Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel set to star in the Nicholas Sparks adaptation Safe Haven

Julianne Hough

It’s rare that I would write a story about Julianne Hough and not take some shots at her overall lack of appeal, but she outsmarted me on this one.  She decided to star in movie that features an even more bland co-star and an even more disappointing director.  What happened to Lasse Hallstrom?  I loved THE CIDER HOUSE RULES and CHOCOLAT was well received, but after DEAR JOHN and SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN, the guy needs to rediscover his creative edge.  I’m not completely sure doing another Nicholas Sparks novel is the right answer, especially after reading the official synopsis:

SAFE HAVEN is an affirming and suspenseful story about a young woman’s struggle to find love again after she arrives in a small North Carolina town.  Her reluctance to join the tight-knit community raises questions about her past.  Slowly, she begins putting down roots and gains the courage to start a relationship with Alex, a widowed store owner with two young children.  But dark secrets intrude on her new life with such terror that she is forced to rediscover the meaning of sacrifice and rely on the power of love in this deeply moving romantic thriller.

This doesn’t sound like a movie set for the talents of anyone involved.  A small North Carolina town isn’t going to give Hallstrom the settings and scenery he needs to tell his story and the lead character sounds a little bit more complicated than what Hough is probably capable of.  Also, how are they going to work in a dance number?  And Duhamel was probably the worst part of NEW YEAR’S EVE, so he’s not going to be able to save this.  SAFE HAVEN is set to hit theaters on February 8th, 2013 with filming set to start in Southport, North Carolina next month.

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