How many times can you go to the well before the water runs dry?
Writer Nicolas Sparks has been pulled up from the well seven times now, with the latest draw being “The Lucky One.”
Logan is a sergeant in the Marine Corps serving his third tour of duty in Iraq. He and his team are on a night raid when they run into a second team and realize something is wrong. They are ambushed.
In the morning, Logan finds a picture on the ground. A blonde woman is in the picture, and on the back it reads, “Keep Safe.” After picking up the picture, there is an explosion right where he was sitting when he saw the photo.
He tries to find who the photo belongs to, but no one claims it. He survives other incidents while in Iraq and decides that if he comes home alive, he will find the girl in the photo.
Upon his return, he stays with his sister for a while before setting out on his search. The search takes him all the way from Colorado to the South. The girl in the picture is named Beth (Taylor Schilling) and works for her grandmother in a kennel, and they need some help. Beth thinks Logan is there to look for work but doesn’t want to give him the job since he walked all the way from Colorado.
Beth asks her grandmother, Ellie (Blythe Danner), to get rid of Logan, and she does — by giving him the job. Logan falls right into life with the Green family, but he can’t find the words to tell Beth about the photo.
By now, most of the guys reading this have probably decided they are not going to see this film. (There are some war scenes and a short fight scene, so there is something for the guys.) The same was said about “Dear John,” but this one is different — and better.
“The Lucky One” has a better story because there are more characters involved. Beth has a son and an ex-husband she must deal with, so the story gets more churned up. There are many different ways it could go, and you’re wondering where the story will end. This film also allows the viewer to get to know the characters, so you feel for them when events happen.
The story will keep the guys interested throughout the film.
There is a fair amount of sensuality and some scenes parents should watch out for. You will see some skin, but nothing more than you would see at a beach. The actions of the characters, though, are very suggestive, so be warned. Zac Efron has grown up.
There is some language in the war scenes and some violence as well, including some domestic violence.
This may be the seventh time someone has put a Nicolas Sparks book on the screen, but it is probably one of the most well-rounded of those films. Most of those films are geared toward women, but “The Lucky One” ends up being more of a couple’s movie — one that the two of you can enjoy together.
“The Lucky One” is rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence; running time: 101 minutes.
Shawn O'Neill is the Family Man Movie Reviewer on BYU Radio. His reviews can be heard on BYURadio.org and on SiriusXM Channel 143.