Sunday Lists: Nicholas Sparks Adaptations Best to Worst

Its Valentine’s Marathon season here so it makes sense to do a romantic themed list post. A few years ago I reviewed the Nicholas Sparks adaptation films and then proceeded in the next few years catching up as the newer films wer released and now I have watched all of them so it seems like a good idea to rank them from best to worst.

I know these films are pretty formulaic and get hates on a lot but somehow the romantic in me who used to read Nicholas Sparks novels has a rather higher tolerance than most for these films. With that said, here are my rankings from best to worst!

1. A Walk to Remember (review)

a walk to remember

A Walk to Remember is hands down the best Nicholas Sparks novel that I read and then the movie delivered with the believable roles by Mandy Moore and Shane West. Its sweet and cute and so very heartfelt and for all those reasons, this movie is great and surpasses what any of the other adaptations were able to achieve.

2. The Longest Ride (review)

The longest ride

Call this a bit of a bias. The Longest Ride gets a lot of points for having these two leads. Brit Robertson and Scott Eastwood are two incredible actors and with that said, I thought that their chemistry is fantastic here and the story with the rodeo and everything fits well together here. I was invested into their romance and it ticked all the boxes I liked to see in a romance.

3. The Best of Me (review)

the best of me

I’m going to be honest that this choice and the next is fairly neck to neck. The Best of Me scores a little higher very much thanks to how they decided to structure the story here. Plus Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden is really nice to watch here. The chemistry works with the parallel of the older and young couple here and it just works pretty well.

4. The Choice (review)

the choice

The Choice falls into the 4th spot. To be honest, I actually enjoy rewatching this one quite a bit. Some factors here is that it has nice ending in comparison to the different varying bittersweet endings in the other movies. There are a great many scenes that I love about this one that is a lot of fun to watch mostly because there are some funny moments here and mixed in with some nice romantic ones. The supporting characters and the side stories here also work well here. There are some frustrating moments but my main issue on why this falls short from the previous one because of the final section which felt forced to be longer. Perhaps I am missing the point but it just didn’t work too well for me.

5. The Notebook (review)

the notebook

For many people, The Notebook is a phenomenal and possibly the adaptation that works the best for Nicholas Sparks adaptations. However, its never been particularly outstanding to me. The only story I love the most is the elderly couple and the ending which is very memorable. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are very good. Its no doubt that The Notebook is well done and very romantic and for that it gets into the top 5.

6. Message in a Bottle (review)

message in a bottle

The first Nicholas Sparks adaptation, Message in a Bottle falls in the 7th spot. My deal with this one is that while it is a pretty good romantic story however also shows off the nature of how Sparks stories are generally structured. Its really a decent one and the main credit goes to Kevin Costner and Robin Wright but then theres always been something that holds me back from going back to watch this one.

7. Safe Haven (review)

As we start heading out of the Top 5, Safe Haven just misses because its chemistry works great and lots of elements work however, as great as Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel works here and theres more than enough cheesy romantic lines to go around, the secret works well enough as the danger element but the twist element here just feels so incredibly out of the blue that is too random for myself and works less and less every time I think about it.

8. Dear John (review)

And then we get to Dear John. Channing Tatum back when this was released was in this cookie cutter roles and for that, I made fun of it so much. While I get the story here and I like the chemistry between Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried. The book worked so much better than this adaptation and because of that, it was disappointing and plus, not a big fan of this ending.

9. The Lucky One (review)

I like Taylor Schilling okay from Orange is the New Black (less and less with every season) and Zac Efron is okay as well in my book. And because of that, I remember liking The Lucky One but remember absolutely nothing about this film except maybe some dog training backplot. For its forgettable story, its bagged a lower spot.

10. Nights in Rodanthe (review)

nights in rodanthe

And then we start hitting the last two. Nights of Rodanthe honestly is just not my cup of tea. I have no problem with Diane Lane or Richard Gere. With what they have, its charming to watch but this movie is just fairly boring. It is as simple as that.

