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I saw the trailer for this whilst with my boyfriend who immediately counted it out as a boring romance with not enough violence or action! So I saw it as the perfect one to see with my girl friends, so off we went to the cinema. The trailer basically gives you the intro to the story and makes it clear that is going to be a very romantic film yet with a bit of drama to liven it up.
It is directed by Scott Hicks and is an book adaptation from the novel written by Nicholas Sparks.
The film is about a Marine soldier called Logan (Zac Effron) who finds a picture of a woman he doesn't know in the rubble following an explosion during third tour of duty in Iraq. From the point he finds the picture, up until his tour of duty ending, he seems to have extraordinary luck and starts to think the picture he found it like a guardian angel.
He returns to his hometown of Colorado yet feels out of place and is still haunted by terrible memories of losing close friends during the war. So he goes in search of the woman on the photo after working out where she was stood on the picture. This takes him to Louisiana where he asks some locals if they know the girl, Beth (Taylor Schilling) and before long someone guides him to her.
He turns up at her home and dog training/boarding kennels business and plans to tell her immediately about the picture yet loses the nerve and she assumes he has come to apply for a vacancy at her business. He ends up taking the job and moves into a nearby house. We then watch the relationship between the pair develop. The plot isnt without complications though, as the Beths ex husband is determined to make her life hell and manipulates the situation using their son Ben (Riley Thomas Stewart) as ammunition.
This film stays very much within the genre of "Romantic Drama", it doesn't step out of the boundaries of this genre and nor do I think it should have done. It is exactly what I expected, which could be seen as predictable, but I actually wanted it to be predictable as I had gone to the cinema to enjoy a good old romance, and would have been disappointed if it had been anything else.
The storyline is very straightforward and doesn't reveal any secret shockers that you weren't expecting. This made it a very easy to watch film and I didn't find it at all challenging. With most other genres this would have disappointed me, however the fact that this wasn't too challenging allowed me as a viewer to fully immerse myself in the romantic element.
The romantic element of the film did not disappoint and it really was a sweet love story and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it develop. It did use clichés and played on all the usual romantic factors, however these are known to work so why change them. The drama element was also just right, it gave it a little something extra to bring it to life. The drama side mainly revolved around the sub-story involving Beths ex-husband who becomes psychotic towards the end.
I can see how the film could be seen as lazy filmmaking and can understand why the critics hated it, as it uses all the formulas we have already seen in similar films for years and doesn't try anything different. Yet I think it gets away with it providing the viewer likes a bit of romance and is not expecting anything more.
In my opinion the acting was fine, none of the performances were groundbreaking, yet the film didn't really allow for this kind of performance. I thought the cast were well selected, Zac Effron fits the bill as the main man who viewers can swoon over, and Taylor Schilling really suited the character of Beth who is a beautiful girl yet with insecurities. The pair worked really well together and the kissing/sex scenes were really natural and believable.
Jay Ferguson made a good villain as Beths ex husband, and I found myself genuinely disliking him so his performance must have been up to scratch. I also thought Riley Thomas Stewarts performance as Beths son was excellent and he played the role so well considering he is so young.
My entire review may have sounded like I am defending a poor film, which in a sense I am as the film was simple and lazy in using all the usual elements of every other romantic drama, yet I can't lie about the fact that I did genuinely enjoy it. Sometimes watching a predictable romance film that is everything you expect it to be is exactly what you need. So I would recommend it, but not because it's a unique innovative movie masterpiece, but simply as a good old fashioned romance for when you're in the mood and need your romance fix.
About the film
The Lucky One is a romantic drama film which is based on the book of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film was released on 3rd September on DVD and it is rated 12A. The Lucky One has a run time of 101 minutes.
Sgt Logan Thibault is a marine who is serving in Iraq but the day after a night raid, he finds a random photo of a lady with 'keep safe' on the back. As he finds it, his troop members are attacked while he survives and thinks it was the photo that saved him. After leaving his duty as a marine, back at home Logan doesn't know what to do with himself. After careful study of the photo, he finds out where this woman is and tracks her down.
After finding her and finding out her name is Beth, Logan ends up working for her without explaining why he is really there. Although Beth has an uneasy feeling about him at first, the two become good friends and he forms a friendship with her son. While life is good, will Logan ever tell Beth the truth?
Zac Efron as Sgt Logan Thibault
Taylor Schilling as Beth Green
Blythe Danner as Ellie "Nana" Green
Jay R. Ferguson as Keith Clayton
Riley Thomas Stewart as Ben Clayton
Joe Chrest as Deputy Moore
Jillian Batherson as Amanda
Whitney Forsythe as Logan's Sister
Russell Durham Comegys as Roger Lyle
Robert Hayes as Victor Miles
What I thought
I love me a bit of Zac Efron so while going to visit my poor friend with a broken leg recently; we had a bit of a drool fest for the day. I hadn't really heard much about this film before but she's a big fan of his and I certainly don't mind looking at him.
The film starts off ok, with scenes of Efron as Logan with his troop in Iraq. Here, it shows the kinds of things that Logan has been through before heading off on his journey to find Beth and how he finds her picture. The beginning of the film sets the scene nicely for what is about to come. This part of the film isn't too long which was a good thing as I'm not one for war types of films but there was just enough to fully explain the backstory and to get to know Logan's character a little bit.
Once the film moves into the real part of the plot, with Logan going off to find Beth, this is where we begin to really meet all of the characters. From here, Zac Efron is charismatic and lovely as Logan and there was a really good amount of heartfelt emotion coming from him. I could see the struggle he was going through after coming out of the marines although I wish that this had been something that was carried on for longer throughout the film. The way in which Logan was introduced to Beth was lovely but a little boring and strange. I understood her worries when some random guy just turns up and wants a job.
I wish that Beth had been cast as someone else. Taylor Schilling who I have never heard of before was so boring and flat in her performance that I just could not like her at all. Part of this was down to the characterisation though as well and not just the performance. Beth was an idiot. Complete idiot. I wanted to slap some sense into her a lot of the time and tell her to just get a grip and to stop being such a drip. Although Logan thinks there is a special connection there because of the photo and what he had been through, I would never have understood what he saw in her otherwise. There just wasn't anything special that Schilling brought to the character that made her likeable or entertaining for me and there was just no passion behind the performance.
The plot slowly plods along for the most part of the film but luckily there were also a couple of really good moments which redeemed this film for me. One is seeing quite a lot of Zac Efron's flesh. Other moments are a lot less shallow and really did pick up the excitement in the film which was seriously lacking otherwise. For me, the plot was only so-so and it wasn't the best film I have ever seen. You can tell that this comes from a Nicholas Sparks novel due to the amount of slush so only watch if you're a real lover of chick flicks.