The Lucky One
Director: Scott Hicks
Writer: Will Fetters
Based on: Nicholas Sparks‘ novel
Cast: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Riley Thomas Stewart, Jay R. Ferguson, Adam LeFevre, Robert Hayes
Seen on: 22.2.2020
Logan (Zac Efron) was a Marine in Iraq. One day he found a picture of a woman in the sand there, keeping him away from a blast site and saving his life. And he was lucky enough to return home, proof enough for him that that photo is a talisman that kept him safe. Once he returns to the USA, he becomes restless and starts walking – always looking for the woman on the photo. As luck would have it, he actually finds her, Beth (Taylor Schilling). Before he can tell her the real reason he came to her, Logan finds himself working in Beth’s family business – a dog grooming/training/lodging place.
I was in the mood for a sappy romantic film and I thought I could barely go wrong with a Sparks adaptation to scratch that itch. But The Lucky One is rather lukewarm, I have to admit – it feels a little too much like a color by number thing.
I’m not sure why The Lucky One left me comparably cold. I mean, I like the trope of the guy who doesn’t talk much, reads a lot, gets things done, and is super-caring and Logan was a prime example of that dude. Also, he is good with kids and animals and plays the piano. Maybe it was just that he was too perfect. Or that he looks like Zac Efron who is simply not my cup of tea.
But of course, Logan wasn’t the only person in the film, there’s also Beth and Beth remained pretty colorless, devoid of many attributes apart from being traumatized by her brother’s death. Even her ex-husband Keith (Jay R. Ferguson) gets more of a personality than she does (and more chemistry with Logan). Not that I appreciated how much leniency he is given by the film with his controlling, abusive behavior towards Beth. I also didn’t appreciate the “Beth just has to put her foot down once” solution here, because that’s not how abusive relationships work at all.
Plus, the set-up of the situation where Logan does not tell Beth about the photo (so it could cause drama later, of course) was so incredibly flimsy, I couldn’t forgive Logan so easily for keeping the circumstances of his arrival from Beth. That was a dick move and the film pretends like it wasn’t. It is easier for me to accept that Logan just randomly wanders into the town where Beth lives.
In short, The Lucky One did not work for me or satisfy my romance craving. Despite the right raw ingredients, the result is lacking spice. At least there are dogs.
Summarizing: didn’t convince.