11. The Last Song (review)

the last song

The Last Song is the worst of the Nicholas Sparks adaptations. It really has to do with the young cast here that I didn’t enjoy. I liked the father daughter story here more than the romance and the latter has a lot of focus.

Thats it for this best to worst list! How would your rankings be different from mine?

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Valentine’s Marathon: The Choice (2016)

Next up in the Valentine’s Marathon is the annual Nicholas Sparks movie adaptation visit to stay on track and up to date with this. What started off as something that I thought would be torturous actually wasn’t as bad. A ton of you are going to disagree with me. I know already. Every year I post one of these, most people hate these Nicholas Sparks movie adaptations and would just like them to stop. While I can see where everyone is coming from, I actually don’t mind them at all, except for The Last Song…I really don’t like that one. But can you believe, The Choice is the 10th Nicholas Sparks movie adaptation? But from what I’ve read, this is the last movie adaptation.

Let’s check it out!

The Choice (2016)

The Choice

Director: Ross Katz

Cast: Teresa Palmer, Benjamin Walker, Maggie Grace, Alexandra Daddario, Tom Wilkinson, Tom Welling

Travis and Gabby first meet as neighbors in a small coastal town and wind up in a relationship that is tested by life’s most defining events. – IMDB

Nicholas Sparks movies have a formula. Its also this formula that really drives non-fans away from it, in my opinion. There’s always lovers who meet under less than desirable circumstances who find a way to be together then some disapproving factor drives them apart and then they somehow find the strength to reunite. Some times, they are able to be together and sometimes, other things will keep them apart (ex. sickness, death, bad timing, etc). You get my drift, right? Whenever I review one of these movies, I think its important to push away that formula. Think about the factors they put together from the characters to their chemistry (a big one for romance) and the supporting roles and what it does, maybe even the setting. The formula won’t change, we all know that and if it does, like the first time I saw a character survive the ordeal without some bittersweet twist, I was actually pleasantly surprised. So we’re going to do this for The Choice, okay? It sounds stupid to brush the story aside but that isn’t exactly what I’m doing, just you know glazing over the familiarity and looking more at how it carries itself.

The Choice

The Choice is not my favorite Nicholas Sparks adaptation. In fact, I don’t think A Walk to Remember has ever been beaten in my guilty pleasure romance movies. However, The Choice does also give us two very cute characters. There are some supporting characters that could’ve done with a little more development but still had its purpose. The setting itself is beautiful and the chemistry was done quite well. The story could have been delivered a little better and probably the run time could’ve been shorter as well to make it more compact. The Choice isn’t anything great to the movie adaptations however, there is one thing that I liked a lot about it other than the beautiful setting making me want to seek it all out for myself but our two main characters. There are very familiar mechanics they use, like setting up the story in a way that we’re at a certain point and then recounting the events and then getting to the present and continuing on from there to the conclusion. I can’t say its particularly useful to do it like this but its not a bad way for it to unfold.

The Choice

The Choice’s primary strength is its couple, Gabby and Travis played by Teresa Palmer and Benjamin Walker respectively. Like I mentioned before, it didn’t really hit it off for me right away but in the interaction that Gabby and Travis has in their bickering, they start to grow a little (for me at least). Teresa Palmer’s character seemed to work out better for me but then there’s always a question of judgement and passion. Nicholas Sparks likes to embrace the somewhat “forbidden” love type of thing. Our characters need to have courage and they need to feel some security. In this case, the point of most of the story is Travis’s character not fighting for something he loves and always taking the easy route even if it means heartbreak and being lonely. Up till that point, the story still kind of worked because the message worked for me. However, the third act diving into a dramatic twist somewhat seems a little forced. It does also talk about guilt and holding on and fighting and believing but in many ways, the way it unfolds seems a little manipulative, I guess. I can forgive most of it but just saying that it would objectively be in that area to evoke some sort of sentiment and its where we are tested on how deeply we feel for this couple (which for me, wasn’t a whole lot) whereas, the idea of what is going on about churning up the thoughts of whether to let someone go is probably the bigger question here that really gets emotional. Probably because I’ve been in a relatable situation that it hit me a little harder than it probably would.

