Having written the hugely popular The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks has been Hollywood’s go-to novelist for romantic dramas. Here the story centres around a marine suffering to adjust to normal life after three tours, a marine who is saved by a solitary picture he happens across in the midst of war.
Zac Efron stars as marine Logan who, after finding a picture of a mysterious girl, experiences unbelievable luck. With the picture in hand he survives bombings some of his friends do not and, with a little push from his best friend, he decides to find the girl in the picture to thank her for saving him. This task is remarkably easy (although it takes him a while he still manages to find her despite there being little to no information in the picture) and he soon finds himself in her presence. After a few failed attempts at explaining his presence he finds himself employed by Beth (Taylor Schilling) and her grandmother (Blythe Danner) at the kennels they run.
Inevitably the two begin to fall in love but are confronted with several obstacles, many issued from Keith, the father of Beth’s son. Deciding to overcome the threat he poses, Beth allows herself to fall for Logan, a man who she deems too perfect to be real, before Keith discovers that his presence in the town is no coincidence. The revelation leaves Beth reeling and a dramatic turn leaves everybody with new perspective.
The Lucky One treads no new ground and the characters feel like they have been pulled from other films of this genre and the film will be criticised for these very reasons. It’s important to remember, however, that people aren’t going to cinemas to watch a genre-defying mind-bender when they watch movies like this. What we must consider is whether The Lucky One pulls at the heart strings enough… and the short answer is no. Although it’s stylistically sound, the film never really gains enough momentum to create an enduring emotional tie to the audience.
Fans of the genre will be pleased with this effort but, despite the abundance of cute dogs and a sappy story, The Lucky One isn’t really a tear-jerker.