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Movie Review: The Lucky One

April 20, 2012

The Lucky One – A Warner Bros. Pictures’ Release

http://theluckyonemovie.warnerbros.com/index.html

Release Date: April 20th, 2012

Rated PG for mature themes and sexual content

Running time: 101 minutes

Scott Hicks (dir.)

Will Fetters (screenplay)

Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks

Mark Isham (music)

Hal Lindes (music)

Zac Efron as Logan

Taylor Schilling as Beth

Blythe Danner as Ellie

Riley Thomas Stewart as Ben

Jay R. Ferguson as Keith Clayton

Adam LeFevre as Judge Clayton

Joe Chrest as Deputy Moore

Sharon Morris as Principal Miller

©Warner Bros. Pictures.  All Rights Reserved.

Logan (Zac Efron) in The Lucky One.

Our reviews below:

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The Lucky One Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

The latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, The Lucky One is an often agreeable and pleasantly diverting romance that should please fans of the bestselling author.  There are no surprises in the predictable story and a lot of cloying scenes of the characters falling in love, but it’s all reasonably well acted and set against a pleasant backdrop.  The film offers nothing that we haven’t seen before, but those who buy a ticket are going to enjoy seeing all of the trademark Nicholas Sparks clichés all over again.

As The Lucky One starts, Logan (Zac Efron) is in the midst of battle and gets knocked out just after he finds a picture lying in the rubble.  The picture leads him to Beth (Taylor Schilling) who runs a dog kennel with her grandmother (Blythe Danner).  Logan falls in love the first time he sees Beth walking towards him in tiny shorts and slow-motion, but with her jerk of an ex-husband (Jay R. Ferguson) still in town and their precocious young son (Riley Thomas Stewart) living with her part-time, she is more than a little cautious to start a relationship.  If you don’t already know where the predictable story ends up, then you likely haven’t read a Nicholas Sparks book or seen any of the seven big screen adaptations.

Like I said, The Lucky One is a reasonably well acted film.  Zac Efron makes for a fine romantic lead with no problem persuading the women in the audience, and guys who happen to go along won’t mind watching Taylor Schilling, especially during the surprisingly steamy sex scenes when she sports a wet dress.  Although her character often speaks in wise clichés about true love, Blythe Danner gives the best performance in the film.  But anyone who has ever seen another Hollywood romance, Nicholas Sparks or otherwise, will be able to chart practically every plot point right from the beautifully shot opening scene of a boat going down the water dappled in sunlight.

As a whole, this is a predictable film that worked as an agreeable diversion to pass the time but didn’t really stick with me while leaving the theatre.  Fans of author Nicholas Sparks and those going strictly to swoon over the two attractive leads falling in love will leave The Lucky One feeling thoroughly satisfied, if not overly surprised.

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The Lucky One Review by Erin V.  

**1/2 (out of 4)

Based on the book of the same name by Nicholas Sparks, The Lucky One stars Zac Efron as Sgt. Logan Thibault, who when the film opens is finishing up his third tour in Iraq.  There, he finds a picture on the ground of a young woman around his age with the words ‘keep safe’ written on the back, and after several close calls, credits it with saving his life.

When he gets back to the States, he is determined to find the woman and thank her.  Recognizing a landmark in the photo, he goes to that town and asks around, soon finding out her name is Beth (Taylor Schilling).  He shows up at the dog kennel she and her grandmother (Blythe Danner) run, but before he can bring himself to tell her why he’s there, finds himself hired for a job at the kennel which needs all the help it can get.  And soon, as he gets to know Beth, predictably, they start to fall in love.

The film is exactly what you’d want if you like Nicholas Sparks’ style of writing, or previous films like Dear John.  Zac Efron fans will also surely want to buy a ticket.  The cast is all good here, and the cinematography very nice to look at.  Overall, this a good film for what it is.

