It’s Valentine’s Day. You need to choose a movie to take your loved one to go see at the local theatre. It’s 2013. You pretty much have a choice between the latest Bruce Willis blockbuster A Good Day To Die Hard, or Safe Haven, the latest Nicholas Sparks novel adaptation (starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel). Now then. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this would be an astute choice, based on past successes, with the Ryan Gosling-starring The Notebook and the Zac Efron / Taylor Schilling love drama The Lucky One. You would, however, be wrong.
Condemned by the majority of critics that have seen the latest tear-jerker from director Lasse Hallstrom (of Chocolat fame), Safe Haven doesn’t pack quite the emotional punch that it promises. A sorry case of style over substance, it seems that two beautiful lead actors do not a successful movie make. Betsy Sharkey of Los Angeles Times described the movie as being “Long on beauty shots, short on depth,” whilst Claudia Puig of USA Today offers some sage advice for anyone looking to make a last minute theatre booking today (February 14, 2013): “Safe Haven may not be the most dangerous place to spend Valentine's Day - but it's hardly a worthwhile romantic choice.” Chicago Sun-Times was far less forgiving in his unsentimental summary, writing “Either the filmmakers were out of their minds, or they must think we're out of our minds to buy into this schmaltz.
With a disappointing aggregate score of 11% on Rotten Tomatoes, the makers of Safe Haven will be banking on the last-minute planning of ill-informed Valentines lovers to boost their ticket sales over the coming days.