|Page 1 of 9:||        |
|Index||90 reviews in total|
Oh yes, this is a chick-flick. One that is a proper showcase to prove Zac Efron has grown up to be a heck of a hunk! Also, you can never, ever find anything to fault with any performance turned in by Blythe Danner. She has been perfect in any role I've ever seen her in, this one is no exception. I have to say that logic does step in and you want, desperately, to say, "Oh for goodness sake, just do what you came to do!" But if that should have happened, it would have ended up a short movie, indeed. There is enough action, romance, gentle humor, wonderful Louisiana scenery, good people, bad people, decent story-line, fine acting. it's a pretty good movie. Nothing earth-shattering or Oscar-worthy happens here, perhaps, but it's a film I'd recommend and one I enjoyed watching.
There seems to be a consistent trend in the movies based on Nicholas
Sparks' romance novels. They all contain sappy clichés and a lack of
substance. There are two main elements that are repetitive in these
novels: the relationship between two soul mates and the sickness/death
of a loved one. From what I've heard, the books are exceptional,
however, the movies always fall short.
Logan (Zac Efron) is a marine who serves three tours in Iraq. During the war, he happens to find a photograph of a beautiful girl and "keep safe" is written on the back. Directly after he picks it up, there is an explosion right where he had been standing before he found the picture. Logan asks around, desperately trying to find whose picture it is, but nobody claims it.
Now that he has the picture in his possession, he is invincible and his luck in the treacherous circumstances of war is incredible. After surviving his three tours, Logan is determined to find the girl in the picture to personally thank her for the good luck she brought him. He recognizes a tower in the picture and walks with his German shepherd, Zeus, from Colorado all the way to Louisiana.
Of course, Logan and the woman, Beth (Taylor Schilling), fall deeply in love, but struggle through the conflicts that arise. Sadly, most of this movie is revealed in the trailer, which seems to happen quite often these days.
Zac Efron does a decent job playing the character of Logan, however, he just can't pull off the tough-guy look that is essential in this film. He will always be remembered as Troy Bolton from "High School Musical". In any case, this is a tear-jerking, cheesy movie that most teenage girls would enjoy. It's not terrible, yet nothing special. I give "The Lucky One" a 6 out of 10.
In Iraq, the marine Sergeant Logan (Zac Efron) finds the photo of a
young woman with the message "Keep Safe X" on the back in the debris of
a construction and he keeps it in his pocket. His action saves his life
from a mortar fire and he believes that the girl is his guard angel
that protects him.
When he returns to Colorado, he has difficulties to adjust to the civilian life with his sister's family and he decides to seek out the woman. Logan researches the landscape and finds that the place is Hamden, in Louisiana, and he walks with his dog Zeus to Hamden.
He discovers that the woman is Beth Green (Taylor Schilling), who is the owner of the Green Kennels with her grandmother Ellie (Blythe Danner). When Logan meets Beth, he is unable to tell the reason why he had traveled to Hamden. She assumes that he wants a job that she had advertised and Ellis gives the job to Logan. Soon Logan befriends Beth's son Ben (Riley Thomas Stewart) and becomes close to the family. But her former husband, Sheriff Keith Clayton (Jay R. Ferguson) does not want to make Logan's life easy.
"The Lucky One" is a sweet and dramatic romance, with pleasant characters. The director Scott Hicks explores the beautiful landscapes with a wonderful cinematography. The plot is very simple and predictable, but the chemistry among Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner and the boy Riley Thomas Stewart makes the film worth. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Um Homem de Sorte" ("A Lucky Man")
This was the first Nicholas Sparks book I read and I loved it, so I had high hopes for the movie. Like usual the movies are never as good as the books are. For some reason they changed a lot of basic info. Like location. Why change the state? Any way the love making scenes were very good so if you are just going for the romance you won't be disappointed. I think that Zack played Logan well. He had a depth that I didn't expect as an actor even though he didn't have much to work with. It wasn't my favorite movie but it wasn't that bad either. Maybe if you didn't read the book first you might like it better. And for those who haven't read it but liked the movie, you should read it. You will love it.
This movie contains eye-candy (Zac Efron) and stunning scenery. It's
almost like the director is counting on that to rescue a very weak
script. This movie spent over and hour and a half trying to make us
"feel" the angst of the main characters but instead I kept wanting to
slap them into having some sense. I kept thinking that the actors
needed more lines and less music to tell the story. It was melodramatic
and entirely predictable. I do not recommend this movie in the theaters
unless you have money and time to throw away.
