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Audiences Take a Chance with The Lucky One

 

entertainment-the-lucky-oneA lonely, reserved Marine, a single, bullied mother and a little boy who never realizes his true potential tug at your heartstrings in the latest chick flick and Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation, The Lucky One. The film is a promising romance film that includes performances from Zac Efron, Blythe Danner and relavtive newcomer, Taylor Schilling. To Sparks fans, this is yet another cinematic version for one of his novels that you don’t want to miss.

Directed by Scott Hicks, The Lucky One is about Logan Thibault (Zack Efron), a soldier dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder following a tour of duty overseas. The day after a night-raid, he finds a photo of a woman moments before an explosion goes off inches away from where he was standing. He and his war buddies believe the woman in the photo (played by Schilling) is his guardian angel. After unsuccessfully trying to settle back into society months later, Logan embarks on a cross-country trip to find his lucky charm.

Upon arriving in a small Louisiana town, Logan discovers the woman in the photo is Beth Green, who runs a dog kennel with her grandmother, Ellie (Danner). Logan has trouble explaining why he came to see her, and instead takes a job working at Green’s kennel to be close to Beth. As Logan spends more time around Beth, he learns she’s a young, divorced mother with a son Ben and has a strained relationship with her ex-husband Keith (Jay R. Ferguson), head police officer in the same town. Meanwhile, Ben’s caught between his bickering, divorced parents and tends to get hurt the most; he’s often bullied at school and is looked down upon by his father for wanting to play violin, chess and magic tricks instead of being a Little League jock.

Staying true to Sparks’ tradition, the two people are nothing but co-workers in the very beginning, and slowly (but somehow rapidly) develop a mutual respect and eventually strong, passionate love for each other.

Yet, with the nosy Keith and Logan’s secret of what really led him to town, the future seems less than promising. The Lucky One steers audiences into a steamy affair that takes you on a roulette table of love and destiny.

Efron, a heartthrob among women of all ages these days, has come a long way since graduating from High School Musical. To watch him in a film where he’s barely comedic was an interesting change, although I would have liked to see more of an emotional development for Logan. Schilling did exceptionally well opposite Efron as a woman who has a lot on her plate as she tries to get her life back on track. In a few scenes where she acts with Efron, my initial perception of her as a cougar diminished. Although it’s strange to view Efron in father-figure roles at 24-years-old, he looked and acted years above his age to meet in the middle with Schilling, who’s 27-years-old.

As an avid and diehard Sparks fan, the film did a marvelous job at staying close to the book, but the timing of events did feel incredibly rushed and forceful. There were many scenes, especially the beginning and the end, which could have held more depth and been dragged out just a bit to hold its significance to the overall plot. Also, I probably would have enjoyed the movie just as much without the frequent musical montages. Of all the Sparks’ film adaptions, The Lucky One falls short of being at the top of the list. Surprisingly, the majority of the audience and I didn’t shed a tear, proving that the movie lacked a stronger, more sentimental value.

On a side note, if you’ve already watched the previews for this film, you basically viewed the entire 101 minutes in a nutshell. I had a feeling that the previews covered all of the bases, which is maybe why much of the film didn’t affect me as emotionally as the book did. Many parts weren’t as much of a surprise since I watched a full summary in the trailers beforehand. Who knows, maybe that’s why the 15-second Twilight teaser trailers entice me so much more.

Overall, The Lucky One gets three out of five stars for staying true to its original print edition, melting audiences’ hearts with the ever-enchanting Efron and bringing another one of Sparks’ beautiful love stories to the big screen.  

IMAGE TAKEN from blackfilm.com

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