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The Blue & Gray Press | August 19, 2019

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New 'Safe Haven' is an unexpected, romantic thriller



One of Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling novels took to the big screen again this weekend. The tragic love story, “Safe Haven,” captivated viewers and sent their minds into a whirlwind with the ending plot twist.
From love to death to refuge, this Nicholas Sparks movie has it all. It begins with main character Erin, played by Julianne Hough, embarking on a journey in search of a “safe haven” away from the deadly clutches of her extremely abusive husband. She ends up in Southport, N.C., rapidly falling in love with a local, widowed shop owner, played by Josh Duhamel, and his family, while her husband frantically searches for her whereabouts.
The movie was filmed and directed in location in the heart of the small, southern town of Southport, N.C. Actually filming the movie in the town in which the story takes place added to the overall quality and authenticity of the storyline. The beautiful waterfront views and calmness of the area gives the viewer an insight into what it would be like to find their own refuge in this “safe haven” filled with local, southern charm.
Instead of the single plot twist involved in many romantic comedies, this film provided two significant surprises falling at the climax and ending of the movie. However, unlike many Nicholas Sparks inspired movies, where the ending doesn’t permit a dry eye in the theater, this movie either left viewers in a state of shock or misunderstanding. The believability of the ending, however, disappointed compared to that of other movies of its kind.
In spite of its debatable ending, “Safe Haven” was well directed and the acting lent itself promisingly to the overall formation of the story line. If you are in search of a movie for a date or a night out with friends, “Safe Haven” would be a prime choice. Brandon Fitzgerald, who went to see the movie at the plea of his girlfriend, said, “There was suspense and a good ending. I hate to admit it, but I actually liked it.”