Based on another Nicholas Sparks’s NYT Bestseller, I expected what it was: a love story, the usual sappiness, at times illogical, but overall, a great tear-jerker that has to be watched at the right time. In other words, a glass of wine, some grapes and cheeses, a big blanket, warm fire sparkling and crackling in a fireplace, and a box of kleenex.
Great casting by the way. Those exquisite, heavenly creatures, one tall, slender, muscular and handsome, Alex(Josh Duhamel), the other all American Californian blond, pretty face Katie(Julianne Hough) find each other in Southport, North Carolina, the Safe Haven.
The story is almost predictable so that we can spend most time getting all verklempt watching how a husband broken in half after his wife striken with cancer and died, left him with a grieving son, Josh(Noah Lomax), and an adorable daughter, Lexie(Mimi Kirkland). Southport is a small ocean view town, and a pitstop for coaches travelling on East Coast. Alex runs a small variety store and gas station, where he meets Katie first time, after she steps off the bus. She grabs a coffee, but with no eye contact. She stays. On second day, she lands a job at the local pub restaurant. Lexie grows fond of Katie…, and so does Alex, of course.
If left at that it would have been a fairytale, so suspense was added to spice things up a bit (Julia Roberts’s Sleeping with the Enemy (1991)?). We have Tierney(David Lyons), a cop from Boston, who is tracking Katie’s whereabouts. WHY?! There were a lot of flashbacks telling us how bad Katie could have been, but don’t worry, it was no CSI stuff. It was just cinnamon added to a latte: A soothing scented spice over warm foamy milk mélange with espresso. The whole subplot was totally implausible, but I liked my latte too much to be bothered, I was too mellow.
Yes, on third day, after landing a job! Katie rents a cottage out in the woods (too mellow). She finds herself a good friend, Jo(Cobie Smulders). Another woman alone in the woods. (cheeses, wine, mellow). They build a friendship.
As one says, “life catches up eventually”. Tierney is now in Southport.
There will be a grand finale with real fireworks, a fire, a new beginning, and Touched by an Angel (TV Series).
WATCH…get all the stuff I told you to before watching.