Saturday, April 21, 2012

Movie Review for The Lucky One

Starring: Zac Efron as Logan    

Also Starring: Taylor Schilling as Beth; Blythe Danner as Ellie;
and Riley Thomas Stewart as Ben

Release Date:  Friday, April 20, 2012

Running Time:  101 minutes

Genre:  Drama

Director: Scott Hicks

Writers: Will Fetters (screenplay)  Nicholas Sparks (novel)

Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence

Brief Description: A Marine travels to Louisiana after serving three tours in Iraq and searches for the unknown woman he believes was his good luck charm during the war.

I just recently saw a commercial for this movie and wanted to see it because  it stars Zac Efron. As the mother of two teenage daughters, I've watched Zac since he was 16 years old and appeared as Cameron in the TV series Summerland starring Lori Loughlin. At 18, he starred as Troy in the Disney TV movie, High School Musical. And the rest, as they say, is history. He went on and starred in two more High School Musical movies and then, at the age of 19, landed the role of Link Larkin in the 2007 hit film Hairspray.  He has continued to appear in other comedies including 17 Again and New Year's Eve. I think it was his role as a young man struggling with his brother's death in the movie Charlie St. Cloud that convinced me that he had successfully made the transition from cute Disney star to accomplished film actor.

And then last night I found out that movie The Lucky One is based on a novel written by author Nicholas Sparks. Duh, I should have guessed that by watching the previews: Attractive but lonely guy finds girl, overcomes obstacles, someone dies and then he gets girl at the end of the movie.  Seems like this same situation has been the pattern for most of the other novels Sparks has written that have also been turned into tearjerker movies (The Last Song, Dear John).

I purchased tickets ahead of time for the 7:15 showing of The Lucky One on the day it came out and I'm glad I did because the theater was full and several people had trouble finding seats. I took Sara and her friend Natalie where they met two other girls at the theater. Most of the people there were teenagers, although I did see a few older people and those in their twenties.

The movie opens with Zac's character Logan as a Marine fighting in Iraq. Amid all the bombs in the war zone, he finds a picture of a pretty, blond young woman. At first I wondered if I could believe Zac Efron looks old enough to play a soldier convincingly, but he does. He turns 25 this year and looks like he has been working out since playing basketball as Troy Bolton in HSM. His character Logan returns to the US and begins his search for the girl in the picture, along with his German shepherd Zeus.

Thanks to the Internet and part of a lighthouse in the picture, he discovers that the picture was taken in Hammond, Louisiana. So he walks from his sister's home in Colorado to Louisiana with his dog. This part I don't really believe. I guess he might have walked through Arkansas on his way to Louisiana? He actually finds the girl, Beth (Taylor Schilling), who runs a family dog kennel with her amusing grandmother Ellie (Blythe Danner).

I think one of the best things about this movie is the casting. The character of Beth is a single mom and Taylor Schilling does an excellent job of handling the daily duties of running the dog kennel, being mom to her adorable 10-year-old son Ben who would rather play his violin then play baseball, and struggling to get along with her jerk of an ex-husband. She is a pretty actress but also plays a strong character.

I also liked Blythe Danner in this movie and almost forgot that she is Gwyneth Paltrow's mother. And the actor who plays Beth's son is also very good, without being annoying.

This movie was filmed in Louisiana and the locations shots are beautiful. There are many scenes filmed outdoors, both on sunny days and during the pouring rain. Overall, I really enjoyed watching The Lucky One and I thought it was a very good movie with a good storyline, great acting by a strong cast, and excellent production value.

Taylor Schilling and Zac Efron appear together at an event for The Lucky One


  1. Thanks for the movie review. It sounds like one I'll have to watch.

  2. Thank you for reading my movie review! And I loved reading your recap of the Erma Bombeck Celebration at the Centerville Library. Sounds like you had a great time!