I’ve probably spent hours thinking of a story that means something to me, and my mind is literally blank. I ended up going on Netflix and seeing what movie I watch the most is (that has to mean something to me), I ended up picking the movie/book Safe Haven. I think I watch this movie so much because it shows that no matter what someone is going through, always have courage and everyone has a past, you can’t change it, but you can change your future (and I also watch it because Josh Duhamel… duh).
On a serious note, I think this movie can connect a lot with the reading The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media. “Stories are that which pull in the viewer/reader/listener; nonstories (or very bad stories) are things which do not attempt to engage us, or fail miserably at it.” I think Safe Haven definitely draws in the audience from the very first scene, because it ultimately shows the main character (Katie) is having a problem. The audience would want to continue to watch to see if Katie will end up solving the problem (at the beginning, you aren’t aware of what the problem is, which also gives more suspense). The story provides an emotional response to the audience because as we’re seeing the main character struggle, we are feeling a bit of sympathy and confusion as to why she’s struggling.
Piggybacking off of that, the movie has a problem-based approach. The three parts of a problem-based approach are the central challenge must be evident, characters change as they wrestle the problem, lastly the problem receives closure. Without giving too many spoilers (even though most people have probably seen this movie), Katie is going through a significant problem where she has to run away. She ends up running away to a small town, where she meets Alex. Typically stories will focus on one character with a problem, but in this both main characters have problems that they are overcoming (I’ll spoil this – Alex is still dealing with the passing of his wife). They ultimately fall in love, which then presents Alex as becoming the hero in Katies life, and he has to help her with her struggle. But not only that – Katie helps Alex overcome his grief as well. By the end, both of their problems end up receiving closure, and both characters end up happy together.
I think this movie shows great themes of courage and bravery, which is part of the reason I love the story so much. I honestly think everything worked really well in the movie, we were built on suspense the entire time which only grew my attention even more. There were also a few flashbacks throughout the film as well that helped give hints along the way as to what the struggle actually was.
This movie also reflects Kurt Vonnegut’s shape of stories very well. Below is a representation as how I think this story is shaped:
At 1, Katie is seen to be at her lowest. She looks distraught, and as if she’s in danger. She couldn’t be any lower than where she is right in the moment of fear.
2. When Katie finds even a little bit of hope by meeting Alex, starting a new life in a new town, meeting a new friend.
3. Her fear creeps back up to her just as she thought she had gotten away from it.
4. In the end, she ends up probably the happiest she’ll ever be and ends up living happily ever after with Alex and his kids – She ends up safe which is all she ever wanted.
Alexander, B. (2011). The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media. Praeger.