Safe Haven (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lasse Hallström|
|Produced by||Marty Bowen
|Screenplay by||Gage Lansky
|Based on||Safe Haven
by Nicholas Sparks
|Music by||Deborah Lurie|
|Edited by||Andrew Mondshein|
Temple Hill Entertainment
|Distributed by||Relativity Media|
Safe Haven is a 2013 American romance film starring Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel and Cobie Smulders. It was released theatrically in North America on February 14, 2013. The film was directed by Lasse Hallström, and is an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel of the same name. The film was originally set for a February 8 release, but was moved to February 14, 2013. The film was widely panned by critics, but was nonetheless financially successful with a worldwide gross of $97.6 million against its $28 million budget.
A woman leaves her house holding a bloody knife. She is shown moments later at the bus station trying to fleeing town. She buys a bus ticket, her hair now cropped and bleached, and stops at the small town of Southport, North Carolina. At the general store, she introduces herself as Katie. After acquiring a job as a waitress and renting a small house on the edge of town, Katie Feldman (Julianne Hough) befriends her neighbor, Jo (Cobie Smulders) and meets Alex Wheatley (Josh Duhamel), a widowed father of two young children, Josh (Noah Lomax) and Lexie (Mimi Kirkland).
Katie and Alex eventually start a relationship, and she becomes like a mother to Josh and Lexie. Meanwhile, Kevin Tierney, a Boston police officer, searches for Katie and sends out reports saying that she is wanted for attempted murder.
Upon seeing Katie's picture in the police station - and learning that her real name is Erin Tierney - Alex confronts her. They get into a fight and break up, and Katie moves out of her house. As she is about to leave town, however, Alex intercepts her and says that he has fallen in love with her. Katie returns his love, and decides to stay in Southport. She tells Alex that Kevin is her husband, an abusive alcoholic whom she stabbed in self-defense before fleeing to Southport under another name. Meanwhile, Kevin breaks into Katie's former neighbor's home back in Boston and finds the phone number to the Southport restaurant where Katie works.
Arriving just in time for the town's Fourth of July parade, Kevin sees Katie kissing Alex, which enrages him. Later, Katie has a dream that she is standing on the docks watching the fireworks when Jo comes up and tells Katie that "he" is here. Katie wakes up in the convenience store next to a fast asleep Lexie. Suddenly, Kevin appears and confronts her, drunkenly demanding that she go back with him. She refuses and tells him to leave. Kevin pulls a gun and pours gasoline all over the store, with the intent to burn it down.
When he hesitates, Katie buys time by faking sympathy for him and agreeing to return home with him; when he lets his guard down, she pushes him into the water. However, a firework spark lands on the gasoline, igniting a fire that engulfs the store. Alex sees the burning store, quickly makes his way across the lake by boat, and saves Lexie. Meanwhile, Katie tries to fight off Kevin, who is attempting to shoot her. After a long struggle, she makes one last desperate grab at the gun and it goes off, killing Kevin.
Later on, Alex finds several letters written by his late wife, prepared ahead of time for memorable events such as Josh's eighteenth birthday and Lexie's wedding day. Alex gives Katie a letter with the words "To Her" on the envelope. The letter thanks the recipient for making Alex happy. The movie ends with the revelation that Jo, who had supposedly left town moments before, is actually the ghost of Alex's wife.
- Julianne Hough as Katie Feldman/Erin Tierney
- Josh Duhamel as Alex Wheatley
- Cobie Smulders as Jo/Alex's wife
- David Lyons as Kevin Tierney
- Mimi Kirkland as Lexie Wheatley
- Noah Lomax as Josh Wheatley
- Irene Ziegler as Mrs. Feldman
- Robin Mullins as Maddie
- Red West as Roger
- Juan Carlos Piedrahita as Detective Ramirez
- Cullen Moss as Deputy Bass
- Mike Pniewski as Lieutenant Robinson
The film began principal photography on June 18, 2012 in Wilmington and Southport, North Carolina. Parts of it were filmed in Louisiana and the opening scene with Katie on the Coach America bus is on the Linn Cove Viaduct along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain in Linville, North Carolina.
Critical reaction for Safe Haven was largely negative. Peter Bradshaw, writing for The Guardian, called Safe Haven's setting "a sugary vision of small-town America that does not correspond with the real world at any point." Peter Travers summed up his Rolling Stone review with: "I hate Safe Haven. It's a terrible thing to do to your Valentine."
|2014||Young Artist Award||Best Supporting Young Actress in a Feature Film||Mimi Kirkland||Nominated|||
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- Safe Haven at the Internet Movie Database
- Safe Haven at the TCM Movie Database
- Safe Haven at AllMovie
- Safe Haven at Box Office Mojo
- Safe Haven at Rotten Tomatoes