By HANNAH KRIEGER
Nicholas Sparks has had his fair share of stories turned into movies. Although his classically romantic movies are near and dear to almost every girl’s heart, I have never felt that they could be the absolute best they could be. It is easy to guess what will happen in each story, who is destined to die, who has a terminal illness and how true love will conquer everything. However, “Safe Haven” is a refreshing and stunning movie that is not only the best of Sparks’ movies, but also can stand up to any movie at the box office.
“Safe Haven” is all about second chances. In the movie, Katie (Julianne Hough) is running from a mistake in her past and desires nothing more than to start over. Alex (Josh Duhamel), who lost his wife to cancer and is left with two darling children, realizes he wants a second chance at love. These characters’ lives soon intertwine into something truly magical. However, Katie’s past soon catches up with her and leaves the viewer speechless as all the pieces of the whole story start to fall into place.
What I absolutely loved about this movie was that it was a thriller throughout and had some intriguing mysteries, which was quite a change of pace for Nicholas Sparks’ usually predictable romance stories. This movie was in a league of its own, and certainly embodied a very special and unique story. I also enjoyed how the story was not predictable. The viewer did not know what to expect or how the pieces all tied together until the movie chose to reveal them. The last mystery revealed at the end is sure to surprise the viewer and bring tears to every eye.
The characters in the movie could not have been cast more perfectly. Josh Duhamel was endearing as he portrayed the role of the handsome widower. Julianne Hough was charming and delightful, and played a flawless role of a woman looking for a second chance. Also, the chemistry between Julianne and Josh was pure, realistic and enamoring. Mimi Kirkland, who played Alex’s daughter Lexi, was absolutely precious and added color, life and sincerity to the movie where nothing else could. Also, David Lyons, who played Tierney, the cop with the secret agenda, portrayed the role of the bad guy so well that the viewer immediately starts to dislike him even though they know he is a cop and supposedly on the good side. This stellar cast was at their best and made the movie especially enjoyable.
All in all, “Safe Haven” is truly spectacular and has a very enchanting, pulse-racing, mysterious story to tell. Nicholas Sparks must be congratulated on finally creating a story that men can actually enjoy or at least be interested in when their women insist on watching it. That is what is so great about this movie. It is so versatile. There’s action, mystery, romance and comedy, and it is all meshed together perfectly to create an amazing masterpiece. I definitely would not miss out on the opportunity of watching this in the theater and discovering its remarkable story for oneself. It is one of those movies one sees twice in the theater and then purchases on DVD.