Film Review: Safe Haven

Safe HavenSafe Haven is another book to film adaptation. Now not all adaptations are good. This was okay. I would say the film was middle ground. Interesting but it felt like nothing new.

In fact it struggles from the word go. Josh Duhamel (New Years Eve, Transformers, Life As You Know It) is one of the main stars. Now I was expecting so much more from him, after seeing him in countless film and TV shows – Las Vegas being the main one. But he fell short on this one!

I was very under whelmed by this offering. Julianne Hough plays Erin, whose has an abusive husband who she tries to escape. The plot is very similar with Sleeping With The Enemy starring the wonderful Julia Roberts. You cannot top Sleeping With The Enemy. You shouldn’t even try.

Julia Roberts’ film is like Kellogg’s Cornflakes, the original and best. This film seemed like a supermarket value pack by comparison!

The usual stereotyping of husband being the abuser is restricting, because there’s only one way you go with this line. You could never have a movie that delighted in the practice, so like drugs, the story can only go one path. Now it’s down to the stars.

Unlike Sleeping With The Enemy, this lacked pace, terror and a sympathy for the female lead. Julia Roberts had such emotional range, it was hard to get into a film where the main actress looked as if she was constipated.

Colbie Smulders (Robin – How I Met Your Mother) plays a neighbour Jo. But she offers nothing new, in fact it was like she playing Robin pretending to be Jo. Setting up Erin with a new guy so soon was silly. Oh sorry, Erin is now Katie, and she can recover quickly because she doesn’t seem to mind being set up with Alex. (Josh).

So remember the name change or you might be even more confused! The children were predictable, the girl accepted Katie (not Erin now) and the boy didn’t. It was all happening too soon. Romance, kids… I was expecting her to wear a wedding dress and have a priest on standby!

It might have been funny but this cast weren’t gelling. That was a big problem and why I think the film ended up more like a TV movie than a major suspense film.

It was another cliché that her husband (David Lyons) was a police officer and misusing his powers to beat her and then track her down. I could’ve written this script, heck even my seven year old nephew could have. With so many obvious turns you should get a flashlight as a gift.

The whole ghost angle was just weird. So now we’re expected to believe a ghost has brought Katie (NOT ERIN!) and Alex together? And not just any ghost, why go simple when you can go massive. No, it’s Alex’s dead wife!

Then somehow she’s already written a letter to the woman who will succeed her. Something just isn’t right about that. So why would Alex’s dying wife be writing a letter to a possible successor? I could get her writing to Alex telling him to get on with his life, but to the woman who would be sharing his bed??? Ewwww! Weird!

That might work in a Carry On Film, ‘My husband did like his nipples tickled you know.’ Oh I say…

One good point, the final showdown was good though. But it did not excuse the route it took to get there.

It wasn’t the worst movie I’d ever seen but it won’t be getting a repeat viewing either! I’ll give 5/10 for total lack of imagination but a decent final battle. It would be nice to have a movie bring a new spin to this kind of thing.

And if Julianne Hough thinks she’s the next Julia Roberts, I dread to see how she’d do a remake of Pretty Woman!

Image reproduced from
Trailer reproduced from YouTube / SafeMovieHaven