Nicholas Sparks has done it again.  The Lucky One is his newest novel-turned-movie that follows in the familiar and unrealistic footsteps of all of the others.  It’s just the right amount of sap that the audience expects.  If anything, The Lucky One continues to prove that if we want the sappy, we want it directly from Nicholas Sparks.  Other chick flicks just can’t live up.

The Players:

  • Director: Scott Hicks
  • Writer: Will Fetters (screenplay), Nicholas Sparks (novel)
  • Starring: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Riley Thomas Stewart, Jay R. Ferguson

The Plot:

U.S. Marine Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) returns to North Carolina from his third tour of duty in Iraq with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive—a photograph he found of a woman he does not even know. Learning her name is Beth (Taylor Schilling) and where she lives, he shows up at her door and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.

The Good:

  • The Scenery: All Nicholas Sparks stories seem to take place in North Carolina. It’s beautiful there, so why not? It might not be much different from the scenery in The Notebook or Dear John, but it’s pretty none-the-less. It will make you want to take a vacation to a small town in North Carolina.
  • The Soundtrack: The right song matched with the right scene can do wonders. Just as easily, the wrong song can really make a mess of things. Luckily, the soundtrack is dead on for this. The songs fit with the mood perfectly, and when the ending credits roll, you might want to dance your way out of the auditorium.
  • The Cast: Zac Efron gets too much negative attention for being that pretty boy from High School Musical.  Even after proving himself capable in The Lucky One, the haters will still come out in droves.  He holds up the lead character really well, and he’s totally believable as the damaged but lovable soldier. Taylor Schilling’s acting abilities are harder to tell at first, but she gets better as the movie progresses. The real scene-stealer is Riley Thomas Stewart. That little dude can do no wrong. Props to him for holding his own on screen with the adults.

The Bad:

  • The Monologue: In every cheesy love story, there’s that moment when one character confesses something deep to the other. It’s never a simple confession. It’s always a monologue. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.  Unfortunately, the big reveal in The Lucky One falls short.  There’s something awkward and uncomfortable about it. Even though it’s supposed to be a pivotal moment, it doesn’t take long to realize that the scene should just end.  Right now.
  • The Villain: Jay R. Ferguson does well in the role of Beth’s ex-husband, Keith, but the character himself is baffling. It makes you question the intelligence of the leading lady. Typically, “the villain” character goes through some kind of change, and they stop being the villain. The Lucky One tricks you. It goes so back and forth and you don’t know if you’re supposed to like him or not. He’s bad. No wait, he’s okay. Just kidding, he’s completely evil. No, he’s not so bad. Enough is enough.


This is exactly what you sign up for when you go to see a chick flick.  It’s not the most stellar or realistic story out there, but no one should expect anything else.  Essentially, it’s just a fairytale.  Watch it for what it is, and enjoy it.

Rating: 7/10

The Lucky One opens April 20th.  Grab your girlfriends and go!

Photo Gallery: