San Antonio.- “Safe Haven” and “Roman Holiday”: Something old and something new to consider for Valentine’s Day …
Covo & Ayotte on “Safe Haven”:
“Safe Haven,” the latest Nicholas Sparks’ novel adapted to Hollywood’s silver screen, has a sense of suspense, terrific cinematography and romance, of course … and it opens nationwide on Valentine’s Day. In case you missed it, Sparks is a popular powerhouse novelist, producer and screenwriter who specializes in the romance genre with bestsellers like “The Notebook,” “Dear John” and “A Walk to Remember.”
Josh Duhamel (“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”) and Julianne Hough (“Rock of Ages”) star in Sparks’ newest tale of two people who fall in love almost tentatively, without any idea of the other’s past … which is surprising given how s-l-o-w-l-y the romance evolves … and all the while leaving surprises looming on the horizon that could easily mar their happiness.
For the most part, “Safe Haven” follows the Sparks blueprint but with a bit of crazy in this mix. Hough’s character, Katie, is a young pretty girl with a dark past. She leaves Boston on a bus and gets off in the first small-town that she can blend in with to forget her old life. Katie’s pretty blonde hair and blue eyes immediately catches the attention of Alex (Duhamel), a handsome widower and owner of the only general store in town.
Their relationship has a rocky start, but eventually, thanks to Katie’s new friend’s intervention, as well as the pair’s obvious attraction to each other, the situation gets turned around. Katie falls for Alex’s adorable daughter Lexie and reserved son Josh and life starts to look up. However, the past still threatens and Katie soon realizes she may have to keep running. The story is mostly straight forward but there is a twist you won’t see coming at the end.
Director Lasse Hallström deserves credit for making much of this movie watchable and the characters likable – for the most part, the setting of the movie is stunning and often serene. It will certainly make you dream about leaving your life and getting completely away on the lush southern waterfront in a picturesque small town. Still, the picture perfect setting doesn’t make up for the parts where the film falls short. In spite of the touch of suspense, the film still follows a predictable formula.
If your better half is a fan of Sparks, “Safe Haven” is the perfect Valentine’s Day date movie -- even those who aren’t fans will shed a tear or two.
Covo & Ayotte on “Roman Holiday”:
Main Plaza Conservancy (MPC) kicks off the free movie night tradition at the "Heart of the City" on Valentine’s Day weekend with FREE music and a gorgeous classic, William Wyler’s 1953 “Roman Holiday,” starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, at dusk on Friday, Feb.15 at Main Plaza.
If you couldn’t celebrate on Thursday this might be the perfect and quite romantic solution – but even if you did, you can keep it going by seeing this film on Friday night.
“Roman Holiday,” the movie that set the bar for romantic comedy, is also the film where stunning Audrey Hepburn came into her own and was recognized as a star. Funny, romantic and utterly charming – if you have never seen this film – this is your chance. Don’t miss it. Even 60 years later this movie holds up as a model of what films can be. You will see Rome and you will experience romance and almost ethereal entertainment. Even in black and white, you will feel like you definitely got away from it all for a few minutes.
This is a free date night with a spectacular film and even live music to get the party started. MPC suggests you bring your chairs, blankets, besitos and munchies, but asks that you please leave the alcohol home. Ice cold beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages will be sold on-site. And before the movie begins, local artist Jeff Wood will perform live at 5 p.m.
Movie will be located on Main Plaza’s East Promenade 115 N. Main Avenue The event is free and open to the public – including free weekend parking for Main Plaza visitors at one of two Frost Bank street-level parking lots Friday nights 6 p.m. to midnight and Saturdays & Sundays 8 a.m. to midnight. For more information call 210-225-9800, visit www.mainplaza.org