‘Safe Haven’: How Charmed Are Critics By The New Nicholas Sparks Romance?

Why Hough Chose 'Haven'
The actress was inspired by her own abuse experiences.
It’s that time of year again, movie buffs! Yep, that’s right. Another Valentine’s Day, another overtly romantic movie with a poster of the two beautiful lead actors in an embrace.

This year’s selection is an adaptation of a novel from the man who seems to have nothing but romantic bones in his body, Nicholas Sparks. Seriously, Sparks is like the romantic gift that keeps on giving.

The latest novel-turned-sappy-movie is Safe Haven, starring Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough. The pair of leads easily fit into the roster of Sparks-leads alumni including Amanda Seyfried, Mandy MooreChanning Tatum, Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling and Zac Efron, to name a few, but does the newest edition to the Nicholas Sparks movie collection have as much (pun intended) heart as the movies that came before it?

Critics weighed in, and according to them, the film is generally lackluster. But, in the end, it all depends on what the audience thinks. Meaning, don’t let the critics discourage you too much! Having said that, here’s a look at exactly what they had to say about the film:

Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter

“A thriller element that has not been present in earlier Sparks movies is designed to draw reluctant male viewers to see the picture, but they won’t respond with the same enthusiasm as his core audience of woozy romantics…”

Mary Pols, TIME

“What’s the point then, if she’s not a girl we’re desperately worried about? This could be a problem with Hough’s performance—she’s all sunshine but no heat—but in general, Sparks seems to taking it easier on his audiences these days. He’s making his escapism more escapist…”

Leah Rozen, Yahoo Movies

“There’s nada in “Safe Haven” that will surprise anyone who has ever watched a few Lifetime movies, which it strongly resembles, both in the tedious level of its acting and its dialogue…”

Betsey Sharkey, LA Times

“Starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel, this sloppy sentimental journey is long on beauty shots, short on depth and seriously intent on tugging your heartstrings. Indeed, it demands you reach for those tissues…”

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“…Hough, an inexhaustibly perky actress, manages to keep smiling. Worse then that, Katie hides out in an impossibly picturesque fishing village in North Carolina, where she right away meets Alex (Josh Duhamel), a widower with two kids and a gym-toned body no one else in town possesses…”

Harsh, huh? Again, just take the reviews with a grain of salt. That said, did you see the latest romantic mush-fest that is Safe Haven? If so, do you agree with the critics? We at Celebuzz want to know (so we can decide whether or not to see it, too).

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