Advertisement

Film review: 'The Lucky One' never gets the fire started

April 20, 2012|By Andy Klein
  • Zac Efron as Logan and Taylor Schilling as Beth in Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures romantic drama 'The Lucky One,' a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Zac Efron as Logan and Taylor Schilling as Beth in Warner…

Hollywood keeps making adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels, even though they've never really burned up the box office. Maybe “The Lucky One” will be, well, the lucky one, but it's hard to imagine why. Sparks films have become their own subclass within the Romance genre; and this one feels so familiar that, in my mind, its details began to blur with those of its predecessors before the closing credits had finished.

Zac Efron plays Logan Thibault, a recently returned Iraq vet, who is determined to track down a beautiful girl (Taylor Schilling), whose photo he found buried in the desert. He doesn't know her name or anything about her, but her image kept him (in his words) “alive,” though, based on some of his actions, not necessarily sane. Now home for good from his third tour of duty, he locates this unwitting guardian angel in a small Louisiana town. Her name is Beth Green, and the photo belonged to her brother, who was killed in action under murky circumstances.

Advertisement

Due to the kind of creaky contrivance on which romantic melodramas are frequently constructed, she mistakes him for a job applicant — she runs a dog training and boarding facility — before he can explain why he's there. Beth's wise old grandma, Nana (Blythe Danner), immediately intuiting that Logan is one of the Good Guys, hires him, despite Beth's misgivings.

At that moment, you think: Wait a minute, Danner is playing her grandmother? Did I hear that right? While a perusal of the two actresses' vital stats reveals that Danner is, in fact, old enough to have begot Schilling's mom, it's still a jolt for those of us of a certain age.

That Nana has better instincts than Beth is soon apparent. Beth is struggling as the single mom of a precocious 8-year-old (Riley Thomas Stewart); her lout of an ex (Jay R. Ferguson) is a local sheriff and son of one of the town's most powerful men (Adam Lefevre). He wants her back and figures that a campaign of harassment and threats will surely recapture her heart.

Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles
|
|
|