Scott Hicks’ The Lucky One is the seventh movie adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel, and at this point, there’s nearly no point in reviewing it. If you’ve been subjected to Sparks’ brand of schmaltzy, noble, magical romance, then you know exactly what to expect from The Lucky One — and you’ll know exactly whether or not this is your cup of mawkish melodrama. The film is a slick production with a handful of eye-catching compositions. But despite the professional, classy touch Hicks brings to the production, this is full-on Sparks. No manner of beast nor man would be able to pull this film out from the dregs of its own self-induced melodrama. Here we get a beefed-up, less baby-faced Zac Efron as Logan, a Marine vet whose life is saved in Iraq when he stumbles upon the photograph of a woman he doesn’t know. Keeping it as a good luck charm, Logan gets back home, only to find life after the war much more difficult an adjustment than he’d ever imagined. So in order to get his life together, he heads to Louisiana to find the woman in the picture. The movie follows the basic romantic story arc, as Logan finds the woman, Beth (Taylor Schilling), and instead of just talking to her about the photo, he accidentally insinuates himself into her life — and her multitude of personal issues. Everything devolves into dramatic mush. Most of it’s understated, but occasionally, as in the film’s climax, the soapiness of it all attains astounding heights of silliness. I’m of the mind that if the film could’ve kept that level of absurdity going throughout its entire runtime, The Lucky One might have been an entertaining piece of overwrought trash; instead, it’s mostly just dull.
Director: Scott Hicks
Writer: Will Fetters
Cast: Zac Efron, Blythe Danner, Taylor Schilling, Jay R. Ferguson, Riley Thomas Stewart, Joe Chrest, Adam LeFevre, Courtney J. Clark, Sharon Morris and Jillian Batherson