It has all the elements of a great love story, a southern background, a hunky young star, and a New York Times bestselling storyline. A Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Lucky One is a story about a Marine who returns from a tour in Iraq after finding a picture of a mysterious woman in wartime rubble. The photo quickly becomes his lucky charm, saving him from many close calls. When he returns, he’s determined to meet the woman who saved him, and a budding romance ensues.
The Lucky One stars former teen hearthrob Zac Efron, who has beefed up his biceps and stepped into what seems like a role better suited for an older man. Still, if you’re a fan of the baby-faced actor, you won’t be disappointed, though he definitely takes on the role of a more subdued person, as you would think a Marine would be.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when watching this movie… mostly because while reading the book, I wondered why it was even adapted for Hollywood. It has a strong premise, but the follow-through is lacking something. The chemistry between Efron and co-star Taylor Schilling, of the short-lived television series Mercy, is pretty good.
But it’s the long and almost unneeded sex scenes that I find puzzling. Why not spend the time developing the romance like Sparks did in The Notebook? Or better still, take a little more time to develop character like in his classic A Walk To Remember? It’s difficult to see the succession of pretty great movies that Sparks has cranked out over the years and not compare this one to those. In my opinion, there really is no comparison. I will say that, for her part, though, Blythe Danner does a delightful job of bringing Nana, the good-natured grandmother, to life. She definitely brings some welcomed comic relief.
This movie does have one great element to it: the belief in destiny. The movie really is about two lives interwoven through fate, or destiny, and from a Christian perspective, I thought it brought up an excellent point: the thought that we are made for one person, and the roads we get there to find that person can be long and winding. We can all hold onto the hope that God has someone for each of us and that, through His will, we may find the person we were meant to be with. Though there isn’t any mention of God’s will in the script, the part that destiny plays in the matching of these two characters provides for interesting subject matter, even if the way it played out didn’t wow me.