Safe Haven (2013) Review **WITH SPOILERS**

WARNING: This review contains mild to significant spoilers for the movie Safe Haven.

Before I get started with this entry, I just want to say that yesterday I discovered that the follower count for this blog jumped from 53 people to 246 followers!  Overnight!  I don’t know if any of you are reading this right now, but if you are, I want to say THANK YOU to the 53 loyal followers I had before, and WELCOME to the 193 new people who have jumped on board for this blog.  I appreciate your interest and support, and I hope you all continue to enjoy the entries that I post to this blog.  You all are amazing, and my week has totally been made.

Also, a quick plug to all my new followers—every now and then I’ll post up an interview with someone working in the arts/entertainment industry.  My most recent interview was with actor Blaine Gray.  If you haven’t checked out that entry, both he and I would appreciate it if you would give it a read!  I’ve linked the entry to his name, so all you need to do is click on it!  Thank you!

Now onto the review.

I have yet to see another Nicholas Sparks novel-turned-movie adaptation that I like as much as I did The Notebook (2004).  I honestly don’t know what led me to see this movie other than the fact that I was in kind of a romantic movie mood when I watched it.

Safe Haven (2013) movie poster

I’m sad to say that it seems like they don’t make romantic movies like they used to.

It’s a romance movie, so for the most part the fact that a lot of the story is going to be predictable and cookie-cutter seems like a given.  However, this movie was also incredibly slow-paced, and while I don’t necessarily mind long movies, I do if a story that could be told in thirty minutes gets stretched out to two hours.  Especially if within that two-hour span, there isn’t a good progression in story, nor is there decent character development.

To break it down, I’ve decided to list all the things I found to be glaringly wrong with this movie.  This is where the spoilers really start, so if you’re not interested in those and you’re only curious as to what I’m rating this film (which I can tell you right now is not going to be a very high rating), then you will want to just scroll all the way to the bottom of the entry.

For the rest of you, here’s my list:

  • There wasn’t a lot of context or build-up with the relationship between the characters “Erin” (who later takes on the alias “Katie”) and “Kevin.”  This was probably because they wanted the audience to really root for Erin/Katie (I’m just going to call her Katie from here on to avoid confusion and also because that’s the name that’s used for a majority of the movie) and Alex to get together, but also brings up some other issues.
  • Kevin is a corrupt cop, but it’s clear that he’s corrupt on his own.  So why Katie doesn’t try and get some kind of protection from the police is just beyond me.
  • The character Joanna.  Now, there are many critics that have pointed out issues with this character, and I completely agree with them.  She’s a “spirit” that only Katie can see, so why doesn’t anyone around her find it weird that she’s essentially talking to herself?  Aren’t they friends?  Why doesn’t she ever mention her to Alex and the kids, or even suggest that they all hang out together sometime?  Half the time I this movie felt like I was watching a really extended episode of Touched By an Angel (1994).  I did love that show though.
  • Back to Kevin.  He just breaks in to this old woman’s house by simply lifting up a window from outside.  Say what?  I know the woman is old, but really?  I don’t think houses are that easy to break into these days.  Not to mention when he does get in, he already conveniently seems to know what he’s looking for.  He listens to a bunch of phone messages and just puts his finger over the speaker to muffle the sound some, but it still comes out pretty clearly.  So how come it doesn’t wake anyone in the house up?  Maybe they’re deep sleepers, sure, but then the woman wakes up at some point while he’s listening to one of the messages and I couldn’t help but think, doesn’t she think this is unusual?  Then again, maybe she was really tired and not completely alert/paying attention.  Who knows.  It still didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.
  • Speaking of conveniences, there seemed to be a lot of those littered throughout the movie.  I admit, I might be nitpicking with this one, since all movies of the “romance” genre have their fair share of clichés, but everything just seemed to pan out so nicely.  Like the rain that came down when Katie and Alex were canoeing for “romantic” effect.  Or how the letters from Alex’s deceased wife just miraculously survive a scorching blaze.  I suppose that one was just divine intervention.  Whenever I see things like that though, I’m always reminded of the girl in Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), where she’s wearing sparkling white clothes and doesn’t seem to get any dirt and grime on her at all, despite all the destruction and action going on around her.
  • Kevin gets killed, and no one bats an eyelash.  No questions, no complications…he’s just bagged up and that’s it, so long Kevin.  Again, this is one of those “conveniences” that I’m talking about.
  • By the time I got fifteen minutes into the movie I already had the sense it wasn’t going to go anywhere, and about thirty minutes into it, I was already spacing out and looking at my phone to check the time just about every ten minutes, not to mention thinking about all the other things I wanted to do with what was left of my day.  Around that point the story also went from a little cheesy to straight up outrageous.  After all that, the ending didn’t come so much as a surprise as it just kind of made my eyes roll.  Again, things just kind of came together a little too perfectly.

FINAL VERDICT: F

Ladies and gentlemen, I am the queen of loving cheesy moments and corny movies.  I’m the type who can’t take a lot of blood, guts, gore, and violence in a lot of movies, so my movie watching experience is more on the limited side.  With that in mind, I try my best to give every movie I see a fair shot, and I rarely give films this rating, but even this was way too much for me.  I was absolutely unimpressed.  If I didn’t need a last-minute film to watch for my contribution to Incognito Magazine, I would have walked out on this altogether.

Thankfully April is just another month away, as it seems there are some promising movies coming up just over the horizon, like Oblivion, Iron Man 3, and Star Trek Into Darkness, just to name a few.  Definitely looking forward to those.

Well, until next time!

2 responses to “Safe Haven (2013) Review **WITH SPOILERS**

  1. Nice review, and awful movie. I saw the Notebook, which was good, but this preview wasn’t enough to draw me in. It’s kind of hard for me to picture Josh Duhamel in these type of roles. I feel his strong suit is more on the action/suspense (Transformers, Las Vegas).

    I’m looking forward to the Fast and Furious 6 film. This will be a family event movie for us to see:-)

    • He was in Transformers? Funny, I don’t remember him at all. It’s strange, but he’s not really that memorable of an actor to me. I can only remember him from that New Years Eve movie.

      I’m looking forward to Fast & Furious 6 too, just because it’s a total guilty pleasure of mine…AND I want to know what’s going on with Letty. Like what in the world?!

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