A terrified young woman (Hough) frantically packs a bag and leaps aboard the first Greyhound bus out of town, evading pursuing police officer Tierney (David Lyons) by a hair's breadth. She alights in a sun-bleached fishing village, reveals herself as Katie, and sets up in a secluded house after taking a job at a waterside restaurant. Her time in this littoral paradise is divided between waiting tables, redecorating, strolling with her newfound pal, Jo (Cobie Smulders), and trying desperately not to make eyes at hunky single-dad shopkeeper, Alex (Duhamel). Back in the dark and dingy city, however, Tierney refuses to give up the ghost and soon an APB is out for the supposedly murderous Katie.
However, Hallström don't stop with making just one character horribly two-dimensional. Despite Hough and Duhamel's best efforts to inject some chemistry into proceedings, their relationship is gratingly insipid stuff. Neither is given any opportunity to add depth to their supposedly haunted characters, and although there are a couple of tender moments amongst the schmaltz, it's precious little respite.
In the end, many people going into this film will be well aware of just what it is they're about to watch and will argue that they do not mind it being predictable. Safe Haven is more than that though; it's badly executed, with a mind-numbingly banal plot and an utterly ridiculous finale. Those hankering for a Sparks yarn would be best off staying at home and dusting off their DVD of The Lucky One (2012); comparatively, that's where safety lies.