Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014 01:20 am est

‘Safe Haven’ offers romance, chemistry all can enjoy

Posted on February 14, 2013 | by Shawn Flanagan

via flickr.com

 

There is perhaps no better day to release the latest film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel than Valentine’s Day. The newest Sparks-inspired film is “Safe Haven,” directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lasse Hallström, whose previous work includes family dramas and light comedies such as “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” For “Safe Haven,” Hallström stepped out of his comfort zone and broke the traditional formula of previous Sparks adaptations.

“Safe Haven” follows a young woman (Julianne Hough) who tries to escape her mysterious past by absconding to a small town in North Carolina. Her bond with a widower (Josh Duhamel) forces her to confront a secret as a detective (David Lyons), hell-bent on finding her, closes in.

“I am really drawn to stories that tell about people. Real people and relations,” Hallström said. “I’m interested in stories driven by character as opposed to stories driven by plot.”

This is the director’s second partnership with Sparks; he also directed “Dear John,” which starred Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum. According to Hallström, “Safe Haven” gave him the opportunity to expand his filmmaking horizons more than many of the films he has previously directed because he was able to experiment with intensity.

“I guess the new element was the thriller element,” he said.

However, the biggest difference between this film and Hallström’s others is the use of improvisation. To capture a realistic effect in each scene, he did not allow the actors to use the script in many shots.

“This is more improvisational than any other film I’ve made, really,” he said. “[The actors] bring their own personality to these parts because I encouraged a lot of improvisation. And I think that gives the film a freshness that it probably wouldn’t have had if they were stuck to the written page. I wanted it to feel like a documentary on two people falling in love.”

Thanks to Hallström’s directing, the characters’ interactions with each other feel natural rather than overrehearsed. Cinematographer Terry Stacey complements Hallström’s directing with frames featuring stunning images, vivid colors and breathtaking landscapes.

“[The cinematography] doesn’t feel stylized or false,” Hallström said of Stacey. “It’s just very pleasant to the eye. It’s not beautified or sentimentalized, it’s just beautifully painted.”

Over the years, Sparks’ films have developed a reputation for being chick flicks, but the director insists “Safe Haven” is a film for everyone.

“I think guys would enjoy the film, too. I don’t think that it is a chick flick,” Hallström said. “Chick flick implies that there is something sentimental about the story that only chicks can appreciate. But I don’t think there is anything that would scare guys off. I think they could enjoy this one as a good movie, so I want you guys to go see it.”

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Feb. 14 print edition. Shawn Flanagan is a contributing writer. Email him at film@nyunews.com.

Comments

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
Tatiana Baez

Assistant Managing Editor | A CAS junior, Tatiana is studying journalism, environmental science and politics. She’s a bomb editor, as well as the staff’s main source of entertainment because she sings along to every song after 12 a.m. She also writes about culture, science, technology and sex, and her work has been featured in VICE, Motherboard, Elite Daily, amNewYork and others. She enjoys eating Thai food, reading fiction and binge-watching Netflix.

And in case you were wondering how great she really is — “I just can’t get enough of Tatiana” is a direct quote from her EIC at WSN only moments ago.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next