I have to admit, I went into this film with relatively low expectations. Why? First of all, I love Nicholas Sparks. I own every single one of his books and all the related movies on DVD regardless of whether or not I actually like them. But as much as I love him, none of his films (with the exception of The Notebook) have been as fantastic as they could have been. Secondly, having read and enjoyed the book, I was really unsure of Zac Efron as the leading man, ex marine Logan Thibault. In my head, Logan is a rough-as-guts drifter and Zac didn’t really fit that description for me.
But having said all of this, I quite enjoyed The Lucky One. For those unfamiliar, here is a brief plot overview:
Logan (Zac Efron) is a marine who has spent three tours in Iraq. While over there, he finds a picture of Beth (Taylor Schilling) in the sand. Since finding the picture, he has escaped death numerous times and his military buddies tell him that the picture is a guardian angel and if he gets out of there alive, he should find her to thank her. So he does. He walks (yes walks) from Colorado to Louisiana. He asks around town about her and ends up working at the dog kennel Beth and her Nanna (Blythe Danner) run on their property.
Naturally, any story where the protagonist walks across the country to find a girl is going to have some conflict. There’s the secrecy as well as some obvious weirdness, I mean, the guy walked across the country to meet a girl whose name he doesn’t even know. When you throw a child and a controlling ex-husband into the mix, it makes for some interesting cinema. Despite Zac Efron not being the obvious choice for me, I was pretty happy with the casting and I thought the chemistry between Efron and Schilling was undeniable. I really liked the way they handled the marine scenes at the beginning of the film and addressed the edginess Logan would feel upon returning home.
Did it stray from the novel? A little bit. Is it formulaic? Yes. Is it predictable? For the most part, it is. But it is a nice rom-com? Of course. If you want to watch cinematic genius, The Lucky One is not for you. But if you’re looking for a romantic comedy that you don’t really have to think about, it’s quite enjoyable. There’s some quick witted lines, the obligatory romance and some steamy sex scenes with a very buff Efron and let’s face it, he’s not bad on the eyes.
It’s a fairly standard but lovely romantic comedy. I would not recommend it to men who don’t enjoy chick flicks.