I must add that I was impressed with Zac Efron's acting and also the boy in the movie. I was surprised that Blythe Danner lent her talent to such a weak vehicle but I'm sure there aren't many options for older actresses in this day.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As romantic dramas go, The Lucky One is pretty thin stuff. It has a
workable premise and everything, but the movie can't think of anything
to do with itself, so it pads out its running time with one musical
montage after another. You know a director has run out of ideas when he
puts two different montages in about a span of two minutes apart from
each other. The film is based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, who has
done much better (and worse) than this. This falls somewhere in the
Our hero is Logan, a Marine fighting overseas as the film begins, and played with wooden indifference by Zac Efron. There's nothing particularly interesting about Logan to begin with. He's handsome, he's noble, he works hard, and that's about it when it comes to his personality. Despite this, Efron could have shown a bit more life in his performance. After a particularly intense battle, Logan spots a photo of a woman lying in the rubble of the battlefield. Lucky thing he found and walked over to that photo, as moments later, a bomb drops where he was standing just seconds ago, killing his comrades. Logan finishes his tour, but is obsessed with discovering who the woman in the picture is, and who it belongs (or belonged) to. He returns home briefly to Colorado to live with family for a while, but when he can't readjust to civilian life, he packs his bags and, with his faithful dog Zeus by his side, decides to walk cross country to search out who the mysterious woman in the photo is.
His travels take him all the way to North Carolina, which is quite an amazing feat to walk all that distance. What's even more amazing is how Logan managed not to get dirty, or even mess up or grow out his hair during those many long months of walking. He arrives at a farmhouse/dog kennel, where it just so happens that the woman in the photo lives and works there. She's Beth (Taylor Schilling), who works at the kennel, is a single mother to her seven-year-old son, Ben (Riley Thomas Stewart), and shares the home with her mother (Blythe Danner, who gives the most interesting performance in the film). Logan means to tell Beth about the photo he found that day, but he just can't bring himself to mention it. Part of this is because of Logan having issues with his own past as a soldier, and part of this is for plot convenience, so that the movie can drag out his secret as long as it can, until it is dramatically appropriate. He takes a job at the kennel, and becomes a natural taking care of the many dogs.
He also starts building a bond with both Beth and her young son. She starts sharing her private hopes and dreams with him, and little Ben starts taking him to the old tree house where he hangs out, which is accessible only by crossing a rickety old bridge over a raging river. As soon as I saw that broken down old bridge, I knew it would collapse at one point - most likely during the intense climax, and during a storm. Sure enough, as the climax approached, those storm clouds started rolling in, and all the central characters started heading for that bridge. Logan also gets to meet Beth's ex-husband, Keith (Jay R. Ferguson), who serves as the town Sheriff as well as the town bully. He's a one dimensional villain who exists solely to push Logan and Beth around, and threaten to take Ben away from them. As a villain, he couldn't be any less subtle if he was wearing a T-shirt at all times that had the words "HI! I'M A SLIMEBALL!" written on it.
The Lucky One is pretty standard stuff as these kind of films go - The central romance between Logan and Beth is nice and all, but the characters don't really have a lot of personality to go with their physical attractiveness. You get the feeling that these two don't have a lot to talk about when they're alone. The movie also has its share of corny romantic lines, such as when Logan tells her, "You deserve to be kissed every hour, every minute, every second of every day", or when he says, "Finding that picture of you on the battlefield was like finding an angel in Hell". Yes, the movie is gooey in its sentimentality, but it never offends. I also enjoyed Blythe Danner's performance. She seems to know what kind of a movie she's stuck in, and has a little fun with it, delivering some much needed sarcasm and wit in her performance. It's no wonder I found her the most interesting character, she's the only one who gets to act like a real person.
The movie was directed by Scott Hicks (No Reservations), who's done some films I've admired, but seems to be cashing a paycheck here. I don't blame him for wanting to take it easy once in a while, but I wish he had picked a more interesting script. I can't really picture The Lucky One being a very memorable romantic weepie, but hey, I said the same thing about The Vow, so what do I know?
When you walk into a Nicolas Sparks movie, you expect certain things.
The Lucky One follows a storyline similar to most of Nicolas Sparks'
other adapted novels. This is neither a good nor a bad thing. So long
as the movie can stand on its own feet, it deserves recognition. On
that ground, The Lucky One does hold its own. The acting is great and
the story held my interest. In the end, specific problems make this
movie much worse than it should have been.
The main fallback of the story is the characters. Stereotypes are abound. The mayor-to-be is the same as any story that tries to cover a trapped-in-a-small-town feel. The father is an incredibly flat character that is in no way believable. Even Zac Efron's character is too mysterious for his own good. Although Efron pulled off the role quite well, it was the way the character is presented that is the problem.
