The Lucky One, and DON’T even get me started on Dear John. Let’s just not go there. So knowing all this, I can’t believe I’m going to say this…but I didn’t hate Safe Haven. In fact, I REALLY didn’t hate it. I may have even *gulp* liked it. But shhh…just don’t tell anyone.

We all know there are different types of romantic/rom-com movies:

  • “Everybody Loves Them”: Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, Pretty Woman, Princess Bride, Etc
  • “You Love Them, Others May Not”: How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, The Wedding Planner, A Walk to Remember, Etc
  • “Guilty Pleasure”: Letters to Juliet, Music and Lyrics, Ever After, The Vow, Etc
  • “Why Did I Watch This?”: Something Borrowed, The Ugly Truth, The Back-Up Plan


So what would I classify Safe Haven as? A Guilty Pleasure movie. While it’s not on par with some of the greats, it’s definitely worth a watch. Here are 5 reasons why:

1)      The Storyline Was Interesting: Katie escapes to a small town, harboring a big secret, but desperate to start her life over. She meets Alex and his two kids who are still reeling from the death of his wife and their mother. And despite reservations for both sides, the two start falling for each other. However dark secrets and Katie’s past start to catch up to her.  Ok, so…it’s nothing we haven’t seen before…but it played out in an interesting way.)

2)      The Movie Wasn’t TOO Cheesy: With any romantic movie or rom-com you expect a certain amount of cheese, but the movie was surprisingly light on the cheese factor as opposed to other Nicholas Sparks movies. (It did have similar themes though.) I was grateful for no lip singing into a hair brush, pillow fights in underwear, I-hate-you-but-I-really-like-you moments…

3)      The Characters Were Likeable: What’s a surefire way to get your audience to like certain characters? By making them interact with an adorable, spunky, too-smart-for-her-age little girl. When Katie first meets Alex’s daughter Lexi, the girl is so adorable you can’t help but immediately like Katie, and even Alex, even though we haven’t even met him yet. That just goes to show you, little children aren’t just good for scaring people or making them cry.

4)      Julianne Hough’s Acting Has Significantly Improved: She’s come a long LONG way from Footloose (which was so corny and awful, in case you’re wondering, which I know you are!). She still has issues when she has to be absolutely serious, but overall I didn’t hate her performance. She just had this ease about her.

5)      Cobie Smulders: Love her.


If I had a boyfriend, I definitely would NOT take him to see this movie. This is one of those movies you see in private, tell people you hate it (or never saw it), while secretly knowing you’ll probably buy this on DVD when it comes out. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to hide it somewhere no one will see it…probably in the same place I stashed my Hanson CD…both of them.


Rating: 2 1/2 – 3 Stars.



  1. Watching the movie trailer at the theater, I was actually interested… until I saw “based on the book by Nicholas Sparks”. I might actually have a date night movie with the wife on your recommendation, my own Valentine’s choice was the latest Die Hard. A mistake on multiple levels….

    • I don’t know if I recommended it…so much as I said it’s not a disappointment, haha. A date night may be asking too much of this movie…haha, but I did like it. I’m sad to hear that about It’s A Good Day To Die Hard (as that would have been my Valentines Day movie choice too!)…I’m seeing that one today.

  2. I’m glad you mentioned the cheesiness of most romantic comedies and whether this had that or not. That’s probably the number one thing I look for in a trailer of these type of movies to decide if its worth watching.

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