The movies based on the novels of Nicholas Sparks always emphasize the simple pleasures. A quiet locale, a leisurely stroll down the beach, a romance that doesn't begin in a bar and end in bed that same night.
Those simple pleasures are in the forefront of "Safe Haven," another sweetly treacly tale from the "beach book" author who gave us "The Notebook," "Dear John" and "The Last Song." There's another beach town - sleepy, bucolic Southport, N.C. - another pair of lovers, each with his (Josh Duhamel) or her (Julianne Hough) "big secrets."
The girl, Katie, is on the run from Boston and the handsome widowed shopkeeper, Alex, takes an interest and tries to make her fresh start work out.
There's an overly-nosy/overly friendly neighbor (Cobie Smulders) and a twinkly old uncle (Red West) to prod Alex into approaching the pretty new waitress in town.
It's a movie for people who nod their heads at the revelation that "Life is full of second chances." There's tragedy and heartbreak, in the past and possibly in the future, and a story that involves no heavy lifting - few surprises, and so "safe" that there's nothing that anybody would consider "edgy."