THE LUCKY ONE
DIRECTOR: Scott Hicks
CAST: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner
CLASSIFICATION: 13 SV
I just can’t seem to take Zac Efron seriously in this new role as a grown up man. I didn’t hate The Lucky One, but it is agonisingly less romantic than it really should have been.
Efron hasn’t yet acquired the emotional range and vulnerability needed to successfully pull off extensive roles. The film is neither as emotionally resonant as The Notebook nor as emotionally vacant as The Last Song.
Efron plays US Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault, a decent man who finishes up three tours of duty in Iraq to take on another mission, one much more personal than fighting on foreign soil. Logan walks from Colorado to Louisiana – with his loyal dog as his only companion – in search of the woman whose photo he stumbled across outside of a bombed-out building (which saves his life).
He then goes on a mission in search of her as this photo has become his lucky charm and he truly believes it is responsible for allowing him to return alive and safe to the US while others were killed. But when he shows up at Green Kennels, the country canine boarding establishment that Beth, a divorced single mom, runs with her grandmother (Danner), he can’t bring himself to reveal why he’s there.
Instead, he signs on as a kennel worker. Compared to The Notebook, this is not Spark’s best. The leads were mismatched. Efron is handsome and all but the lead actress was awkwardly paired. On screen she looks like a 30-year-old mother but she’s supposed to be in her mid-20s.
Despite his proven star power in the lightweight likes of Hairspray, 17 Again, and Me and Orson Welles, Efron mistakes a brooding air for war-tested maturity, often letting his stare and stubble do the work, while Schilling runs anxious circles around him until she gives in.
The story follows the standard romance formula and is predictable and none too interesting.
Efron’s emotional range is superficial. Whenever he tries to move into a place with more depth, it’s just plain painful. With his impeccable showcase of muscles, less time in the gym and more time in acting class is needed.
With zero chemistry and laden with clichés, The Lucky One won’t leave audiences feeling lucky to have spent two hours of their lives taking in a screening.
Zac Efron is no Ryan Gosling.
And Rachel McAdams is still the best romantic leading lady when it comes to any film inspired by a Nicholas Sparks book.
If you liked … The Vow… you’ll like this.