I’ve seen worse films, I guess. But that doesn’t make this good.
Because The Call was a far superior film prior to its stupid final moment, it still wins my award for Worst Ending 2013, but Safe Haven tries to outduel it. Here the final plot twist is so dumb as to render an already melodramatic and strained rom com even worse. In reflection, I can see a handful of hints as to this final twist, but in the moment, as you’re watching the flick for the first time, they don’t feel like clues, probably because they are too obtuse; in the moment the hints just feel like lazy filmmaking. That these bread crumbs gain a bit of clarity once the twist has been revealed doesn’t make them good in reflection.
Up until the final thirty seconds, the plot is too predictable, the characters too roughly sketched, the events too melodramatic to make this one memorable. It doesn’t tap human emotion so much as it tries to play it, to force its viewers to feel for its unhappy leads.
Josh Duhamel as Alex and Colbie Smulders as Jo are fine. Julianne Hough as Katie and Mimi Kirkland as Lexi bring a sweetness, a cuteness, to the picture that makes it more entertaining.
David Lyons as Kevin does not measure up to the rest of the cast, not that anyone else was precisely memorable. Before director Lasse Halstrom and writer Dana Stevens “reveal” what we know the first moment we see Kevin, Lyons plays his villain a bit too straight. Then, he unravels into crazy too quickly.
Safe Haven does not bring much in the way of good, but I suppose its still watchable. Seems unlikely even the biggest fan of romantic comedies is going to enjoy this, though.