The Choice

The Choice however does have some other familiar faces in the supporting role. We have Maggie Grace as Steph, the sister of Travis who really is his guiding light of logic. She sees more about Gabby and her impact on Travis and how he actually feels, just like a close friend would be normally. We have an ex-girlfriend (or something) played by Alexandra Daddario who really doesn’t ever build up to much but to eventually tell Travis something important that encourages him. Tom Wilkinson plays as Travis’s father who in the second half probably understands more about what he is going through than others would. Most of these supporting roles are there for their one moment that really builds a connection or enlightens our character. These characters are also usually expected in these adaptations.

Overall, The Choice works okay for me. Its not my favorite but it is also far from the worst one out of the ten Nicholas Sparks adaptations. The charming characters of Gabby and Travis may get me to revisit it eventually. There are however many moments where it does fall flat, even if you look past the formulaic plot. The supporting characters are weak and could probably be fleshed out more. The story itself drags much longer than it needs. The chemistry between the characters are a little rushed in the first place so never quite meet the potential even if there are some good moments there. There are issues with this one but I’m pretty forgiving on these adaptations so I can see things that can redeem it. However, its not going to work for people who has never quite enjoyed any of them. If thats the case, you might probably not want to start here.

Valentine’s Marathon: The Longest Ride (2015)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We’re wrapping up Valentine’s Marathon with The Longest Ride, released last year for another Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation. Its been a while that I’ve been hopeful about a Nicholas Sparks movie but Britt Robertson is in this one.  I love her so much and she has so much potential.  She’s been in a ton of stuff that I love from movies to TV series.  I have yet to watch Tomorrowland but I’m pretty excited to watch Britt Robertson, especially when its opposite the very handsome Scott Eastwood.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

The Longest Ride (2015)

The Longest Ride

Director: George Tillman Jr.

Cast: Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood, Alan Alda, Jack Huston, Oona Chaplin, Melissa Benoist, Elea Oboron

The lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man, as he reflects back on a past love.-IMDB

Hey! Old and young couples again? Seems like Nicholas Sparks is following a pattern and keeping his formulaic way.  I kind of should have waited to see this movie before saying that The Best of Me wasn’t pretty good.  The Longest Ride is one of the best Nicholas Sparks movies to me.  Right from the get go, I loved the characters.  The main ones, the supporting, the relationships, even the young and old contrast and the lovey-dovey message it sends.  For once, its not the typical ending you’d expect and I really like that. Plus, the whole scenario of North Carolina and professional bull fighting, especially Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood.  Can I just say how handsome Scott Eastwood is and I was a little worried that he wouldn’t be a good actor but I’d say that he is pretty good. Before I start talking about the characters, I loved the whole country music soundtrack going on.

The Longest Ride

At this point, I guess you’ve all been determined that I’m just a total sappy romance person.  Even I’m going to admit it straight out and just own it. The Longest Ride is nothing innovative and its predictable and formulaic.  Like I said with all the Nicholas Sparks adaptations, I know they are.  I’m not even going to argue. I’m not sure its just accepting those parallels in the old and young couple anymore but there were some things I wasn’t quite on board with for this one.  If anything, I felt much more connected to Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood’s Sophia and Luke’s relationship more than the older couple, told by the old man Ira (played by Alan Alda) about his love with his wife when he was young and the sacrifices they had to make that was worth it to them. But, Ira and Sophia’s relationship of reading the letters and getting to really connect and teach her about love just like Luke’s relationship with his mom was one that I thought was a good addition to the story.

The Longest Ride

The Longest Ride feels very different from the last few adaptations that has been released.  Its more natural love.  Its not manipulative at all in comparison.  The message is clear and the twist is finally one that enforces that its not trying to manipulate its audience.  Romantic dramas work because of how their characters carry their roles and everyone here does pretty great.  Britt Robertson was fantastic as she always was.  Young love and awkward, not knowing how to proceed but being deeply in love, believing they could fight through the obstacles, feeling torn and heartbroken: she portrays all that.  I think I connected with her character right away. Then comes Scott Eastwood who just kicks all the other handsome suitors that Nicholas Sparks has ever brought to life and pulls on a great performance as a professional bull fighter and not really being about to let go when he should, and learning what is important to him.  Sure, its sappy that love is the center of your life and its the rest of the your life and all that stuff but when I fall in love, I feel that way.  So, I can relate and I genuinely felt their heartbreak when they hit that unavoidable movie trope bump in the road.

