Movie Review: "The Lucky One"


“The Lucky One” (Warner Brothers)

“The Lucky One” is Zac Efron’s debut as a leading man in a mature role. It is also another movie based on a Nicholas Sparks’ novel. That combination would seem to be heaven made but in truth the overall effect is a bit of a letdown. Efron is not completely at ease in his young adult role and Sparks’ novel does not translate well to the big screen.

The movie gets off to a rapid start with Efron’s character Logan serving a tour in Iraq. One day he sees a shiny reflection in the dirt and goes to see what it is. It is a plastic encased picture of a girl. He picks it up just as the spot where he was previously standing is hit by mortar fire. Logan now considers that picture and that girl to be his lucky charm.

When he gets home to Colorado he looks up lighthouses on the internet because the girl is posed in front of one. Sure enough he finds the right lighthouse in Louisiana. It seems to take him all of five minutes. Then he and his dog walk from Colorado to Louisiana, and that too seems to take all of five minutes.

Once in Louisiana he quickly learns the picture is of a girl named Beth (Taylor Schilling) who runs a dog grooming place with her grandmother Ellie (Blythe Danner). She has a ten year old son and an angry ex-husband (Jay R Ferguson). You can take it from there as the script practically writes itself.

Efron is supposed to be twenty-five in the movie but doesn’t look it. He also has a squint that makes him appear vague in his actions. Schilling is supposed to be around twenty-nine but looks older. As a couple they do not look or act very compatible.

Everything about the movie however is glossy. The Louisiana scenery is beautiful as are the rustic old houses in which Logan and Beth live. The colors are lush and the music is heavenly. It has everything a romantic movie needs except for some charisma in its leading man, and some response from his leading lady. They go through the motions but their hearts just don’t seem to be engaged.

The movie is rated PG-13 for profanity, mild violence and some sexual situations.

Sparks is generally a good source for romantic movies – such as “The Notebook,” Dear John” and “Message In A Bottle.” This movie takes the heart of his book and tries to transfer its emotion to the screen but something gets lost in translation.

‘The Lucky One” has its heart in the right place but doesn’t quite transmit these emotions to the audience.

I scored “The Lucky One” a charmed 6 out of 10.

Photo courtesy of: Warner Brothers

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