Nicholas Sparks novels and their subsequent big screen adaptations are nothing if not completely reliable. There's no surprises when it comes to a Sparks movie: there's an attractive, non-threatening couple whose love must face some harrowing obstacles (often in the rain), there's a pretty solid chance someone will bite the dust before the end credits roll, and there's a scenic, coastal location where the characters will take a a pensive walk on the beach.
The dependable formula looks to be all but unbroken in the trailer for the latest in the Sparks catalogue, Safe Haven, which was released online today. Attractive, non-threatening leads playing a couple whose love must face some harrowing obstacles, often in the rain? Check. This time around its Julianne Hough as a woman trying to hide from her past and Josh Duhamelas the guy who literally and metaphorically saves her. (Plus, it's raining!)
A solid chance someone will bite the dust before the end credits roll? Remains to be seen, but there is a fire and it's directed by Lasse Hallström who helped kill off Richard Jenkins in Dear John. A scenic, coastal location? Check! Cobie Smulders is the kindly local who asks if she's "liking Southport" around the thirty second mark and Hough takes the necessary pensive walk on the beach. Exhibit A:
The Last Song:
Nights in Rodanthe:
Message in a Bottle:
There is, however, one major difference between this one and the other films. Instead of Sparks' preferred mode of transformation, the rowboat (see below), there is now a canoe. Exhibit B:
The Lucky One:
Watch the Safe Haven trailer below and see if you can spot all the Sparks staples.
Safe Haven arrives in theaters on February 8, 2013. In other words, your Valentine's Day plans, reluctant or otherwise.
[Photo credit: Relativity Media]