The Longest Ride

Overall, The Longest Ride is possibly my second favorite Nicholas Sparks movie adaptation.  Nothing can quite beat A Walk to Remember still but it comes pretty close.  I was getting all teary and heartbroken and happy when these emotions were asked for.  They came naturally right from the beginning.  Its something that actually doesn’t happen too frequently early in these adaptations.  Most of them are acceptable and enjoyable but this one exceeded my expectations and thats counting the fact that it includes one of my favorite young actresses right now, Britt Robertson and just loving the charm that Scott Eastwood brought, along with having effective supporting roles and relationships that helped the story along without making it manipulative. I enjoyed it quite a bit.  Its a great way to end this very short Valentine’s Marathon!

Have you seen The Longest Ride? Do you like Britt Robertson and/or Scott Eastwood?

Valentine’s Marathon: The Best of Me (2014)

A year or two ago, I went on a mission to watch all the available Nicholas Sparks movie adaptations.  I wanted it to be a torture fest.  What it turned out to be wasn’t half as bad as I’d expect.  Maybe I grew numb or accustomed to it.  Some of them weren’t so good but I managed to pull something from a good few of them.  Its really not all that surprising, considering that I’m a romantic. My best friends know it, my husband knows it and it makes me highly tolerant of super sappy movies that people criticize.  I acknowledge movie tropes and cliches but I don’t quite mind so much when its in a romance. That is just me. Nicholas Sparks is formulaic, I also acknowledge that.  We’re finally at the next one continuing in this year’s (really sad) Valentine’s marathon (that I didn’t even bother to peg in the title of the few posts).  We’re at The Best of Me.  I really don’t even know what to expect for this one.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

The Best of Me (2014)

the best of me

Director: Michael Hoffman

Cast: James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracey, Liana Liberato, Gerald McRaney, Sean Bridgers, Sebastian Arcelus

A pair of former high school sweethearts reunite after many years when they return to visit their small hometown. – IMDB

When I started up The Best of Me, it gave me a prompt to choose between the theatrical version and the “Tears of Joy” edition with alternate ending.  I couldn’t help but laugh a little at it.  I ended up watching the theatrical release and then going back to check out the alternate ending.  I mean, its pretty obvious how it was going to go for both the endings.  I’m going to be reviewing the theatrical release below but let me say that I’m a little disappointed by having the two endings.  Nicholas Sparks adaptations were always formulaic, cheesy, sappy, cliche and anything you can peg onto it but you know what it has for itself.  It owns up all that and I respect it for that.  But, when you give me two endings, that is just trying to be a crowd pleaser when you know, people who don’t like these movies, won’t like it anyways, not just because its a happy or sad ending. Now that I have this rant off my chest, let’s move on!

the best of me

When we look at Nicholas Sparks, you can’t help but wonder if he is running out of ideas.  The Best of Me is kind of like The Notebook just a lot more natural.  I’m on the record to not be the biggest fan of The Notebook. I feel like The Notebook isn’t really that natural of a romance.  Its hard not to compare because The Best of Me takes the same route.  We pan between the teen and the mature version that had to let go because of whatever reason and then meet again and heal and they are still actually in love with each other but circumstances provide hurdles for them to be together now. Either way, what I’m saying is that (nothing against Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) but The Best of Me is a smooth romance.  It could be my bias of loving guys like Luke Bracey’s character Dawson, the quiet and mysterious type who just opens up to be the most genuine sort of guy but frustrating because he also has his troubles and makes the stupid decisions of letting go.  Okay, its not that stupid.  On terms of which being more emotionally-manipulative, I actually think The Notebook is since every single one of these gets a comment about how manipulative it is.

