By Keyla Lopez
In the latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, “The Lucky One,” the idea of fate is strongly conveyed to win hearts over.
Nicholas Sparks’ novels are known for painting beautiful and poignant love stories that often translate onto the big screen. “The Lucky One” introduces Logan Thibault played by Zac Efron, who is best known for Troy from High School Musical, is a U.S. Marine serving his third tour of duty out in Iraq.
While there, he notices something on the ground that grabs his attention, so he leaves the place he’s been sitting and goes to look, only to find an unidentified photograph in the rubble with the words “keep safe” written on the back of it.
This act leads him to cheat death as a bomb goes off moments later in the very place he had been sitting in. Logan quite literally asks everyone around him if the picture belonged to anyone. When the picture is unclaimed, he holds on to it.
He goes on to cheat death a couple more times after finding the photo, leading him to come to the conclusion that the mystery woman in the picture must be his guardian angel. Jump into a time machine and we see our main character months after the fact and Logan has returned home.
Efron’s character decides to take on the impossible task of finding out who the woman in the photograph is. Upon learning that the woman in the picture is Beth Clayton, played by up-and-coming actress, Taylor Schilling, Logan travels cross country to find her by foot.
However, this is a Nicholas Sparks novel and it’s exactly the type of cheesy, over the top romantic thing a protagonist in one of his stories would do. Unfortunately for the film, fate fell short and the screenplay came off a little lackluster and didn’t meet the potential that it could have, leaving the actors and other aspects of the movie to compensate for what the script lacked.
The story is predictable. We all clearly know that Logan finds Beth and the two will fall in love and, as with every other romance, we find the two lead characters fighting for their love. Whether or not this latest book-turned-movie attempt stayed true to the novel it was based off of is questionable.
Luckily, the vibrant cast keeps it from being a total flop. Blythe Danner brings a timeless wisdom on to the table as Beth’s mother, while Efron’s charismatic persona comes off on screen with his boyish good looks. It was nice seeing him in something more mature and taking it seriously, even putting on a few extra pounds of muscle to make his appearance as a Marine more believable.
Schilling’s simple beauty and acting chops let her successfully portray a single mother dealing with the loss of her brother who died in Iraq. Scott Hicks, serving as director for the film, did a great job in including beautiful scenery that helped scenes with its opulent shots of Louisiana landscape and traditional Southern homes that contributed to the films pros.
In the end, Efron and Schilling’s undeniable chemistry carried the film throughout its entirety despite its flaws.