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by maryann johanson, liberal movie person

Safe Harbour (review)

Who knew that finding “the courage to love again” could be so damn boring? Underbaked and overthought, this tepid romantic drama, based on a bestselling Danielle Steel novel, never shuts up about how damaged its characters are, but it can only demonstrate that world of hurt and pain via a lot of stolid moping and declarations that so-and-so is “going to lie down for a while.” Get the smelling salts… for me. Melissa Gilbert puts on a terrible French accent as an ex-pat in Northern California mourning her husband and teenage son, recently killed in an accident, and neglecting her surviving 11-year-old daughter (Liana Liberato), who’s considerate enough nevertheless to find her a new man in a lonely artist (Brad Johnson). He’s perfect: handsome, gentle, and suffering from his own heartbreak that needs mending. But even his ridiculous flawlessness, which would have been enough on its own to reduce this direct-to-DVD movie to sentimental twaddle, is bested by not one, not two, but three absurdly melodramatic turns in the final act. I don’t know about the courage to love, but it doesn’t take much courage to laugh at this. The DVD features an introduction from Steele and both widescreen and full-screen versions of the film, but no other bonus material. [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: rated PG-13 for sexual content, a scene of violence and some thematic material

viewed at home on a small screen

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