‘Haven,’ another Sparks adaptation, plays it too safe

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Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013 12:00 am

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.” And as they court, the Omaha native Sparks serves up more of the homey homilies he’s picked up, studying the South.

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