the best of me

I really need to stop comparing the two.  The Best of Me has a really amazing cast.  I love all of them a lot, especially James Marsden.  That man makes any movie better and he’s just so great.  Him and Michelle Monaghan as Amanda had a crazy chemistry.  Those longing gazes and the look.  It works so well together. As much as I like the current rekindling of their romance, I think I actually liked the younger couple more. Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato playing young Dawson and Amanda respectively have this out of the world chemistry.  It took me about two seconds to fall in love with young Dawson and they were just so sweet and cute and funny.  You know, the typical teenage romance before things go awry and out of proportion and all dramatic-like.  There are some pretty groundbreaking romance that just sweeps you away with its originality like In Your Eyes (review HERE) but most of us don’t live in a world where sci-fi rules our life so this is the simple person’s romance and as much as we all desire something different from romance and sure its sappy and all that but deep down, don’t you want to be with that guy who just really loves you.  Its true though, when you find that right person, you do give them the best of you and that is what this is about.  Dawson and Amanda gave each other the best of themselves in their first love when everything was about being happy and all that lovely fluttering butterflies bit before we realize what being hurt from heartbreak feels like and just how long it takes to heal from it. And its not even just the romance.  The part I liked a lot was the supporting actor playing Tuck, an older man that takes in Dawson because he knew that he needed a home and someone to lead him in the right path and a chance of having a future.

the best of me

 I’m going to be honest here and say that when I watch Nicholas Sparks movies, its not about the story anymore.  Its not even about the romantic-sappy dialogue.  I sometimes even laugh at it a little.  I watch it for the cast and their chemistry.  No storyline beats A Walk to Remember (to me) and none has (so far) chemistry and striking a perfect balance between the two. The Best of Me actually doesn’t rank too low in the adaptations.  I’d say my feelings for it are slightly above Safe Haven and The Lucky One, which is kind of pretty high on my list.  I actually had moments of getting misty in this one because I grew to love the characters so much and its not even just Amanda and Dawson but even the supporting characters.

Overall, The Best of Me is a decent romance.  You just need to know why you are going to see this and have the expectations what these movies embody.  Nicholas Sparks stories iare formulaic as heck and its obvious.  There’s even a little inconsistency between Amanda if that was a criticism there with her accent between being young and older self but you know what, this movie had chemistry that just exploded out of the characters.  It gets a little melodramatic and some dialogue is sappy and cheesy but if you already know what to expect (like I did), this is a decent one.  The Best of Me is not Sparks best adaptation but its also far from the worst.  It created some wonderful characters and the cast was great with the script they had. Plus, it wasn’t just about romance,  But then, I guess you have to be a little like me: a romantic and going into this with low expectations and ready to accept anything that happens. Point is, you know if you’re a person that likes this, if you don’t like Sparks, don’t bother with this one but if you do and tolerate them, then this one is pretty decent.

Have you seen The Best of Me? What do you think of James Marsden (and the rest of the cast)?

This Valentine’s Marathon hasn’t been quite plentiful but we’re wrapping up this weekend with the next Nicholas Sparks movie, The Longest Ride!
I won’t be doing The Choice until I get access to it eventually (but I’m not looking forward to it).
I’ll see if I can do something special on February 14th.  I’m still thinking about it! 🙂

Happy Friday, my lovelies!

My Weekly Adventures: Crazy Overtime & Announcement!

Wow! I’m finally sitting down and writing an actual post at my computer at home.  You know what? I haven’t done that in quite a while.

Work has been killing me.  Just to give you an idea.  My huge work deadline is tomorrow and it has been a ridiculous week with extended work days and I went in this weekend. I actually just got back. Regardless, that doesn’t matter.  I think things will work out 😉

With all that said, it might be the event of the last two weeks so with a serious case of winter blues that was the week before that, I don’t really have a lot of stuff backlogged which means next week looks incredibly empty.  Haha! I guess stressed out days reminds me that I really love blogging and writing and just reading everything.

With that said, we’re keeping this Weekly Adventures short!

