By Brandon Kennedy, Staff Writer

A lot of the best selling novels throughout the country get turned into movies. Nicholas Sparks has works that have been turned into movies starting as early as the 1990’s. One of these movies is Safe Haven, a film about starting over in a small town and also shows what happens when your past comes back to haunt you. My overall thoughts on the film are that it’s a fun ride throughout the entirety of the film. Something bad happens and Katie, who is played by Julianne Hough, is seen running away from the police and eventually ends up traveling from Boston all the way to a small town in North Carolina. Now seeing as I love the idea of ending up in North Carolina, this made me happy to see the rural landscape where Katie ended up. Here Katie meets Josh Duhamel’s character, Alex, and his kids, and throughout the movie grows closer to them. One thing I will say about this movie is it seems like the perfect setup for me personally. I love the idea of characters starting over in a small town, getting to know everyone, and living life the best way they can. It’s just a perfect set up.

Though, like any story about starting over, your past follows you in the worst way. One spoiler from the film that is needed, as the movie is almost ten years old, is that Katie is not really Katie. The officer hunting her down is her abusive husband played by David Lyons, who always seems to play the villain in roles. This movie has everything—relationships gone wrong, trying to escape your past, and finding solace in someone’s love. Cobie Smulders plays the role of Katie’s neighbor Jo, who appears throughout the movie. The kids Lexie and Josh are played by Mimi Kirkland and Noah Lomax. All the actors do a great job bringing their characters to life. Katie and Alex are the characters you’re rooting for, you hope Jo gets to see the world, and you are hoping the abusive husband doesn’t find Katie.

There are scenes in the movie that are somewhat graphic, as well as scenes depicting domestic violence. I’d like to preface this by saying these are real issues we face every day in the world, and these things need to stop. The fact is the movie deals with these and shows you what you can accomplish when you escape that repeated cycle of chaos. This is a romance movie, like most of Nicholas Sparks’ works, but it also deals with themes that we deal with in real life. I think that’s what makes it more powerful than many of his other movies. There is a twist in the film, one that you won’t see coming, towards the end. It caught me off guard at first and I didn’t expect it, but it was powerful. When the event takes place, you will be quite surprised.

The acting as I’ve said is great, but one thing you might wonder  about is the scenes where these actors show their skills. Well, there are plenty of flashbacks throughout the movie, the characters’ pasts are explained, and there’s even a scene where a fish is speared (or gigged as Alex says). Watching the film is just a fun ride throughout. I definitely highly recommend you watch this movie, if you like Nicholas Sparks, or if you enjoy movies based on bestselling novels, then Safe Haven is a must see. Even if you just like an entertaining film, this one is definitely for you as well.


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