THE LUCKY ONE (2012)
Running Time: 101 mins. Rating: 2 Stars/5 Stars
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Scott Hicks
Cast: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Riley Thomas Stewart, Jay R. Ferguson, Adam LeFevre, Robert Hayes, Joe Chrest, Russell Durham Comegys, Sharon Morris, Ann McKenzie, Kendal Tuttle
Can someone explain to me why we’re still making movie versions of Nicholas Sparks’ books? I mean let’s be honest, not even Nick himself can beat THE NOTEBOOK. But if you really want to make another sappy love movie in 2012, let’s set an ex-marine on a hunt for his superstitious good luck charm he likes to call a ‘guardian angel’ that saved his life during the war. As he says, “Finding something like that in a war is like finding an angel in hell.” But that’s not enough drama. He has to walk from Colorado to Louisiana and basically do a bunch of manual labor for this random blonde who thinks he’s the biggest pain in the ass for like, being such a hard worker and handy man and all-around-provider-type.
Wait, we haven’t sprinkled on enough cheese to take this to ‘only watch this movie when you’re punishing your boyfriend’ territory. Don’t forget that the leading lady Beth (Taylor Schilling) has to be a single mom with an evil ex-husband Keith (Jay R. Ferguson) that can’t handle seeing her with a new man, especially a soldier-boy like Logan (Zac Efron). Moreover, the real heart of the story is the fact that Logan can’t tell Beth that he came here just for her, because it’s like awkward, or shameful, or it’s just things boys do in Nicholas Sparks’ books — they hurt the girl they love by holding a very pertinent truth. Because, if that problem didn’t exist, this would be a perfectly random romantic story where two strangers found their soul mates. But that’s totally like, never getting any screen time.
Can I just say that Hollywood must be on crack because it feels like Zac Efron is enrolled to the private Academy of How To Be Ryan Gosling. Sure, he can play the silly high school kid and look great in a fake tan, but what’s with all the blank staring with the glistening blue eyes and the throwing around of dog poop and back sweat? I’ll admit Zac Efron looks sexy here, but he doesn’t sell sex. He needs water raining on his body to wet our appetite, but more importantly to psyche him into getting dirty with someone that isn’t Vanessa Hudgens. Too bad the water didn’t help, on both accounts.
If you liked THE NOTEBOOK and DEAR JOHN, I’m warning you right now — you will not like THE LUCKY ONE. The story sucks, Zac Efron is too perfect, and the sex scenes are a total bootleg of THE NOTEBOOK during the rainstorm. But if there’s one good thing I can say, Blythe Danner is the best grandma ever and rocks her socks over this Logan stranger coming in and make working at a canine kennel the dreamiest job in the world. Is this for real?
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