Movie Review: “The Lucky One” – All Lucked Out

Written by Spencer Sterritt June 01, 2012

An Unfortunate Duty

There’s a very noticable trend to rip apart with glee romantic comedies that pump out cliches instead of emotions, and while it’s a fun venture, I don’t think it does an adequate job of picking apart the numbered and, in the end, nameless romance films that get churned out every year. So instead of delighting in taking “The Lucky One” apart, I think I’ll do it as solemnly as a film of such this terrible quality deserves.

There is a flagrant disregard for plot in this film, as the whole movie hinges upon a premise that cannot sustain itself for more than fifteen minutes. Zac Efron plays Sergeant Logan Somethingorother, who is stationed in Iraq. His discovery of the photo of a woman keeps him from being involved in a house explosion, and from then on the photo acts as his guardian angel. When he returns home, he heads out to find the woman in the photo. But once he miraculously finds her, after walking (!) all the way from Colorado to Louisiana, a series of strained circumstances keep him from telling her why he found her.

Even the cliches lack traits

Issues raise their heads and audience’s hackles no more than five minutes into the film, as we’re treated to a night raid in Iraq, and Zac Efron in military gear. There’s no character introduction, no defining personality trait for Logan, just a bit of scruff and a scrunched up face that telegraphs when he’s in a pensive mood, or when he’s in a slightly less pensive, more angsty mood. After an hour and forty minutes, that doesn’t change. He’s supposed to be happy by films end, but he still has a blank look in his face. Perhaps it’s a very “Mad Men“-esque portrait of how someone can never be happy?

The look of the next Don Draper, no?

 

The cliches pile up quicker in “The Lucky One” than any other Nicholas Sparks adaptation. The low bar of quality established by “The Vow” is undermined by the broad characteristics of each character. There’s the abusive ex-husband, the shy child who Logan be-friends, the fact that Logan is a perfect dog trainer, the fact that he can fix everything, and the relationship between Logan and Beth (Taylor Shilling- the woman in the photograph). Laziness seeps into every frame.

Perhaps in a better film…

The film concerns itself with how you tell someone a deep secret, and how relationships built on lies can topple in an instant. But in this case there is no secret. The film treats the fact that Logan was searching for Beth because he saw her in a photograph as some big secret, something terrible, when it’s practically nothing. All it would take is a quick five minute conversation and the movie would be over. When Logan does finally express his reason for finding her, he talks about how difficult it is to find the words, and how hard it is to tell her, before getting it over with in no less than a minute. He has had an hour and a half of opportunities by this point to tell her!

You'll need a reassuring hug after suffering through this one

Yelling at the screen is all you can do really. There’s no logic to the film, like how Logan even finds Beth. Did he walk across the American Mid-West, stopping at every town in every state along the way, all while with his dog? All that did was remind me of a hilarious Norm Macdonald skit about homeless people and their dogs, which you can find here.

Even if you’re a fan of Nicholas Sparks, and you’re yearning for something even half of what “The Notebook” is, you’ll have to move on. Only the unluckiest soul in the world should have to watch this one.

My Rating: 3/10

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About Spencer Sterritt

Spencer Sterritt

Spencer Sterritt: former Editor-In-Chief for We Eat Films, future President of the Men With Beards Club, and hopefully candidate for ruler of the world.

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