First, a song because the title says it all!

After that, a song that made me so happy because its so adorable and awesome all at the same time!

Finally! In the middle of next week, we’re going to kick off the Valentine’s marathon!

the best of me The longest ride

I have some pretty awesome movies lined up! First of all, you’ll be seeing me move along with the last two Nicholas Spark’s movie, The Best of Me and The Longest Ride. A year or two ago, I embarked on a “torture” fest (which turned out better than I expected) to watch all the Nicholas Sparks.  Let’s face it, the adaptations won’t ending any time soon so it will always be a work in progress. And before you ask: No, I’m not going to see The Choice in theatres.  I’m totally not feeling it for the trailer so maybe I’ll just skip that one completely.  Or wait till it lands on Netflix. Netflix A-Z will also be romance/rom-com heavier.

However, it won’t be just movies so don’t worry about it! I’m deciding on what to do as Valentine baking projects and I still have Pinocchio themed baking to do.  And of course, there’s also some unboxing to go up.  This time, its not my scheduling problem.  I just haven’t received it yet.

That’s really it for this time! Short and sweet!  Its not much of an adventure but you know, real life just takes over sometimes 😉
I’m off to go prepare for next week and maybe take a nap to recuperate or play some games to relax!

P.S. one more song as bonus because I’m so happy that The 100 Season 3 started and Netflix has it updated weekly! Episode 1 was so awesome!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! 🙂

Genre Grandeur – A Walk to Remember (2002) – Tranquil Dreams

Check out my review over at Rob’s Genre Grandeur this month where I got the pleasure of choosing the genre. My choice was Teen/High School Romances.
There has been a ton of really good reviews for awesome choices already up that I had considered before choosing this one (and one later on). My choice here is for A Walk to Remember. I have reviewed it before here but it is a great teen romance featuring once of the best chemistry in an on-screen couple that always gets my emotions churning and tears flowing by the end of the movie.

high-school-romanceFor this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – High School/Teen Romance Movies, here’s a review of A Walk to Remember (2002) by Kim of Tranquil Dreams

Thanks again to Kim of Tranquil Dreams for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Reut of Sweet Archives.  We will be reviewing our favorite dark comedies. Please get me your submissions by the 25th of July by sending them to darkcom@movierob.net  Try to think out of the box! Great choice Reut!

Let’s see what Darren thought of this movie:

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A Walk to Remember (2002)

a walk to remember poster

Director: Adam Shankman

Cast: Shane West, Mandy Moore, Peter Coyote, Daryl Hannah, Al Thompson, Lauren German

Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore) and Landon Carter (Shane West) could not be more different. Jamie is the Reverend’s daughter and she is her own person not caring about about her appearance or how others see her…

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Valentine’s Marathon: Safe Haven (2013)

Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends! I hope that you’ve found some plans to share with your loved ones whether it be spouses, partners, boyfriend/girlfriend or even best friends.  Its really about celebrating love, right? Hey, I have a date with my oven and baking supplies and my TV and stack of rom-coms.  Oh, wait, you meant a living thing? My little cat is my date tonight 🙂

From the beginning of February till now, I’ve spent two weeks watching a few others but mostly focused on the Nicholas Sparks marathon.  We’ve finally reached the last one and his most recent adaptation from his novel, Safe Haven.  I read one review back then that revealed the twist so I already know that going in.  Either way, I didn’t even remember much of the plot and I never read the book.  Honestly, I was near finishing the last season of Gossip Girl and I almost didn’t even watch this, but I did because I like to wrap things up nicely 🙂 Lets check it out, shall we?

safe haven posterDirector: Lasse Hallstrom

Cast: Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough, Cobie Smulders, David Lyons, Noah Lomax, Mimi Kirkland

