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SAFE HAVEN

Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough

 

ROG'S VIEWPOINT
cameracamera   (2 CAMS) 

RATED PG-13


Running from a mysterious and abusive past, Katie (Julianne Hough) finds safety in a small North Carolina town and love in the arms of widower Alex (Josh Duhamel). But her past may be revealed when police detective Tierney (David Lyons) tracks her down. "Safe Haven" is a mostly boring romance flick that should give males in the audience a chance to catch up on their sleep. Even the desired female demographic may have trouble warming up to this premise. This is the latest Nicholas Sparks novel to be translated to the big screen. Director Lasse Hallström ("Dear John") may paint a pretty picture, but he doesn't energize the lifeless plot. Julianne Hough, who was marvelous in the "Footloose" remake, appears to be miscast here. There's not much chemistry between her and Josh Duhamel (wife Fergie should be happy). Included in the many stock characters that inhabit the town are Alex's children Josh (Noah Lomax) and Lexie (Mimi Kirkland), who predictably capture the heart of Katie. Also present is Jo (Cobie Smulders), a neighbor who befriends the secretive fugitive. But nothing garners enough interest in the story. Without giving anything away, there are a couple of twists. One is predictable and the other feels like a cheap shot: a mystical tacked-on gasp. It's safe to say that "Safe Haven" is another Nicholas Sparks movie adaptation that fails to ignite.