Behind funerals and puppies saving kittens from fires, Nicholas Sparks is the leading culprit in making people cry. His novels-turned-movies like A Walk to Remember and The Notebook have cemented their places in the tearjerker hall of fame, and he’s got another on the way: Safe Haven, which is enlisting starlet Julianne Hough to play its lead, as reported by The Wrap. So the question is: to what degree will Safe Haven churn out the waterworks?
All of Hough’s work so far has been musically-oriented. Her feature film resume includes Burlesque, her breakout picture Footloose, and the upcoming Rock of Ages. As such, the actress’ success has been invested in her singing and dancing — she’s still a newcomer to dramatic performance. Therein lies a possible problem for Safe Haven. While A Walk to Remember employed singer/acting newbie Mandy Moore to the delight of audiences, the more recent The Lucky One didn’t deliver as strongly, thanks in part to a shaky performance by Zac Efron, who is also still building up his onscreen sea-legs. At this point, the world doesn’t know exactly what Hough has in store — but her performances so far are encouraging.
The director of Safe Haven, Lasse Hallström, knows his way around a weeper. Hallström has jam-packed the sentiment into What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Cider House Rules, My Life as a Dog, and Sparks’ own 2010 adaptation Dear John. The man can fire up a tear duct like nobody’s business.
So all that’s left to consider is the story. Safe Haven centers around a young woman — with a secret! — who moves to a small North Carolina town and forms an unexpected bond with a widower. No mention yet of leukemia, Alzheimer’s, people going to war, or any nights spent in Rodanthe… this might be one of Sparks’ lighter works.
Josh Duhamel is also on board to star in Safe Haven.
[Photo Credit: David Edwards/Daily Celeb]