December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

June 14, 2013

Safe Haven (2013)

When it’s over, I was craving for a romance, and Safe Haven delivers. Katie (Julianne Hough) is on the run from her husband, Tierney (David Lyons), and finds refuge in a small town, where she falls in love with Alex (Josh Duhamel) a widower, and his two children. There were many similarities in plot and structure between this film and Sleeping with the Enemy (1991) with Julia Roberts. But, I don’t plan to compare the two. The characters may share similar situations, but their development and resolutions were different. The biggest difference was the twist at the end. I read the book by Nicholas Sparks over two years ago, and had forgotten the twist at the end, so I was pleasantly surprised by the ease and flow the film moved at leading up to the unexpected. I liked the idea of a haven, and how the characters found safety with each other, and ultimately were able to save each other. The film sets up the love story quickly in order to meet the First Act margin, and goes on to develop the relationships and conflicts with good pacing. The location was also a bonus in the film. Set in seaside Southport, North Carolina, the film felt romantic and lazy in a charming sort of way, and it was hard not to be swept away by the characters' rippling emotions. My one main concern was the lack of character depth. Learning more about the characters' pasts would have made the love story more meaningful. I, especially, wanted to understand Tierney's story, because he is the story's trigger, the force that sets in motion Katie and Alex's actions. At first glance, Duhamel and Hough were not the lovers I imagined from the book, but slowly, they became Alex and Katie; and although their love story would be unlikely to happen in the real world, their relationship represented the beauty of second chances, which is something we can all relate to, either by desiring it or experiencing it first hand.

My rating: 4 out of 5

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