160 of 184 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly representative of the most important lessons of our lives.....
As a writer and philosopher, this movie in particular just blew me away. The first time I saw the previews for it, I remember thinking that it seemed to have an interesting quality to it which appealed to both my intellectual trades mentioned above. The first time I saw it, I was just blown away, as have I been in the three other times I've gone to see it...
Published on April 28, 2012 by CJCody2010
57 of 67 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Montage Sparks and the perfect man
Being the only male in the audience on a Friday afternoon, pretty much tells you what you are getting with "The Lucky One". As the lights came up as the credits rolled, I turned around to see myself standing among fifteen to twenty women, some were teared up, some weren't. Nicholas Sparks, the writer of the novel, has made a career off of books and movies that touch...
Published on April 23, 2012 by Chris Kennison
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160 of 184 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly representative of the most important lessons of our lives.....,
As a writer and philosopher, this movie in particular just blew me away. The first time I saw the previews for it, I remember thinking that it seemed to have an interesting quality to it which appealed to both my intellectual trades mentioned above. The first time I saw it, I was just blown away, as have I been in the three other times I've gone to see it.
Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) comes off as being the kind of character who you can really learn a lot from in terms of lust plain old life experiences in general. What other people brand as being 'mushy' or 'cheesy' I see as being the truth towards understanding how no matter what hand of cards you're dealt in your life, there is always hope. All you got to to is go and find it. Logan finds himself in this situation while on deployment in the Middle East, where a single, split second decision to pick up a photo amidst a pile of rubble undoubtedly comes to change the course of his entire life. After coming to the realization that finding that photo truly spared his life, along with knowing so many others were not so lucky, he finds himself obliged and determined to find the girl in the photo and thank her.
After a brief stay with his sister in Colorado, he sets off on foot to find this girl. His search takes him to a small town in Louisiana where once meeting her, his initial goal of thanking her is derailed as he suddenly finds himself falling in love with her, as well as growing to be very fond of both her eight-year-old son and her feisty grandmother. One thing in particular that I admired greatly about Logan's character is that he never once detered or swayed when it came to helping someone else in need, or standing beside them when they needed support. This is shown in the film when he rises to support Beth when she is grieving over the loss of her brother as well as amidst the conflict with her abusive ex-husband. At the same time, his imperfections are conveyed through his struggle to come clean with the true reason for which he intended to find Beth.
Out of everything, the most prominent element of Logan's character which resonated in my mind is the level of humility present in his character. He's not afraid to see things as they really are in his life, and tries his best to change what he can. Even when confronting Beth over the matter of Derek's picture, he makes his best effort to address the situation as honestly as he can, even when it could mean losing Beth and her family forever. Probably the most shining moment of the movie comes at the end, after Logan explains to Beth the details of her brother's death which she has wanted to know since his death, when the sum of all of Logan's actions come together to reward him in the form of Beth saying to him, "You belong here."
I know this as a fact, from personal experience, to be one of life's greatest lessons, and some people's inability to understand it is to be expected, as people are not perfect. That just makes the experiences of those who do even more culturally prominent, because passing that lesson on to another person is undoubtedly the most remarkable gift one person can give to another. Therefore, I raise my glass to Sparks, Efron and all those involved and say,
"Well done, my friends. Well done."
57 of 67 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Montage Sparks and the perfect man,
This review is from: The Lucky One (Movie only+UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Being the only male in the audience on a Friday afternoon, pretty much tells you what you are getting with "The Lucky One". As the lights came up as the credits rolled, I turned around to see myself standing among fifteen to twenty women, some were teared up, some weren't. Nicholas Sparks, the writer of the novel, has made a career off of books and movies that touch people's hearts. The biggest of those was "The Notebook", but "A Walk to Remember" & "Message in a Bottle" were notable as well.
While most of Spark's novels are tailor made for women, I found "The Notebook" to be something that everything could relate to with its theme of Alzheimer's. "The Lucky One" on the other hand, had many opportunities to reach a broader audience but brush stroked over those. I enjoyed "The Lucky One", but for some reason, it didn't quite affect me like "The Notebook" did. That may be because it didn't spend enough time in certain areas.
First of all, Zac Effron (High School Musical, 17 Again) plays Logan, a survivor of Iraqi freedom who stumbles upon a picture of Beth (Taylor Schilling) lying in a pile of rocks after a night raid. All we learn about Logan happens in the length of the opening credits. The problem with "The Lucky One" may just have been that the characters were all too interesting. There is depth to the characters, but the montages that are used to get all the information across are empty and unexplored. Sparks also did a movie called "Dear John" that had so many montages, I thought I was watching a two-hour commercial for Hallmark. I hate montages.
In the first four minutes of the film, we see Logan survive some war situations, see him return home with a picture that saved his life and see that he has a lot of post-traumatic stress. All of which is very interesting, but it happens in a montage and we lose all the emotion from it. Once the movie gets going though, to its credit, we start to see some real emotions coming out, especially from Schilling's character. She does an outstanding job portraying her sadness and her struggles as a single mother dealing with a lot of issues. Effron, on the other hand, is stuck playing a character that had his best parts portrayed in montage and for the rest of the movie, plays the perfect man. What else would you expect?
"The Lucky One" is just an okay movie that gives everybody that enjoys these type movies exactly what they're looking for. It has two beautiful people falling in love. It has drama. It has beautiful cinematography. It has all the cliché' things that make a movie like this safe from criticism and just outside the realm of memorable. As rich as the characters were, I just wish some of those character traits would have been fleshed out more.
72 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...only in the movies, but that's why we go to the movies...,
I have this subversive image of Nicholas Sparks in a wifebeater at the computer, angrily pounding the keyboards and listening to death metal while a burly biker gives him a tat. Because a guy can't be that wholesome and sensitive, can he? Except that, like clockwork, Sparks' bestselling novels keep getting made into films. THE LUCKY ONE is merely the latest adaptation.
This is Hollywood, babe, so we shouldn't harp on them heaps of uncanny coincidences. Such as these: In Iraq, the morning after a harrowing exchange of gunfire with the enemy, U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) gets off his duff and picks up a photo he glimpses lying in the rubble. Suddenly, there's an explosion right where he had been sitting, and that's when the notion probably first struck him that the photo is some sort of lucky charm. Eight months later, Logan's third tour of duty ends and he's going home, that photo still tucked away in his keeping. Logan regards the mysterious girl in the photo as his guardian angel, someone who'd kept him safe and breathing. He wants to find her and thank her. But he doesn't know who she is.
Back home, Logan Thibault is unable to settle down, and off he goes with his dog, walking, just walking. In his wanderings, he crosses several states and eventually ends up at a family-run dog kennel in Louisiana. See, he'd never stopped trying to look for that girl in the photo. By pure happenstance, the girl in question, whose name is Beth (Taylor Schilling), runs the kennel and she assumes that Logan has shown up looking for work. And because the plot demands it, Logan rides with the deception.
The kennel is this run-down establishment, and Logan quickly makes himself useful, never mind Beth's bitter ex-husband's assertion that he may be a "crazy drifter." It shouldn't surprise viewers that THE LUCKY ONE follows the patented Nicholas Sparks formula. The film, lushly romantic and graced with evocative cinematography, reminds me quite a bit, in terms of tone and sheer escapism, of A Walk in the Clouds. Of course, it makes more sense for Logan to right away inform Beth of why he's really there. But where would the movie be? Taylor Schilling is sweet and appealing, playing a young single mom raising a child while fending off the unwanted affections of her influential ex-husband (who is this bullying deputy sheriff). Beth nurses her own grief. She's yet to come to terms with her brother's death during the war. Logan's military past upsets her and prejudices her against him. Plus, he seems to be everywhere she's at. It's irritating. We all know where this is going. But Nicholas Sparks, with his sweaty wifebeater shirt and his deep aversion to sunlight, is adept at manipulating his audience.
