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The Lucky One

The Lucky One

Released 2 May 2012
Director Scott Hicks

Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Jay R. Ferguson, Riley Thomas Stewart, Adam LeFevre
Writer(s) Will Fetters

Denise Di Novi, Kevin McCormick
Origin United States
Running Time 101 minutes
Genre Romantic drama
Rating 12A

Unfortunate viewing.

Romantic dramas, chick-flicks, or whatever you want to call them, often follow a similar pattern but their respective depths of emotion, chemistry, acting and simply the story itself are what separates the meaningful from the throw-aways. Unfortunately, The Lucky One was rather unlucky in all of these departments, falling way below par in a lacklustre attempt at melodrama.

After Logan's platoon gets ambushed in a night raid during the Iraq war, the third-term marine stumbles upon a photo of a beautiful blonde amongst the rubble and quickly realises its weird importance to his life, surviving a succession of threatening combats with the enemy during the remainder of his tour. Seeking either answers, redemption or an opportunity to offer gratitude to the person he believes is his guardian angel, Logan finds the woman in the picture and thereafter a budding relationship blossoms.

Of course, nothing is ever easy. The subject of the photo, Beth, is the mother of an eight year-old boy, divorcee to an obnoxious police officer who, being the mayor-elect's son, rules the roost in the middle-of-nowhere town, and loving sister to a marine brother who didn't make it out of Iraq alive. Logan, therefore, feels it important to keep his reasons for finding Beth a secret – always a good idea!

To be honest, the film, adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, could have had potential if it weren't for gaping plot holes and questionable acting, relying all too heavily on the typical clichés found in any film of this nature. Giving nothing too important away – Logan and Beth's first main act of passion is stimulated by the convenient placement of an outdoor shower. Yes it can be that corny!

Zac Efron is pretty decent as the complex returning hero but the less said about his on-screen partner Taylor Schilling the better. The chemistry is lob-sided, compounding to the misery of an idea that is barely believable anyway. A safe bet to bring your other half on a first date to the cinema is about the only saving grace to this inopportune flop.

- David Caulfield