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Safe Haven

SAFE HAVEN

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. BOSTON

JULIANNE HOUGH runs to her neighbor lady's house, through a rainstorm, and then to a bus station and onto a bus going to ATLANTA. DAVID LYONS tries to catch her but FAILS.

EXT. PAINFULLY QUAINT BEACH TOWN IN NORTH CAROLINA

JULIANNE gets off the bus, looks at JOSH DUHAMEL, and decides to stay there.

JULIANNE HOUGH

I have a pretty heavy situation I just escaped, so naturally my next step is to settle into the nearest town where the guy at the check out is kind of cute.

JOSH DUHAMEL

Yeah I'm a widower. So I have a heart of gold plus bland sexiness. You picked a good place to live little lady! But I'm sure it's going to be very difficult to find a job and a home since literally the only thing you have is a pillowcase.

JULIANNE walks into a restaurant, asks for a job, and gets it.

JULIANNE HOUGH

Well that was easy!

JOSH DUHAMEL

I know right? Women fleeing abusive relationships are commonly known for the easy peasy reality of rebuilding a new life entirely on their own after suffering severe trauma.

JULIANNE HOUGH

Oh, but for some reason the movie is pretending the audience doesn't already know I've just escaped an abusive marriage and that the cop at the bus station is my husband. It's like they think nobody has seen the preview? Anyway I bet it's going to be really hard finding a place to live.

JULIANNE immediately buys a house, which is a condemned cabin in the middle of over overgrown forestry and crashes through her floor.

JULIANNE HOUGH

Falling through my floor leads me to believe I need to... PAINT THE FLOOR! That will fix it!

JULIANNE goes to JOSH'S store where she see's a cop and acts scared.

JULIANNE HOUGH

Oh Dear. Cops, I'm scared of cops. Lets pretend nobody knows why, and it's because I did something bad.

JOSH DUHAMEL

But this is a Nicholas Sparks story. Girls aren't bad in NicholasSparksland, they're only victims. But okay fine we have the "you're scared of cops" thing established. Also, I have your paint ordered so we can get our relationship going.

Meanwhile, DAVID obsessively searches for JULIANNE and puts out fliers that she's wanted for murder.

JULIANNE HOUGH

So they're really trying to pretend this movie is going to have an ending that's surprising to audience members? How ridiculous.

COBIE SMULDERS is peeking into the windows of JULIANNE'S house.

COBIE SMULDERS

Oh hi! You startled me! Sorry about that. I'm just supernaturally nosy I guess. I live, um, next door? In that house that nobody will ever see? Sort of like me?

JULIANNE HOUGH

Oh wow a girlfriend! So they're trying to make up for the insanity of this entire plot by giving me a friend to establish the importance of female companionship, which isn't all that uncommon at all in real life but pretty scarce in most forms of entertainment media.

COBIE SMULDERS

Why would you even anticipate something like that right now? You're a damn fool.

JULIANNE HOUGH

You're so ethereal and philosophical.

COBIE SMULDERS

I know. Now go turn Josh into an unbroken man using your magic vagina sprinkles and being cloyingly nice to his children.

INT. JOSH'S STORE

JOSH DUHAMEL

Here's your paint and primer. You didn't even know you needed primer. Girls are dumb. Let me give you a ride back to your house with those.

JULIANNE HOUGH

No way. I need to be independent.

(pause)

This is heavy, I'll take that ride.

JOSH DUHAMEL

Check it out, I'm listening to a book on tape of Mark Twain. But I have Slayer if you want to listen to that. It's true, look, I'm holding up the CD. I say we put in Reign in Blood and have dirty backseat sex for the next hour and a half. Somewhere out there that will make someone's day.

JULIANNE HOUGH

We can't. We have storms to get caught in and lakes to canoe on.

Back at her cabin house, JULIANNE hears strange noises in the middle of the night. She finds that some FUCKING ASSHOLE left her a GODDAMN BIKE! She goes to confront that BASTARD, JOSH.

JULIANNE HOUGH

I don't believe you gave me a bike! You unconscionable sick fuck!

JOSH DUHAMEL

What the fuck is your problem?? You don't like bikes?

JULIANNE HOUGH

Fuck you and your fucking bike!

INT. JULIANNE'S HOUSE

COBIE SMULDERS

I think you might have overreacted a tad about the bike. I mean, you need a bike. It had a basket and a bell and everything.

JULIANNE HOUGH

You're right. I'll apologize.

COBIE SMULDERS

(actual line)

Because the good thing about life is that you can have second chances.

JULIANNE HOUGH

Wha-? Why did you say that? That was so random, almost as random as mentioning Slayer in a Nicholas Sparks movie.

JULIANNE goes to town where JOSH'S SON, NOAH LOMAX falls into water and JOSH is immediately there to save him but the music remains dramatic for about twenty minutes too long.

JULIANNE HOUGH

You know what a kid needs after a dramatic save from almost drowning?

JOSH DUHAMEL

A day at the beach? Wanna come?

JULIANNE HOUGH

Can I frolic gayly in a tiny bikini among ocean waves while adoring the pants off your kids?

JOSH DUHAMEL

We wouldn't have it any other way!

They do this for about a fucking HOUR.

JOSH DUHAMEL

And now do you want to go on a canoe trip?

JULIANNE HOUGH

Well it's about damn time we go onto a lake; I was beginning to wonder who the hell wrote this story. Can we also get caught in a rainstorm?

JOSH DUHAMEL

You bet your ass we will. And then we'll do some heavy petting behind a tree.

They do this with the sexual energy of ROADKILL.

