The Lucky One Reviews
His seventh tear-jerking chick-flick about the triumph of love over adversity, The Lucky One's production value is stymied by the inertia of the script, crucially miss-timed emotional peaks and troughs and a myriad of ridiculous but apparently commonplace coincidences.
After a gun fight whilst on his third tour of duty, US Marine Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) sits to take a five minute breather but moves when a photo buried in the rubble nearby catches his eye. Moments later a blast rips through the company and Logan awakes in a hospital days later still in possession of the photo. The picture - pretty young blonde asking the barer to 'stay safe' - becomes his protective talisman when a series of fatal situations fail to claim his life.
Upon returning to the states, Logan is unable to settle back into civilian life and takes to the internet to source the location of his guardian angel (a watch tower in the background providing a solid starting point). A fan of walking, Logan and his faithful German Sheppard Zeus decide to set out on foot to make the trek from Louisiana to a picturesque rural setting in Colorado in hopes of finding and explaining to the unknown lady just how many times she inexplicably saved his life.
By showing the picture around town, he quickly finds out she can be found at a dog grooming, training and shelter business known as the Green Kennels. Logan arrives and meets the run-down business owner Beth (Taylor Schilling). Unable to find the right words and seize the moment to explain his appearance, Beth guesses he is there in response to the help wanted ad she placed in the paper.
Weary of the quiet stranger, Beth implores her good natured business partner and grandmother nana (Blythe Danner), but seeing exactly what they need, Nana takes a shine to Logan offering him the job. Mr. Fix jumps to kick-starting derelict tractors, mending gutters and restoring dilapidated shacks and boats, they thing Logan cant mend is Beth's broken heart.
Still grieving over the lost of her missing-in-action brother known as Aces, and further repressed by her drunken cop ex-husband Keith (Jay R. Ferguson) and his constant intimidating threats to seize custody of their young son Ben (Riley Thomas Stewart), she lives on an emotional knifes edge.
But the longer Logan remains the stronger and more stable life seems to become for all and with a little of nana's urging, Beth walls against the world begins to come down. As a slow simmering relationship breathes life back into both of these lost souls, will the discovery of Logan's secret destroy their newfound stability?
The actors have performed to the best of their abilities with the limited material. The beefed up and stubble-clad Efron is believable as the strong silent type (however I think Channing Tatum may have been better suited), Ferguson's inferiority complex is impeccable, Schilling's emotional distress is palpable (even if it is woefully edited) and the overly qualified Danner has a wonderful grasp on the sneakiness of a loving grandmother.
The Verdict: Sadly, due to the complete lack of redeeming production efforts nothing could salvage this film, even if there was a rarely captured genuine sexual chemistry between its leads. Consider yourself lucky if this snarky review is the closest you get to this insufferable overblown piece of cinematic piffle.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 27/04/2012