Zac Efron surprises me. It's evident that those HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL pictures are increasingly dimming in the rear view. A friend recommended CHARLIE ST. CLOUD to me a while ago, and I laughed at her with the smug convinction of someone who views Zac Efron as someone who belongs strictly in the teeny bopper crowd. But Efron demonstrates reserve and maturity in his portrayal of a troubled jarhead desperate for solace. He plays Logan as a man of serious humor but with hidden depths. I liked him. Blythe Danner comes in as Schilling's wise grandmother. Danner, naturally, exhibits that infallible knack for sensing the right man for her hurting granddaughter. I long for a grandmother like Danner. It surely would save time and effort on them online dating services.
A manly man like me can readily admit that he's a romantic cuss. I enjoyed THE LUCKY ONE quite a bit. Nothing in the story surprised me. I looked each plot swerve (not many) squarely in the eye. But Efron and Schilling invest in their characters, and they effortlessly pull the viewer in. It helps that the little boy is likable. There's a stillness and thoughtfulness to the film which I appreciated. It doesn't indulge in too many grand gestures, although, okay, the climactic sequence is pretty melodramatic. The movie accomplishes that ultimate flattery: It made me want to read the book. Yeah, Nicholas Sparks, in his wifebeater shirt, knows what he's doing. Even if he drinks human blood.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucky one,
This review is from: The Lucky One (Amazon Instant Video)
This was a great love story on how two people were helping each other out and not knowing it. I would recommend it to anyone.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great love story !,
I loved this movie. The acting was so good. Zac and Tayor did a superb job. My husband liked this movie as well.
The story flowed from beginning to end. You will love it.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SOMETIMES THE QUESTION IS COMPLICATED AND THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE,
This is an Improbable chick flick. Logan (Zac Efron) didn't die in Iraq, like most of his unit. He credits a picture of a blond he found in the rubble for his survival. When he returns home, he is a bit jumpy and decides to walk from Colorado to Louisiana to locate the girl(Taylor Schilling) in the picture. As it turns out, she, Beth, runs a kennel and before he can say anything to her, he is hired by "grandmother" (Blythe Danner) to be a helping hand. She has taken a shine to Logan while Beth thinks he is crazy. Beth also has a son (Riley Thomas Stewart). She has trouble dealing with the death of her brother in Iraq, who she feels died for no reason. The local sheriff (Jay R. Ferguson) is the father of Beth's child and he has some testosterone problems. The sheriff is more how young men really are: jealous, controlling, manipulative. Logan is how women want them to be.
My "chick flick" detector went off when I saw the movie poster. You wait for him to tell her about the photo...which would have been better if she said, "That's not me, you have the wrong girl." At which point he packs up and leaves, but they opted not to do it my way. This is a romance novel brought to the screen. The man is handsome, fit, intelligent, understanding, a good father, musically inclined, dances, fixes things up around the house, no vices, and a knight who protects his lady...not to mention the final soul mate connection. It hurt my brain to watch it, but the women seemed to love this fantasy.
The film was well made and acted. Good music score. But it wasn't my cup of tea. I will go 4 stars based on other people's reaction and not my own. If you love romance novels, this is your book come to life.
No f-bombs, no nudity, some love scenes. Is Zac Efron the new Fabio?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD DATE NIGHT MOVIE,
This review is from: The Lucky One (Amazon Instant Video)
What can I say? My girlfriend horn-swaggled me into watching another chick flick.
Well, it was her turn to choose, so I hung in there.
To my surprise it was a good and entertaining movie, with all the gushy stuff that any girlfriend could possibly like. So, if you're afraid of letting your girlfriend pick a chick flick, don't be. There may be fringe benefits after the show.
