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Safe Haven Movie Review

Reviewed by on Feb 14, 2013
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews the romance/thriller movie Safe Haven starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel.

By: Lynn Barker

What if you were a young wife and your hubby was abusive? Would you have the courage to run away and start a new life in another town? Would you be too afraid to let that cute, gentle local guy into your heart?

Running Away

Katie (Julianne Hough) runs away from her Boston home under mysterious circumstances. On a bus, she passes by a cute beach town and decides to get off and check it out. At the local general store, she meets young, widowed cutie Alex (Josh Duhamel) who has two young kids. There is an instant attraction but Katie’s heart is closed.

Katie (Julianne) and neighbor Jo (Cobie Smulders)Katie (Julianne) and neighbor Jo (Cobie Smulders)

Fitting In

While, back in Boston, a young cop Tierney (“Revolution’s” David Lyons) is searching for Katie everywhere. Is she actually a criminal? In the beach town, Katie meets Jo (Cobie Smulders) a local neighbor who tells her that Alex’s wife died and he’s lonely. Although Katie feels at home here, she rebuffs all of Alex’s attempts to get to know her but she starts bonding with his kids.

Cop Closes In

The Boston cop gets more info on Katie’s journey. In a flashback we see that she stabbed someone…the husband?  While Katie and Alex and his kids grow closer on family outings and dates, the cop realizes what town she is in. Alex finds notes that his wife, who was dying of cancer, left for her kids to be read as they grow up and feels sad and a bit guilty about moving on with Katie. None-the-less, Katie and Alex grow closer.

The new familyThe new family

Who Are You?

The cop has put out a “Wanted for Murder” flier on Katie and Alex finds it.  Different name, different picture.. He confronts her and their relationship is on the rocks. In Boston we see that the cop IS Katie’s abusive husband. The poster is a fake he put out. He’s suspended from the force but won’t stop chasing Katie. He finally arrives in her new town.

4th of July Fireworks

At the town’s big 4th of July parade and celebration, more big secrets are revealed, dangers are faced and Alex and Katie’s love will be put to the test.

Katie (Julianne) at the 4th of July celebrationKatie (Julianne) at the 4th of July celebration

Wrapping Up

Safe Haven (PG-13) might be a good Valentine date movie bet because there is cute and semi-mushy romance but also humor, action, mystery and danger that both guys and girls can get into.

For girls, if you’ve ever had a boyfriend trying to boss you around and run your life, that’s a kind of abuse. Katie’s journey back to love and life from physical and mental abuse is an inspiring tale. If you haven’t read the Nicholas Sparks novel on which the movie is based, you are in for a couple of very big story and character twists that are fun and entertaining although you might “guess” them.

Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel make a really sweet couple. There is genuine “like” there although he seems more comfortable in his role than she in hers. David Lyons is pretty darn psycho-scary as the obsessed, abusive, drunken cop/husband but, even with a supernatural twist and more action that the other films adapted from Nick Sparks books (The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, Dear John and the film The Last Song during which Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth fell in love among others) Safe Haven sort of drags on slowly until some action scenes near the end and plays like a “Lifetime” movie of the week. We’ll go 3 out of 5 stars.

The posterThe poster

Safe Haven Movie Review Rating: 3