Katie (Julianne Hough) runs away from her home in panic, jumps on a bus evading the police and ends up in South Port.  There she meets the widowed father, Alex (Josh Duhamel) who runs a gas station/corner store.  She watches as he tries his best to keep his family moving forward while trying to move on from losing his precious wife to cancer. After Katie settles in at the local restaurant and slowly adapts to this new secluded and slower lifestyle, she also starts getting closer to Alex and his family.  At the same time, she builds a relationship with another nearby neighbor Jo (Cobie Smulders) who helps her sort out her feelings.  But when her past starts chasing after her, she is threatened to leave South Port and the people that she has learned to love and appreciate and she also may lose the only safe place that she has finally found.

safe haven katie alex

I went into this marathon somewhat dreading it and honestly, other than a few road bumps in the middle, I’m glad that I found and bought Safe Haven. I mean, I knew the twist and maybe you know it, heard of it or just don’t care or you’d like to find out so I kept that hidden.  Its somewhat silly in a way but then would it be such a bad idea if that actually happened? I don’t think so.  I’d like to think that I could do that also if it ever happened.  Safe Haven may be pretty much hated by a lot of people and if its anything I’ve learned from this marathon, a lot of people are just not fans.  It suffers from being formulaic and attempts to manipulate our emotions but I mean, isn’t that what romance movies usually do? Anyways, I’ve accepted it.  As long as its within reasonable tolerable levels for me, I can deal with it. With that said, Safe Haven really does give a solid love story.  Maybe one of the few where I bought a lot of it.  Sure, there’s things that don’t make sense here and there but its a romance, ok? Love doesn’t have to make sense.

safe haven katie alex kiss

We are grow from pain and we move forward and we have to have the courage the better and the good that happens to us. Sure, it doesn’t evolve at the pace of Nicholas Sparks novels but sometimes, maybe it does. I’m not a love expert.  Either way, point being these two characters here Alex and Katie are played by Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough respectively.  I don’t know much of what they did and they’ve never impressed me much, so I didn’t really care much but I think I just fell a little more in love with Josh Duhamel after this movie.  Plus, I take back all the chemistry comments about the previous movies in the Sparks marathon (except A Walk to Remember) because these two are awesome.  I think its because of the chemistry and more slowly developed relationship due to the kids involvement, it turns into some sweet.  Its two people trying to move forward slowly from their pain and trust and love each other. I guess it resounds to me because feeling safe is really an issue for me and when I found it, its quite inexplicable and thats how I felt about that here.

safe haven husband

What I really liked about this is that one also is that its not just a love story and then a little climax with whatever was going on, a death or a loss or whatnot, this time there’s a physical shift to the cop chasing down Katie and how he inches closer and flashbacks of why she had to leave.  It reveals who she truly is, whether she’s good or bad. It adds a bit more of a complex situation and because the cop (played by David Lyons and shown up there)  turns out to be more and he’s expands on the set of problems already, it adds a bit of intensity.  Its a nice up in pace after watching the previous ones.  The feeling is a tad different as well and honestly, as a movie, its more well-rounded than I’d have imagined.

safe haven jo and katie

Overall, I enjoyed this one.  Julianne Hough does good and Josh Duhamel is charming as hell.  I just actually realized it.  They have really good chemistry which makes a good part of a romance.  The supporting characters add positively to the script.  The twist might turn some off but I felt like it was a nice idea.  The movie itself gave me a feeling of freedom and the comfort of finding safety and feeling secure.  All this had some pretty lighthearted music when they were in South Port.  Honestly, it had a feel good factor and hints of intensity and changed the pace from an expected Nicholas Sparks adaptation.  I was happy with it overall.

I’m sure there’s some epic Oscar nominated or winner romance that will beat this and you know before you walk into this one, its not going to be one of those so you just need to go in with an open heart and enjoy what it offers if you’re into romance of course.  I’m saying right now, Nicholas Sparks is really meant for those full-on romantic at heart (which I am because I like corny and mushy romance-y things).  If you know you’re more the realistic lover, well, this is not your thing.

What did you think of Safe Haven? What are your thoughts on Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough? Are there movies of theirs that you like? 

I’m a bit behind schedule with today’s posts but I promise another post this evening.  I do want to get a special post out but I’m having some technical difficulties and can only deal with it after work so I’m looking for an alternative right now 🙂