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Family Movie Review: Safe Haven (PG-13)

SafeHaven ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 115 minutes

Age Appropriate for: 14+. This is your typical Nicholas Sparks film, so there’s some making out, implied sexual activity with no nudity, and some infrequent cursing. More problematic is an alcoholic character who becomes increasingly violent throughout the film, threatening people’s lives and being abusive toward his girlfriend. However, it’s not life-scarring material.

Nicholas Sparks does his usual beautiful-but-damaged-people find beautiful-not-damaged love thing again with ‘Safe Haven,’ his follow-up to last year’s ‘The Lucky One.’ But while that film benefitted most from the attractiveness charisma of Zac Efron, which helped abate the film’s other missteps, ‘Safe Haven’ is plagued by a series of bad decisions.

By Roxana Hadadi

When bestselling author-turned-filmmaking machine Nicholas Sparks spoke with Chesapeake Family in April 2012 for his latest book-turned-movie “The Lucky One,” he had high hopes for the then-upcoming “Safe Haven.” It had finished casting and would start filming in May 2012, and all signs pointed to it being another in Sparks’s long line of very specific romantic novels. Boy and girl meet, fall in love, discover something traumatic or sad about their pasts, overcome more trauma to be together—it’s all very formulaic, comfortable, and perfect for Valentine’s Day. But in messing with that expected series of events is where “Safe Haven” falls apart.

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