Monday, May 13, 2013

Safe Haven: A Manly Movie Review

Every now and then, we men need to untuck our fancy dress shirts and be men. Sometimes, we need to loose the societal neckties that bind our masculine throats, smash the beer can of conformity against our stoic foreheads, and pummel the frozen side of beef of a belabored metaphor into oblivion with our Sylvester Stallone fists. Sometimes...we need a Manly Movie. Yes, put on your finest white cotton tank top and your least-soiled boxers, boys, because I'm going to review a movie so masculine it makes each theater it's shown in smell of weight room and wage inequality

Allow me to present my credentials. Please notice that I own Braveheart. Twice.
I speak, of course, of Safe Haven.

A Nicholas Sparks joint.
I sense there may be some confusion on this point--we males being naturally intuitive (also, good at spacial reasoning). Don't get me wrong, this may seem like it's not a guy movie per se. Allow my words to punch the doubt straight out of your cerebellum.

Now, if your Safe Haven experience was anything like mine, you were initially put off by the disproportionately large female demographic in the audience. Don't be. That's just the movie's version of commando camouflage, like in Predator, when Arnold Schwarzenegger covers himself in mud so he doesn't show up on the Predator's heat sensors. With a growing sense of manly, muscly surprise, I discovered that the film was about a woman escaping an abusive marriage by disappearing into a small coastal village in North Carolina, where she meets a friendly and caring single father coming to terms with his late wife's lost battle with cancer.  Slowly, she learns to love and, especially, to trust again, only to have it all challenged by the reappearance of demons from her past.

Essentially, this.
Add in David Lyons doing an incredibly creepy rendition of Paul Riser circa Aliens, and you've got yourself a movie.

A woman fighting to replace her horrific past with a hopeful future? A sensitive male lead struggling to cope with being a single parent and a widower who has to learn to let himself fall back in love? It's like this movie has so much testosterone, it was able to grab stereotypical macho-movie tropes by the lapels and headbutt them out of the screenplay while simultaneously holding the door open for stereotypical chick-flick tropes to come in instead, like a gentleman.

So, really, it would have been unmanly of me if I hadn't been caught crying at the end by my wife.