MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Lucky One’ with Zac Efron, was it a romance too far for our reviewer?
MOVIE REVIEW – THE LUCKY ONE
Welcome back to our L.A film correspondant @tammyinlalaland who has reviewed The Lucky One for us despite a few reservations about the film!
“It is important to note two biases before reading this review:
- I hate hate hate with a passion cheesy romantic Nicholas Sparks movies, and yes before even say it that extends to “The Notebook.”
- I am not sure why Zac Efron exists in Hollywood. I see no point to him.
Another point to consider before we launch into our review is that I am not an wide-eyed, hopeless romantic at all. I love rom-coms but straight romantic movies usually send me into a homicidal worthy rage. I was cheering loudly for Rose and Jack to get shot in Titantic (true story).
Now given these two biases and my general view on romance movies you may wonder why I felt the need to seek out a film that combined these exact elements… well me, too. I am still trying to figure it out.
The movie fulfils what it sets out to be from the promotional material. It wasn’t a great movie, it sometimes wasn’t even a good movie but having said that it wasn’t a bad movie. I didn’t dislike it as much as I thought I would and at no point was tempted to throw sharp objects at the screen.
The first scene in the film contains some well crafted Afghanistan-based war combat sequences, perhaps included for the men seeing the film on their date night, the scene serves to set up the purpose of the movie and the motivations of Zac Efron’s ‘Logan’ character who is saved from near-certain death by moving away from a spot to pick up a picture of a girl on a nearby bit of ground. As he moves towards the photo a bomb goes off in his old position and the girl saves him without even knowing it.
We then see Logan returning home and starting on his quest to find the girl from his photo, like many returning veterans he is suffering from at least a mild form of PTSD, this aspect of his personality isn’t explored in any detail in the movie which is a really shame because it’s obviously an issue that affects many and would have created more depth to the movie and perhaps made his quest more compelling.
Logan struggles to fit back in with his family and we then learn that he has left his sister’s house with only a backpack and his dog after tracking down the girl via an internet picture search (this was one of the moments which I found particularly painful to watch in a cringe-like way.)
The next scenes see Logan walking across America from Denver to Louisiana which by car would take you about 19 hours to complete and would take you through two different time-zones. He then finds the girl named Beth who is living with a son in a small town in Louisiana, convieneiently she runs a Dog Kennel and Boarding business and Logan takes a job working for her through her Mother who is played exceptionally well by Blythe Danner.
As is often the case with the course of love, it doesn’t run smooth, Beth has a lot of troubles and needs ‘saving’ from her current life, we are introduced to her ex-boyfriend who is emotionally and physically (vague references) abusive towards her as well as trying to get her own son taken away from her.
Her and Logan end up bonding, she lost her brother near where he found the photo of her and fast-forward they end up falling for each other. Cue some very steamy love scenes between the pair which were not as horribly done as I expected, the pair soon set up a faux ‘family’ unit together.
This is where the movie falls apart a bit, the only conflict really comes from the ex who spreads lies about Beth, the truth against him comes out rather quickly and that’s basically it…happy ever after. It was too short, too quick and way too easy an ending.
However, all things considered the acting wasn’t that bad, Efron as ever seemed very wooden to me but because of what his character had been through and the PTSD aspect is actually worked.
Tayler Schilling (Beth) was actually good at balancing her slight ‘victim’ role with being a character with some purpose and back-bone. The child-actor who played her son Ben was very good - especially in his musical scenes if they were real.
Highlights for me were Blythe Danner as Beth’s mum, the locations were lovely and the dogs in the kennels were also a nice addition.
Overall as you may have guessed it was not my cup of tea overall but it wasn’t the worst in this genre by far. It is however totally a DVD/night in movie – worth the rental but not the cinema ticket.
Rating: If you love pure romantic movies or need a fitting punishment for your man, then go for it.
popledge points – 6.5/10