INT. JULIANNE'S OLD HOUSE WHERE SHE HAD ESCAPED

DAVID drinks some liquor and spends the night.

DAVID LYONS

Holy shit a recipe for cherry pie! With the same handwriting as the lady across the street!

DAVID runs across the street where IRENE ZIEGLER lives.

DAVID LYONS

You said you didn't know her but you did because your handwriting is on this recipe, which I saw on an envelope inside your mailbox.

IRENE ZIEGLER

Well now that is just a mess of storytelling. And why didn't you realize that your wife was friends with the old lady across the street? You're a shitty detective.

DAVID LYONS

Shut up! The audience doesn't know she's my wife yet!

IRENE ZIEGLER

Oh right. Normal detectives go around breaking into homes, drinking their liquor, spending the night, and obsessively searching for a woman who clearly doesn't want to be found but no other cops are looking for her at all.

INT. JULIANNE'S CABIN HOUSE

JULIANNE and JOSH have SEX! FINALLY!

JOSH DUHAMEL

By the way, where are you from? Why did you move here? Where did you go to school? What did you do for a living? Do you have any family? Parents? Siblings? Psychotic spouses? Kidding! I'm not going to ask about any of those things at all. But I will talk about my dead wife.

JULIANNE HOUGH

Because post coital chatter is best when discussing former spouses.

EXT. BOSTON COP HEADQUARTERS

DAVID is trashed in front of his boss.

DAVID'S BOSS

Ok. Now we don't have to pretend anymore. You are a horrible person, an alcoholic, and you falsely reported a woman as wanted for murder but SHE'S NOT A MURDERER SHE'S YOU'RE WIFE. You're fired.

An awkward looking back scene shows JULIANNE cooking for DAVID, and he responds by attacking her. She stabs him to escape.

EXT. JOSH'S STORE

JOSH finds the flyer for JULIANNE showing that she's wanted for MURDER.

JOSH DUHAMEL

WHAT THE FUCK! MURDER? GET OUT OF HERE YOU BITCH!

JULIANNE HOUGH

Really? Still no questions? Well fine, I guess I'll still remain silent and not even tell you I didn't murder anyone.

JULIANNE goes to LEAVE but JOSH catches up with her and apologizes. They have plastic robot sex again, after which they have their usual post fuck spouse chat.

JOSH DUHAMEL

Listen Julianne, you will always be safe with me. YOU WILL ALWAYS BE SAFE WITH ME.

JULIANNE calls IRENE and leaves her a message.

JULIANNE HOUGH

Hey Irene. I found a safe place and it's somewhere near the tip of Josh Duhamel's cock. Sure hope this phone call won't come back to bite me in the ass. But nah, I'm safe. Josh told me so, twice.

DAVID breaks into IRENE'S house, listens to JULIANNE'S message, and gets the phone number and area code for the restaurant she works. He gets blasted, loads a gun, and drives there.

INT. JOSH'S STORE

DAVID approaches JOSH'S DAUGHTER, MIMI KIRKLAND who is alone in the store to check out complete strangers despite being about two weeks old.

DAVID LYONS

Ssssuuuuup. Have you sheen thish ladddayyyy?

(holds up picture of Julianne)

MIMI KIRKLAND

Nope.

DAVID walks out while JOSH walks in.

MIMI KIRKLAND

Oh hey Dad. Some smelly looking drunk guy came in here asking for your new girlfriend on a flyer that says she's wanted for murder. Nope kidding again. I'm actually not going to mention those things to you at all.

JOSH DUHAMEL

Might as well not because we have a parade and fireworks party to get to.

COBIE appears to JULIANNE in a DREAM.

COBIE SMULDERS

David is here!

(vanishes)

JULIANNE HOUGH

Oh goddammit you're dead aren't you? What the fuck?

COBIE SMULDERS

SHHHH! Not yet. You have to resolve your pesky little violence plot.

DAVID finds JULIANNE and JOSH kissing but NOTHING HAPPENS. JULIANNE goes to JOSH'S with MIMI alone who apparently has still remained silent about the drunk stranger thing. DAVID accosts JULIANNE.

JULIANNE HOUGH

I left because you hurt me, Ok?

DAVID LYONS

That's ALL you're going to say about it? Are we assuming the audience so fragile that some actual vocabulary should indicate this is a serious topic, or do they really want to forget that this movie is about escaping domestic violence?

JULIANNE HOUGH

Not romantic enough. So we only say "hurt" over and over until I throw you in the lake.

SHE DOES. And when he gets out he sets the house on fire. JOSH comes in and saves everyone in time. DAVID gets shot in the face and dies.

JULIANNE HOUGH

Well that's over. Lets go boating or whatever it is I'll spend my life doing now.

COBIE SMULDERS

Um, not yet. You see Josh's dead wife left her family a bunch of letters and one of them is written for the woman he eventually fell in love with.

The letter comes with a picture and COBIE is actually JOSH'S dead wife!

JULIANNE HOUGH

Yeah. I got that. But didn't I startle you that one time? How do you startle a ghost exactly? Why snoop if you're a ghost?

COBIE SMULDERS

Well I guess that makes as much sense as building your entire plot on a misfortune that happens every day, to many women, in every country, and not explain or portray a single detail that might educate anyone on the dynamics of abusive relationships. Like, you know, how to avoid them.

JULIANNE HOUGH

That would have just muddled the mystical stalking ghost wife plot twist. What we have here is a woman's decisions almost get her killed, but it's all good because she found a new man movie. So go home with that, young girls, and good luck!

END.