Everyone searches for love in different ways and in The Lucky One, Marine, Logan Thibault (Zac Efron, High School Musical, Charlie St. Cloud) returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, searching for the woman (Taylor Schilling, Mercy) who he believes saved his life in an Iraqi war zone. Logan found a photo of the woman in a pile of rubble and carried it with him at all times. Who is she and is she the one for him?
The movie is formulaic - boy finds girl, girl is torn and drama ensues. Efron does a good job as the post-traumatic service man and has established himself as an actor, surpassing being a “Disney Kid”. Schilling portrays Beth, the woman in the photo who at times reminds me of Mary Stuart Masterson. The biggest problem with her performance was that she never cried and this is a “Tear Jerker” movie. When the lead female is unable to cry it quickly drops the tear radar. The strongest performance comes from the solid veteran actress, Blythe Danner (Meet the Parents) who plays the supportive, loving grandmother to Beth. Blythe Danner is Gwyneth Paltrow’s mother.
The Lucky One is based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, Dear John) and directed by Oscar Nominee Scott Hicks (Shine). When a movie has all this talent you might expect more. The cinematography captures the southern backdrop that adds to the depth of this “Chick Flick”. If you are looking for a movie that requires limited thinking and is formula based, then The Lucky One is for you.