The Lucky One

If you're in the mood for an estrogen-soaked outing, you might try this little weeper, another Nicholas Sparks ("The Last Song") novel...you know, all swoony... with bayous. They contrived a "Notebook"-type scene in a shower stall instead of a rainstorm, but Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling will never be Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams! They might be as pretty, but these PG-13 love scenes are endless! Where is the fast-forward on my remote when I need it!

If you've seen the trailers, you know we start in a war zone with Zac, a corporal in a Marine platoon that is ambushed. By the time the dust settles, he is resting beside the rubble and sees something glint in the sunlight. As he goes over to pick up a snapshot of a pretty woman, a mortar hits right where he had been; the photo literally saves his life. He doesn't know who dropped it and has a devil of a time trying to figure out who the pretty woman is so he can thank her.

Here is the attractive cast:
  • Zac Efron ("17 Again") as our hero Logan, tracks down the mysterious lovely young woman from that photo. Efron is still trying to reboot his career after the "High School Musical" franchise. His movies are squeaky clean and he is nicely buffed, but his love scenes don't generate much heat; he can only look sincere and earnest for so long....
  • Taylor Schilling ("Atlas Shrugged, Part I") as Beth, a divorced mother who runs a professional dog training facility and boarding kennel with her grandmother. She is troubled by the rumor that her brother was killed by friendly fire.
  • Blythe Danner ("What's Your Number") as Ellie, the wise and witty grandmother. She hires Logan over Beth's objections, then smiles as our two leads predictably fall in love.
  • Jay R. Ferguson (Lots of TV) is Keith, a small-town cop who shares custody of their boy with Beth, but suffers from an overdose of testosterone.
Director Scott Hicks ("No Reservations") has captured the challenges of post-war adjustment by showing our hero's reaction to video games and unexpected situations without making them the central theme of the movie. I appreciate that: it's believable without being melodramatic.

As our hero decompresses, we get snippets of a bucolic rural life being lived at a slower pace. There is a sweet scene in a church where Logan, at the piano, accompanies a little boy playing a violin, in a simple rendition of "In the Garden."

The screening audience left with smiles on their faces.
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Here is a link to a trailer:
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