I just wanted to put that out there before I get started. I did NOT read the book. I have it. I’ve been meaning to read it for quite some time, but it just hasn’t happened.
So with that out of the way, I was really pleased to attend an advanced screening of Safe Haven at one of my local theaters. The head of the NC Film Commission was on hand to share some of the wonderful accomplishments that North Carolina has made in film over the past several years.
Safe Haven was filmed in several North Carolina locations. There were a few parts of Raleigh that I recognized and definite parts of Southport, which is where most of the movie takes place.
The film is a romantic thriller based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. A young woman is in a big hurry to leave her past and settles into a small town. As time goes by, she develops a relationship with a widowed shop keeper and his children. But, of course, her past soon catches up with her
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie. Julianne Hough was a welcome presence in the movie as lead character, Katie. I wasn’t sure if she’d be able to pull off a leading lady roll, given all that I know of her dancing (and singing?) career. But she does it with grace. I actually thought she was quite understated.
The chemistry between Hough and Josh Duhamel as shopkeeper, Alex, is perfect – the uncomfortable “should I or shouldn’t I” situations are well done between the two. When they finally get together, it’s worth the wait.
Best character in the movie? Local Raleigh girl, Mimi Kirkland, for sure. She plays Duhamel’s daughter, Lexie, in the film and is absolute astounding. I found her to be adorable and full of potential. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
There’s romance, suspense, and cute family moments. Plus, there’s a little twist involving Katie’s mysterious neighbor, Jo, that threw me for a loop. Both men and women alike should enjoy this movie. It’ll make for a great date night.
Valentine’s outing anyone?