This movie was well acted with a good cast of characters, and the best part of it was that there was even a story - a good story.
Now I may not be the Siskel and Ebert of the Streaming Amazon, but I do recommend this movie for couples night out.
Just make sure you have a tissue or two handy for your special lady.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zac Efron Was Amazing - Lucky is Very Lucky,
MOVIE REVIEW #29: " The Lucky One "
Director Scott Hicks (The Boys Are Back, Shine) has done an amazing job on this film. He has taken a simple story with complicated characters and made them emotionally accessible to your heart in a believable environment.
This is the story of one man's emotional journey starting after his third tour in the Middle East who ends up going back home to Colorado only to end up walking, yes walking, all the way to the south in Louisiana all because of a photograph he found in wartime. What's important about this photo? This photo actually saves his life. You'll have to see the movie to see how.
Zac Efron (17 Again, High School Musical 3) pulls his most amazing performance yet. He has grown of the teen cult phenomenon he was to an actual actor with depth and range. His performance is subtle, quiet and extremely real. His honesty and passion shine through his low keyed physical actions. I was really impressed with his performance.
Logan (Efron) pursues the image in a picture that literally saves his life only to find this woman in the picture, played brilliantly by Taylor Schilling (Mercy), has a son with a similar loss/past. Her mother, play by Blyth Danner (Futureworld, Meet The Parents), was an amazing support for both these young people to understand what they both need most. The young son played by Riley Thomas Stewart (How I et Your Mother, House M.D.) was amazing and added to this small cast ensemble as a real believable motivator for both his mother and this new `kennel hand' name Logan.
The next standout performance was played by Jay R. Ferguson (Mad Men, No Ordinary Family) Beth's (Shilling) ex-husband. He was evil personified. He gave reasons for why the passion in everyone in this film was focused on the family unit and why taking care of yourself does includes your family.
The somewhat slower than normal screenplay was written by Will Fetters (Georgetown) based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks who gave those other heart-tugging novels like `The Notebook', `Dear John', `Nights at Rodanthe' and `Message In a Bottle'. This author knows how to pull your heart-strings - hard. And the screenplay was well translated.
The movie has lots of laughs, lots of tension, lots of heart and you'll need a Kleenex or two for everything else - I would call this a great date movie and a great way to get in touch with what's really important for relationships - passion. I would definitely see this one again. It makes you feel good!
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zac Efron Steals every scene! A story of destiny, fate & true love.,
I love this movie! It's about fate, destiny and true love through many obstacles. The movie starts out with a 25 year old marine Logan Thibault, played perfectly by a now grown up, filled out and very handsome Zac Efron. The war scenes are all of 5 minutes long during the very beginning of the film. Logan has just survived a night raid in Iraq when he comes across a picture of a young woman in the rubble and decides that she is his "guardian angel" because he survives things he shouldn't have. He vows to find her if he gets out alive. His best friend Victor sadly dies in another raid 8 months later. After Logan's third term at war ends, he decides to find her and thank her for saving his life. We learn that Logan, who briefly stays with his sister and her kids, is suffering from post tramatic stress syndrome and he is lonely and depressed. He finds out the picture of the woman is from Hamden, Louisianna because there is also a lighthouse in the picture with the woman. He sets out to WALK with his dog from Colorado to Louisianna to find her. We don't learn why he doesn't hitchhike, drive or take a bus and would prefer to walk across many states. We don't know how long it takes him (I am assuming it took many, many months) but in a scene we see him "camping out" with his dog. He arrives in Louisianna looking very good for someone that has walked thousands of miles and was "roughing it" in the wilderness for months.
Logan asks around at a local bar and shows the picture and finds out her name is Beth Green and she runs a nearby dog kennel. We then meet Beth and find out she lives with her Grandmother, has a 8 year old son, Ben, and runs a dog kennel business. She also has a nasty, bully of a ex husband who is the town sheriff named Keith who wants Beth back. We also learn that Beth's brother was also a marine and was killed about a year ago in action and the family has still not gotten over their grief.
