Monday, March 4, 2013

Why "Safe Haven" Works

“Safe Haven” is a forgettable, but charming, romance.  It follows the format of other films based off Nicholas Sparks books – simple, sweet, and with a canoe on a lake getting caught in the rain.

What Works
-          Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel are likeable leads and work well together.
-          Love the setting of the small beach town.

What Doesn’t Work
-          The first ten minutes is a montage of sequences that do not show us enough information at one time for us to actually know what is going on.  This is intended to create suspense, but I think the suspense would have been heightened, and certainly more effective, if the major events had been shown in the beginning and the flashbacks lessened as the movie went on.  This is opposite of what the movie actually does.  I would have had the major event in the first fifteen minutes and then showed minor details as the movie progressed, especially considering that there was another major revelation at the end.

What Sort of Works
-          For being abused for so long, Erin (or Katie, as she first calls herself) overcomes it quite quickly.  She seems to have adjusted extremely well.  Perhaps this is a long time coming and she has empowered herself enough that when she escaped, she was able to become confident in herself.  She does startles easily, particularly in the beginning, but soon relaxes.  It’s great that she was able to do this, but I question the easy process.  It must be that she is finally able to be herself after so long that makes her overcome her abuse.

There are better and more intriguing romance movies, but this one is a nice escape if you can’t find anything else. 

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