Directors make a difference. This truism is made all the more obvious by the botched exercise in filmmaking that is Safe Haven.
The director is Lasse Hallström, a Swedish director who has spent most of the past 20 years in the United States, directing films that range from insightful and entertaining (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?) to sentimental but touching (The Cider House Rules) to gawdy and superficial (Casanova). The past few years have offered a truly breathtaking display of disaster after disaster, with last year’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen being mediocre at best.
Hallström now considers himself a director worthy of doing romance, but while it is easy to take aim at the writer of the source material, Nicholas Sparks – himself no stranger to accusations of producing the one syrupy romance after the other, all more or less comprising the same elements – a comparison with an adaptation by a different director would be very appropriate here. It has to be added this is Hallström’s second stab at adapting a Sparks novel, but it is a step down even from his 2010 film, Dear John.
Read the full review at The Prague Post.
(Still of Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough in Safe Haven. Photo by James Bridges – © 2012 Relativity Media via imdb.com.)