The other problem with the film is its climax. I won't give it away, but I have seen the same climax more than once. It was an unfortunate low point in a movie that was incredibly well acted. The rest of the storyline was quite unique and enjoyable. Even the modern setting of PTSD and soldiers who have served too many tours was a fascinating setting for the movie. Unfortunately, the amateur screenwriter dropped the ball.
I must point out an unfortunate fact of this movie. It's only 101 minutes. Since it is so short for a complex drama, it drops the ball on many occasions. In the beginning of the film, Zac Efron's character walks from Colorado to Missouri. This fact is almost addressed at one point, but then dropped and never brought back. Things like this happen throughout the film. These holes could have been filled with 15 to 20 minutes more screen time. Unfortunately, the push to keep films shorter made The Lucky One significantly worse.
If you are a Nicolas Sparks fan, this movie is worth seeing. If you enjoy romantic dramas, I would recommend renting The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, or Dear John. If you don't like romantic dramas, there is no reason for you to see this movie. Nicolas Sparks is one of the few authors who deliver consistently good plots. Unfortunately, his last two films have fallen flat. Maybe it's time for him to stop using the same formula again and again.
I feel that the plot was predictable and not very well constructed. I
could not take Zac Efron seriously in the role that he played. I feel
like he had a blank stare (full of no emotion) throughout the movie. I
feel someone with his circumstances would have emotion (having lost
people close to him, having gone through a war...) Emotion of pain or
anger, at least, but I did not feel it, and I have seen so many
military movies where the soldiers were pleasant to watch because of
their raw emotions- makes for a really emotional, wonderful, movie
I also didn't sense the emotions of passion in the love scene between him and "Beth", I felt they showed the physical aspect of their "love" but didn't feel the emotions (once again) I just saw blank stares at one another. To show emotions, I think, is what distinguishes an "OK" actor from and "amazing" actor, and I would not call Zac Efron's acting in this movie, amazing. He also did not give off the "tough guy" feel, even though he had a straight face the entire movie, but I definitely think there is a difference between having a straight face, and being tough. The supporting actors were good, I really love Blythe Danner playing the role of "Ellie" she definitely pulls it off, which is not surprising because most of her movie roles are very similar characters. Taylor Schilling as "Beth" was okay, but the bad acting on Zac Efron's part, and the lack of an interesting, unpredictable plot made it hard for me to enjoy her part in the movie. Overall the movie was okay, I will not watch it again. It will most likely only be liked by the younger population rather than older (under 18) Oh, and I am 21, by the way. X Peace X
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Faithful readers will know that film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks
novels aren't exactly my cup of tea. I enjoy a good romance as much as
the next person, but I've found his particular style to be predictable,
soppy, and emotionally manipulative. With that in mind, I find myself
in the position of reviewing his newest adaptation, "The Lucky One."
While hardly recommendable, it is admittedly better than I thought it
was going to be. It has all the reliable hallmarks of a Nicholas Sparks
story a Southern setting, a sudden love between perfect strangers,
characters with troubled histories, outside forces that threaten the
blossoming relationship, a sentimental conclusion and yet it worked
just a little harder at allowing me to see past its contrivances. It
wasn't hard enough, but progress is progress.
It begins in Iraq, where a U.S. marine named Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) is on his third tour of duty. The night after an ambush, he spots something gleaming in a pile of rubble. It's a photo of a young woman. When it's determined that it belongs to none of the surviving soldiers, Logan claims it as his own, carrying it around with him for the next seven months. He has no idea who the woman is, but it seems she's keeping him alive while others around him die. In a sudden flash, we see him back at home in Colorado, where it's clear he has a touch of PTSD. He reunites with his sister and nephews, finds he can relate to none of them, and decides to track down the woman in the photo so that he can thank her. A distinct lighthouse in the background is just enough for him to discover that she lives in Louisiana.
And so, with his dog by his side, he journeys from one state to the other. The astounding thing is that he walks the entire way. At no point does the film make clear how long the journey takes, and it never explains how he had the means to rest at night and feed both himself and his dog. Never mind; his travelling is conveniently summed up with a few simple shots edited together in a brief montage. His destination in Louisiana is a family-run dog kennel/training school. It's here that he finally meets the woman in the photo. Her name is Beth (Taylor Schilling), a former full-time elementary school teacher and a single mom. She lives with her grandmother (Blythe Danner), who, despite having suffered a minor stroke, can always be counted on to educate young people with her years of wisdom.
