- Released Internationally on 14/02/13
- Released in Malta by KRS on 24/04/13
Preview (first published 01/04/13 in VIDA Magazine)
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, My Sister’s Keeper) has a solid reputation for writing moving human dramas, and Lasse Hallström (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Chocolat) has an equally solid reputation for directing moving human dramas. So here they are, together again (after Dear John a few years ago). Julianne Hough, who made the move from dancing to acting when she starred in the remake of Footloose, stars as a woman escaping an abusive husband, who finds solace in a small town, where she meets a widower with two children (Josh Duhamel, Life As We Know It). Based on past experience, I’d suggest you bring tissues.
3-word review: Safe is dull.
There are very few characters in this film, and they are all pretty two-dimensional and clichéd. I guess the overall effect works if you’re looking for an undemanding thriller/romance, but I felt that the thrills were few and the romance was quite tepid. Julianne Hough portrays the woman on the run, who decides to stop in a tiny fishing village in the middle of nowhere. Her decision may or may not have been affected by the handsome man who runs the local store, but if she has any doubts that they’ll end up an item, I’m pretty sure the audience won’t. The reason why she is on the run is the only real secret of the film, and once that is revealed there’s nothing much more to do but watch the inevitable unfold.
Maybe if you’ve had a long, emotionally draining day, or your favourite pet just died, you might get a bit teary-eyed during the blatantly manipulative scenes at the end, but I guess my day was going just fine. And this is someone who can unashamedly admit to having shed a few tears during My Sister’s Keeper. I’m not sure whether that was a better Nicholas Sparks novel, but they certainly made it into a better film than this.