Chick Flick Lovers Get Lucky: The Lucky One Review

On April 23, 2012

  • Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling take the lead roles in Nicholas Sparks’ film adaption The Lucky One. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures


Movie: The Lucky One

Release Date: April 20

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

Grade: B


Last weekend, chick flick lovers and Zac Efron enthusiasts everywhere dropped everything to see the newest adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' The Lucky One.

Logan Thibault (Zac Efron, The Lorax) is a Marine deployed in the Middle East. The day after a bloody night raid, Logan finds a picture of a woman with the words "keep safe" written on the back. After finding the picture, he survives multiple near-death situations leading him to believe that the woman in the picture kept him safe.

When Logan returns home, he has problems readjusting to life as a civilian. He decides to walk from his home in Colorado to find the woman from the picture, Beth Clayton (Taylor Schilling, Atlas Shrugged: Part I). Once he finds her in Louisiana, he begins to work at her pet kennel business without revealing that he was looking for her. They eventually fall in love, but the situation becomes complicated by Beth's ex-husband and Logan's secret.

The film is, in many ways, a typical Nicholas Sparks romance. Its primary focus is the complications of lovers who seem destined to be with one another (like The Notebook) and the internal struggle of the protagonists.

The adaptation employs themes of fate and destiny, but also has a heavy tone of mortality that often overshadows the love story. This could be seen as both a fault and a positive. On the one hand, those elements cast a morose tone over the film that makes it a little dense for a romance. On the other, they serve as a reminder that all things are temporary and that life must be lived to the fullest - a moral that supplements the film's plot and overall message.

What is most compelling about this film is the diversity of the characters' lives. While other films in this genre seem to focus more on the love story than on the characters individually, this movie gives perspective into a variety of human experiences.

Beth is a divorced mother with a controlling husband, and struggles to find her voice in her overwhelming relationship. Her son strives for his father's approval but never achieves it. Logan attempts to balance his apparent psychological stress with his growing love for Beth.

Efron, who undoubtedly bulked up for The Lucky One, did a decent job of portraying a stoic ex-Marine. His level of maturity was executed well, but his emotive power lacked development. Schilling, whose look is slightly older than Efron's, successfully played a convincing mother who lost her brother in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

One scene that showcased the talents of both actors was Beth's breakdown after visiting her late brother's grave. Logan calmed her down, which led them to share a tender, viscerally affecting moment that seems to take an emotional toll on both characters.

The lushly green landscape of Louisiana and the typical Southern colonial homes helped add to the film's strengths. The filmography also heightened the aesthetic pleasure of the landscape by using the sunlight to its advantage.

These strengths help draw attention away from a plot that is the embodiment of a cliché romance: boy finds girl, boy and girl fall in love, and complications ensue only to strengthen their romance and bring them together in the end.

For all wondering how many love scenes there are, the answer is plenty. For those wondering if The Lucky One is like every other Nicholas Sparks romance, the answer is probably.

While The Lucky One does employ the clichés of its genre, it is overall an enjoyable, tear-jerking film. The attractive and believable cast combined with a visual feast makes this film a worthwhile matinee flick.



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