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It's early to say for sure, but Safe Haven has what absolutely must be the most ludicrously insane plot twist of 2013....
Fox / 116 Minutes / 2013 / Rated PG-13 / Street Date: May 7, 2013
Safe Haven is a resoundingly, stupefyingly bad movie, but I have to admit that its twist ending is so shocking and dumb-shit crazy that it’s almost worth a look. Sure, a quickie Google search will give you a glimpse as to what kind of lunacy comes out of left field as Safe Haven careens off its narrative cliff, but I’d rather be a tease than a party-pooper: no spoilers will appear here.
Basically, this is good news for those poor souls whose girlfriends and wives will force a movie like Safe Haven upon them for date movie night. 99% of the Nicholas Sparks romance is business as usual, but this tale’s coda is one for the record books, a finale that, quite honestly, you wouldn’t believe if I told you about it. Often, suffering through damply mediocre material like Safe Haven is one of the least engaging parts of the job, but reviewing movies with a send-off like this one is a treat among treats.
In our unabashedly simplistic film, Katie (Julianne Hough) is a woman who is desperate to escape the nightmares of her past. In full Sleeping With the Enemy brio, she jettisons off to a small town called Southport in North Carolina with hopes of starting her life anew. When she meets Alex (Josh Duhamel), another element of her sad story falls into place – he’s a widower still fresh off his wife’s death, but he can’t deny that Katie’s fresh spunk intrigues him enough to want to reach out to a woman again.
I suppose it’s fair to just get it out in the open plainly: Safe Haven is a terrible film. Its Notebook-esque treacle is groan-inducing, even with an established director like Lasse Hallstrom leading the troops. But chicks love a Josh Duhamel, and this title will likely find some steady appreciation as a rental title. So let your girlfriend/wife pick this one as a lead-off weekend rental – feel free to multitask or nap through the first hour or so, but make sure you have a good seat for when its conclusion comes around. You won’t believe it.