Nicholas Sparks created memorable characters in 'The Notebook' and by a stroke of luck they were inhabited by two gifted actors in Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.
But in Spark's 'Safe Haven,' the acting is marginal and the storyline seems a blatant recycle of its far superior predecessor. The typical rom-com recipe of a little bickering, a little circling and voila' love fails here on so many levels that movie goers might cut their losses to slip into a 'Warm Bodies' screening across the hall. There they will find something well-written, unique, perfectly directed, paced and well-acted.
Yes. The zombie movie is the sleeper hit of the moment.
And while it may be argued it has a strong vein of Romeo and Juliet protruding, it is so gussied up in witty dialogue, amazing photography that it need only imply any violence because the storyline is that strong.
On the other hand, Teresa Palmer as Julie in 'Warm Bodies' plays tough chick, soft chick, conflicted, scared, bored and charming without missing a beat. She IS the next big thing. That Nicholas Hoult as zombie R has nary a page of dialogue but gets whole audiences to cheer his character -- well, enough said.
Josh Duhamel as Alex is the widower in 'Safe Haven.' He is not an actor. But then again, this isn't exactly a role. (His 40-something to Hough's 24 should be regarded as non-chalant in reverse). 'Safe Haven' is a damsel in distress movie lacking a well-written or executed plot.
To see both movies in proximity to one another is to appreciate the amazing cinematography of Javier Aguirresarobe of 'Warm Bodies.'
Every angle, shot and close up is so expertly lit, framed and then entangled with meaningful music and plot that the comparison may leave you screaming out of one movie and straight into zombie land where the more believable romance is alive and kicking.
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