Her Grandmother gives Logan a job at the kennel and he moves into a run down house close by the kennel. He befriends the family quickly and helps them out with just about everything and eats meals with them and becomes fast friends with Beth's son.
The cinemetography is beautiful in this film with the play of light of the sunrises and sunsets of Louisianna, it was filmed during the fall season and the colors are gorgeous, but it's really Zac Efron that steals every scene with his beautiful, expressive, bright blue eyes with lush eyelashes. This man is beyond beautiful! He is breath takingly handsome, his eyes, his lips, his dark hair, and his body. You can't take your eyes off him. He is troubled, torn and so intense, Zac plays this perfectly. His expression does not change much during the entire film. I wish we could of seen him smile more, but that was the part he was playing.
Everything about Logan is the perfect man, he is a hardworker and can fix anything, he is kind, caring and sensitive, romantic, plays the piano, great with the dogs at the kennel, and extremely good looking. He is also excellent with Beth's son and they play chess together and a special bond forms between them. Logan restores her family's old boat and gets it running after many years of just sitting. He is a big help and great to have around. Logan has a heart of gold. Beth believes Logan is too good to be true, and resists him at first and then he wins her over. We watch Beth checking him out from a distance, noticing how handsome and muscular he is.
I felt that the actress they chose to play Beth (Taylor Schilling) wasn't quite right for the part. She seemed a little too old to play opposite Zac Effron and their chemistry is somewhat lacking, that being said, we watch the couple first become friends, go out on a date, then trust each other and then fall in love then become lovers.
The love scenes I think could of been done a little better, the couple starts kissing in a outdoor shower and the audience sees this through some shutters (which makes it kind of distracting). They are just kissing and early stage undressing at this point. They then proceed to a mosiquito netted canapy bed where the couple makes love for the first time. There is no nudity at all. Again, it's Zac's beautiful eyes and the way he looks at her when they are intimate that makes it seem so real. It's HIS beauty that is showcased. It's very tender and beautiful and you believe the couple is deeply in love like he can't believe this is really happening. Although, they never say "I Love You" to each other at any time during the film. I guess the words aren't really necessary. They don't show Zac from the front as much during these love scenes you only see his bare back and how muscular he has become.
The ex husband Keith finds out about their romance and becomes increasingly jealous and crazy and threatens to take Ben from Beth if she doesn't break up with Logan. Keith finds the picture of Beth that Logan had in his possesion, after he broke into his house and stole the picture. Keith shows Beth the picture. Beth confronts Logan and tries to break up with him and we see Logan packing during a wild, violent rain storm but he doesn't leave yet.
Keith turns up at Beth's during the storm and wants to take Ben for good, Ben flees to his tree house with rope stairs across a rapidly rising river from the flash flood. Keith tries to save Ben with Beth and Logan close behind him, and when Keith reaches Ben on the rising river he hands him to Logan and then the tree house falls and kills Keith. I felt the ending was too convienent and quick, the bad guy gets killed and then the others live happily ever after, now that's he's gone and out of the way.
After Keith's death, Logan is walking away preparing to leave for good, and Beth runs after him and says "please stay, you belong with us" (which I believe is his reward for all he's been through during the war) and then they hug & kiss. It's a very emotional scene.
The last scene is Beth, Ben & Logan out in the boat Logan restored playing happy family. Definately living happily ever after.
I would really recommend this movie, the acting is wonderful, it's a heart warming, beautiful love story. It makes you say: "I wish this would happen to me". I wish someone like Logan would walk into my life.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars the lucky one,
This review is from: The Lucky One (DVD)
The overall storyline was good but the acting was subpar and the ending was not implemented very well. If you are just watching it for Zac Efron he does look hot in this one.
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The Lucky One by Scott Hicks (DVD - 2012)