September 21, 2014
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Safe Haven
Don Fowler

SAFE HAVEN

* * ½ (Don)

* * * (Joyce)

(Melodramatic love story)

Even though she was turned off by the ethereal ending to this melodramatic love story, Joyce still enjoyed the movie based on Nicholas Sparks' novel.

Julianne Hough stars as Kate, a young woman running away from Boston to hide out in a small picturesque fishing village in North Carolina.

The movie opens with the hint of violence and possible murder, as we watch Kate running away from the unrelenting pursuit of a police detective (David Lyons), who turns over every stone to find her.

Kate lands a job as a waitress and slowly, very slowly, bonds with Alex, the local general store owner. Alex (Josh Duhamel) had lost his wife to cancer and is struggling to raise two kids and run the store, which caters to day-trippers and a few locals.

Kate keeps to herself, at first resisting any contact, plus the interest that Alex shows in her. His "sweet as pie" daughter warms Kate's heart, and eventually Kate and Alex become an item, although she is always looking over her shoulder. She has one friend, another loner who lives nearby (Colby Smulders), who occasionally offers advice and watches over her.

You just know that Kate and Alex are going to fall in love and that the detective is eventually going to find his way to town.

There is one good twist in the movie, which in our humble opinion is ruined by the ridiculous ending. But hey, this is Nicholas Sparks, who writes melodrama that can be turned into two-handkerchief movies. There's the patented scene where Kate's life is in danger and Alex comes to the rescue. It could have ended there.

Rated PG-13, with a couple of violent scenes.


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