Mention Nicholas Sparks‘ name and visions of popular romantic dramas come to mind…
Like MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE, DEAR JOHN, NIGHTS IN RODANTHE and, of course, THE NOTEBOOK.
Contrary to popular belief THE VOW wasn’t one of them.
So when I mentioned to friends that I would be going to a preview of Sparks’ latest best seller to screen adaptation THE LUCKY ONE earlier this week, they were giving me that "I feel your pain" look—as in I’m glad it’s you instead of me.
But these judges were guys. And THE LUCKY ONE is totally, 100% pure chick flick.
Here Zac Efron stars as U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault returning home to Colorado from his third tour of duty in Iraq—the survival of which he credits to a photograph. A picture of a mysterious blonde he found after a firefight which killed his fellow Marines but kept him out of harm’s way.
On the back of the photograph the words, "keep safe" were written.
Was she his lucky charm?
So after returning home shellshocked, Efron makes it his mission to track her down. Just him and his dog wandering all the way to Louisiana where he finds her managing the family’s run-down kennel with her young son and grandma Blythe Danner.
She’s Beth played by Taylor Schilling, a divorced mom with baggage, including a major case of mistrust and a jealous ex who’s the s.o.b. deputy sheriff of the county.
But this being a Nicholas Sparks based motion picture, of course the two (eventually) hit it off. Along the way, overcoming all sorts of her personal complications which include her brother, a Marine who was killed in Iraq and, and……….
No I’m not going to give it away. You figure it out.
My favorite (?) tearjerking line on Zac having found her picture: "It was like finding an angel in hell."
Efron here all buffed and on his way to becoming a romantic leading man, facial hair and all.
And once he gets his acting skills out of first gear will probably succeed.
That said, there’s decent enough chemistry between the two leads, and wise grandma Danner adds just the right amount of looks and wisdom to the proceedings to keep the female audience satisfied.
As for guys being dragged along to this 101 minute long, date night, chick flick—hey, she’ll owe you.
THE LUCKY ONE: The girls will raise 3 out of 5 fingers. You will be waiting for what’s to come after the movie.
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. on NewsRadio KMBZ AM & FM / and anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND-Channel 411.