A DATE on the lake in a canoe, check. Getting caught in the rain together, tick. A fire, present and accounted for.
Throw in two incredibly attractive leads and a small town back drop and the latest romantic drama from the weepy stalwart, Nicholas Sparks has all the ingredients one has come to expect from the master of the emotional love story.
This man is a tear inducing machine.
This time around the story revolves around a young woman, Katie, with a mysterious past who finds herself in Southport, North Carolina.
Running from her past and looking to start fresh she has no interest in romantic entanglements of any kind until the friendly, local store owner and widower nestles in on her heart.
It helps he happens to be incredibly handsome with an adorable young daughter who shines as a legitimate star of the film.
Both leads give spirited performances and have palpable chemistry; their first kiss positively sizzles with passion.
Sparks deals clichés as if they are movie currency but in Safe Haven while he does dish out a few, it is a departure from his recent book to film adaptations.
The dash of mystery and gradual glimpses into Katie's past keeps the film from following the typical predictable Sparks type script.
In saying that, there is still a large serving of predictability and implausible moments in the plot.
But Sparks is still the master of an enjoyable if not slight cheesy chick flick, but sometimes it pays off to play it safe.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it right?
- Stars: Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, Cobie Smulders
- Director: Lasse Hallstrom
- Rated: M
- Verdict: Three stars