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The Lucky One Review by Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

Based on the book by Nicholas Sparks, The Lucky One is a pleasant romance between a young veteran and the woman he finds.  When Logan (Zac Efron), a young soldier, survives an attack from the enemy, he finds a photo of a young woman.  He takes the photo home, tracking it down to a woman named Beth (Taylor Schilling), who owns a dog motel with her grandmother, Ellie (Blyth Danner).  Logan, bringing his dog Zeus with him, decides to take a job at the kennel, becoming part of Beth’s family as the two fall in love.  But her abusive ex-husband Keith (Jay R. Ferguson) threatens to take away their son Ben (Riley Thomas Stewart) if she doesn’t leave Logan.  What are they supposed to do?

The Lucky One is a charming film.  The scenery is beautiful with many shots of Logan, Beth and the numerous dogs running through forest paths and wetlands.  The acting (both human and animal) is fine and the storyline, while predictable, is sweet.  Both dog and Zac Efron fans will enjoy the many nice scenes where they are seen together.  This is geared towards young females, middle-aged woman and seniors.  While some of the sexual scenes make the film unsuitable for anyone under a certain age, The Lucky One will appeal to its target demographic.

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The Lucky One Review by Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

As a Nicholas Sparks fan, it matters to me whether or not a film does justice to the source material.  The Lucky One, starring Zac Efron as the lead character, is a nicely done and faithful adaptation of the title romantic novel.  The movie opens with a peaceful scene of a boat in the water and a voice over narration stating that before you find the light, you must go through the darkness.  Next is a flashback to the Iraq war where Logan (Efron) faces an ambush and explosion, surviving only because he was lucky enough to bend down and pick up a picture of a pretty woman out of the rubble.  Realizing what fate has done, Logan embarks on a journey to find and thank the mystery woman.

Logan’s journey takes him to Louisiana and a dog training and boarding farm run by the woman in the picture, Beth (Taylor Schilling) and her eccentric grandmother, Ellie (Blyth Danner).  Logan gets hired as an extra pair of hands and before long develops feelings for Beth.  Complicating things are Beth’s abusive ex, deputy sheriff Keith (Jay R. Ferguson) and the tension over the custody of their eight-year-old sensitive and artistic son, Ben (Riley Thomas Stewart).

Much of The Lucky One is clichéd and predictable.  However, it delivers exactly what fans expect from a Nicholas Spark romance.  The scenery is beautiful, the characters are believable with nice performances from all the leads, and the romantic scenes between Logan and Beth refreshingly steamy.  Zac Efron fans will not be disappointed.  If you enjoy sappy romances, especially Nicholas Sparks stories, then The Lucky One is worth seeing.

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The Lucky One Review by Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

The Lucky One is Logan Thibault (Zac Efron), a U.S. Marine on his third Iraq tour, saved from a bomb blast when he bends down to pick up a picture of a young woman. Back home, a lighthouse in the picture leads him and his dog to rural Louisiana where Beth (Taylor Schilling) is a single mother living with her seven year old son Ben (Riley Thomas Stewart) and grandmother Ellie (Blythe Danner). Beth assumes he is there for a job as a hired hand at her dog kennel and before Logan gets a chance to tell her about the picture Ellie hires him. Of course, Logan is so decent that he charms everyone–except Beth’s redneck ex Keith (Jay R. Ferguson), a local cop who threatens to get his big daddy judge (Adam LeFevre) to award him custody if Logan gets too sweet on Beth and condones Ben’s fiddle playing, chess, and card tricks instead of baseball. A tragic crisis leads to a predictably happy outcome.

Directed by Scott Hicks, The Lucky One is the latest feature based on a popular Nicholas Sparks novel. The two leads look really good together, with Blythe Danner providing charming encouragement, even if the dialogue is a bit hackneyed at times. The rest of the cast does what they need to do to feed the main story. The camera work, particularly among the misty bayou cypress trees, is generally beautiful despite the frequent rainy scenes. Cynics will sneer at the predictability and unashamed romanticism but Sparks/Efron fans will be delighted and the rest of us are at least in for a sweet story free of any intellectual challenges.

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Consensus: Although The Lucky One tells a predictable story, fans of author Nicholas Sparks will enjoy this romantic adaptation for the beautiful scenery and attractive performances from lead actors Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling.  **1/2 (Out of 4)

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