Through a series of verbal misunderstandings, Logan doesn't get the chance to tell Beth why he's really there. She believes he's responding to her want ad for help. She initially doesn't trust him, and indeed, how can you trust a man that walked all the way from Colorado to Louisiana? Her grandmother, on the other hand, is far more accommodating and hires him on the spot. He proves himself to be an incredibly diligent worker. "Does he have an off button?" Beth asks disapprovingly. "I hope not," her grandmother responds playfully. In due time, Logan befriends Beth's son Ben (Riley Thomas Stewart) and makes an enemy out of Beth's ex-husband, a cop named Keith (Jay R. Ferguson). Hot-headed, jealous, controlling, and possessive, Keith might as well have been named Rick with a silent P.
I'm aware that movies like this exist primarily for entertainment, so I won't bother pointing out how unlikely it is that Logan and Beth could fall in love under these particular set of circumstances or at all, for that matter. But inevitably, they fall head over heels for each other. This is despite the fact Logan has yet to spill the beans about the photo, which we eventually learn belonged to Beth's brother, a marine who died a year earlier while serving in Iraq. Apart from the fact that the two were close growing up due to the untimely deaths of their parents, what really tortures Beth is the fact that her brother might have died as the result of friendly fire. The investigation is ongoing. Is it possible that Logan knows what really happened?
A few incidental subplots work their way into the story, including Ben's reluctance to play the violin, Keith's wealthy father running for mayor, and Beth's grandmother being a part of a gospel choir. We also see Ben trying to please his father, who's such a manly man that he actively discourages weak activities like music and birthday parties. I'll never understand how it is Ben can feel anything for his father at all, but I guess that's just another one of those contrivances I'll have to tolerate. All leads to a rather mechanical (yet somehow appropriate) confrontation that involves a sudden rainstorm, a raging river, a rickety wooden bridge, and a shaky tree house jutting perilously from a limb. Although "The Lucky One" is not edifying, I recognize that it fills a need. Believe you me, it will fill it nicely.
-- Chris Pandolfi (www.atatheaternearyou.net)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Whoever The Lucky One was meant to be, it certainly wasn't me.
If you've read any of Nicholas Sparks' novels (I haven't) or suffered, sorry, seen any of the film adaptations (Message in a Bottle, The Notebook etc.) then you'll understand the formula: Woman in need of love meets man but an obstacle (death, another woman/man etc.) bars their way to rumpy pumpy and never-ending happiness but something will occur (argument, misunderstanding, accident etc.) resulting in the death or change of heart of the cause of the obstacle and the opportunity for the heartthrob to prove his prowess and win the girl.
If that was a plot spoiler for you, you evidently didn't watch the trailer (the entire film in 30 seconds and better for it!) and deserve only to watch such turgid, pox-ridden flicks as Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.
There are no surprises in The Lucky One other than how utterly predictable the plot and outcome are and how thoroughly stereotypical and two-dimensional the principal characters turn out to be. Oh, I suppose I was marginally surprised at how a young man who essentially stalks the sister of a dead soldier is able to turn that into a plus point Scott Hicks, who deservedly won plaudits for Shine and then ripped the hearts out of the adaptations for two superb novels (Snow Falling on Cedars and Hearts in Atlantis), again directs with a join-the-dots approach with similar results: Yes, you'll know what the picture is supposed to be but you won't want to frame it and hang it over the fireplace.
I don't dislike the film because it's a rom-com, I dislike it because it's a really badly made rom-com. It's certainly no Notting Hill and doesn't even reach the dizzy first-floor heights of Hicks' own The Boys Are Back.
The presence of Blythe Danner should be a plus point (and trust me, we need every plus point we can find in this offering), but she's been written another predictably fanciable, quirky grandma role who is too beautiful, too 'wise', too absolutely perfect to be realistic or engaging. Zac Efron's heartthrob marine, Logan, is equally unbelievable; a good-looking, almost perfect, animal-loving, child-adoring, non-judgemental, placid, mechanic, painter, pianist who just happens, let's not forget, to be an obsessive stalker!!! What's lovable or dependable about that? Taylor Schilling is as bland as Beth, as Jay R. Ferguson is paint-by-numbers bad as ex-husband/pantomime villain. It's barely worth saying much more about them lest the venom I spit corrodes my teeth on the way out.
Stuff happens. All the stuff you know is going to happen happens. The holes are big enough to swallow entire ranches. Nothing is fully thought out or explained, everything ties up neatly and you'll either leave the cinema in love with the pastel world of Hollywood's schmaltziest minds or you'll escape to the car park just about in time to vomit on your shoes without ruining the carpet.
I need a new pair of Ted Bakers.
|Page 1 of 9:||        |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||External reviews||Parents Guide|
|Official site||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|