Safe Haven

If it's Valentine's Day that must mean it's time for yet another adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel. This year's entry, Safe Haven, provides all the gooshy, fast food romance you'd expect but adds a dash of domestic violence just to shake things up. Technically movie stars, Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel play a pair of cottony soft leads who fall easily in love when Hough moves to a sleepy southern town. It's all kissing in the rain and picnics at the beach, except for the jump cuts to a drunken cop suspiciously investigating Hough's character for murder. The love story is breezy enough, solidly hitting cliched mark after mark. But the murder investigation, and the violent confrontation it inevitably leads to, doesn't belong at all. That goes double for a bonkers-ass paranormal twist delivered in the closing few frames. A Lifetime movie of the week disastrously projected onto the big screen. —Jacob Boon

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  • Nicholas Sparks

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