CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- "Safe Haven" is the latest film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. It's a heart-wrenching romantic drama that will touch your heart and keep hold of it for days.
When a mysterious, young woman desperately needs to get out of town, she runs from the Boston police, ending up in Southport, N.C. Once in the small town, she meets a general store owner named Alex (Josh Duhamel, Fergie's husband), a father and widower whose wife died of cancer.
A tiny spark is lit between the two, and it turns to flame as the film goes on. The young woman, known as Katie (Julianne Hough, "Footloose"), decides to settle down in a house hidden away in the woods of the town.
Katie comes home one day to find a woman looking in her windows. The woman introduces herself as Katie's neighbor, Jo (Cobie Smulders, "How I Met Your Mother"). Their friendship flourishes throughout the film.
Alex notices that Katie does quite a bit of walking, so he builds her a bike, leaving it outside her house. She gives it back, uncomfortable with the gesture.
Days later, she meets Alex's kids, Lexie and Josh. Many things keep happening that bring Katie and Alex together again and again.
Once Katie is there when Josh falls out of a boat. She comforts Lexie while Alex rescues him. After Alex thanks her, Lexie reminds her to take her bike home. Katie simply can't refuse.
While working at a restaurant called Ivan's, Katie learns about Alex's wife. She can't believe what happened and feels sorry for the family, to say the least.
Katie goes to the beach with Alex and his family, and then spends a day canoeing with him. But as their relationship blossoms, Katie's past begins to surface. Alex discovers a poster that Katie (or Erin, as the poster says) is wanted for attempted murder.
Then, Tierney, the detective from Boston who is chasing her (David Lyons, NBC's "Revolution") finds her in Southport. His arrival causes tragedy. Amidst the tragedy, though, some of the characters are still able to find happiness.
"Safe Haven" ends with a shocker that just might be enough to make you cry. It's a beautiful story with many twists and turns, and it will keep you wondering what's going to happen next.
The cast contributes to the film's quality. Their acting was wonderful; they portray the characters in a way that helps reel viewers in and keep them interested in the plot.Like Sparks' many other movies, "Safe Haven" does have some qualities that seem a little cliché, but in the end, it's all worth it. I highly recommend "Safe Haven."