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The Lucky One

Nicholas Sparks’ romance novels have provided many smiles for Hollywood’s executives.  Crafting love-lorn tales featuring handsome gentlemen and winsome damsels his output has provided plenty of profitable cinematic fodder.  ‘The Lucky One’ is the same as previous works such as ‘The Notebook’ and ‘Dear John’ – the latter sharing many similarities.  Fans of the Mills and Boon-like traumas will no doubt enjoy proceedings even if its story is less than scintillating.

 

Returning from a tour of duty in Iraq, US Marine Logan (Zac Efron) begins a personal mission.  Surviving war-time with the aid of a photo of a woman he doesn’t know, he aims to track her down.  Learning her name is Beth (Taylor Schilling), he gains a job on her family farm in order to be close to her.  Eventually developing a romance, their lives take unexpected turns with the trail towards continual bliss a rocky one.

 

One would have expected more from ‘The Lucky One’ given Scott Hicks’ involvement.  Having directed ‘Shine’ among others, it was hoped his newest venture had more of their emotionally perceptive style.  Sadly it doesn’t as despite the occasional glimpse of his own flair, Hicks seems trapped by the very formulaic screenplay.  Predictable and filled with increasingly preposterous situations it does his reputation no favours.

 

Unfortunately the performers aren’t great with their lack of range highlighting the story’s plot-holes.  Although a ‘marque-name’ Efron’s believability as a traumatised soldier is minimal.  His chemistry with Schilling is non-existent thereby ruining any chance of investing in their characters.  They fail to project a sense of urgency or drive with only the scenery becoming the film’s best aspect.  Their surrounds are wonderfully photographed with a serene lushness and it’s a pity this eye for quality wasn’t given to the script.

 

‘The Lucky One’ is a banal entry in the romance stakes made all the more disappointing by the talent involved.  Neither passionate nor romantically enthralling it earns its place in the ‘movie mediocrity’ Hall of Fame with ease.

 

Rating out of 10:  2

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