The Lucky One (2012)

It’s a Nicholas Sparks adaptation. There’s nothing else that needs to be known.

The story centers on Sergeant Logan Thibault (Zac Efron), a US Marine who finds a photograph of an unknown woman Beth (Taylor Schilling) in Iraq and credits it for saving his life in combat. He vows to find her once he returns to America and eventually does nothing less than stalk her while taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Great way to get the babes.

Basically everybody knows what to expect here that can be seen in plenty of other Nicholas Spark’s adaptations that have come out in recent years such as ‘Message in a Bottle’, ‘The Notebook’, ‘Dear John’, ‘The Last Song’, and plenty others. All of those (with the exception of one, I’ll let you guess which one) are very bad and pretty much the same exact thing. This is another one that can be added to that stupid list that needs to go away and go now!

Women and young, teenage girls who have probably read this novel about 20 times will probably love this movie to death because that’s the audience it’s mainly for. However, I am not that audience and that was the biggest problem here. Every single character in a Sparks novel are about as one-dimensional as a piece of paper but are still treated like as if they can do no wrong, with barely any flaws whatsoever.

Logan starts off in the movie suffering from post-traumatic stress, but after the first 10 minutes, they act as if it was never there in the first place once he gets to the cozy countryside. Then when he actually gets to this countryside and has starts to woo over Beth, we see how he really is which is even worse. He’s humble, nice, strong, in touch with his emotional side, starts to tear up a bit when he’s playing piano as if it was his last time ever playing piano again, checks out classics like Moby Dick whenever he feels like it, and can play chess so well that he actually lets her young son win against him just to boost up his self-esteem. The film treats him as if he was the second coming of Christ that pretty much walks around with a halo around his head the whole time making everybody’s lives a whole lot better, which annoyed the hell out of me within the first 20 minutes because they just kept on constantly shoving it down our throats just how perfect and amazing this guy was. And to be honest, I didn’t care one bit. Oh yeah, need I forget to mention that this guy walks from Colorado all the way to North Carolina with his doggy. However I feel like if I got into that rant, we’d be here so much longer.

Aside from the characterization, this film is also laughably bad in many aspects where I don’t even think it intended to be. The melodrama gets kicked up to about 100 here and at times, almost feels like it’s making fun of itself but that’s the thing, it’s dead serious. There are so many corny scenes where these characters start to have realizations about one another and how beautiful that other person is and the sweeping score just comes in booming right in your ears and it just gets even worse as the film starts to dive deeper and deeper into this schmaltzy material.

This film also has one of the worst “sex” scenes I have seen in the longest time where Logan is blatantly shaking Beth’s left butt cheek and the film makes it seem like it’s some sort of cute showing of love and companionship but just came off as really lame and definitely a little too detailed for a PG-13 movie. I mean they show both of them moaning at one point and even though I’m no prude to this kind of stuff (hell, I saw ‘Shame’ for Christ’s sakes), I still don’t think that many parents will appreciate Ms. Schilling hitting a full-on orgasm with Mr. Efron.

Speaking of Mr. Zac Efron, I can’t really say anything bad about him here because he is obviously trying but he better be careful with the types of roles he’s getting. Yeah, ‘The Notebook’ put Ryan Gosling on the map but ever since then he has barely done anything close to that and even Channing Tatum is starting to find himself farther and farther away from this stuff with edgier flicks coming out in the upcoming future, but Efron is still building up his star and he better make sure that he doesn’t make any more shit films like this or else we may just get a ‘High School Musical 4’ just so he can get a quick paycheck. As for Taylor Schilling, her character is pretty paper-thin as well so she at least tries with what she’s given but the material really does end up bringing her down. Hopefully this movie gets her face out there and maybe we’ll see her in more upcoming flicks and check out what real talents she has as an actress other than showing how passionate getting boned by Zac Efron can be.

I think it would be safe to say that the best performance out of this whole film, and probably the best thing about this flick really is Blythe Danner here as Nana. Danner is that wise, funny, and always witty old lady that has something to say and made me laugh just about every time. And with a film like this, you need any type of humor just get you through. It’s a small compliment but it’s a compliment to this film none the less and this film needs all of that it can get.

Consensus: The Lucky One is what you would expect from a Nicholas Sparks adaptation: corny, schmaltzy, full of one-dimensional characters, and writing that will make you laugh even though they may not be laughing with you.


Shocker, right?


  1. This is pretty much exactly what I expected. I could see the one-dimensional characters, awkward sex scenes, and corny lines in the trailer and decided to stay far away from this one.

  2. Call me an emotional sap for tear jerkers I liked the Notebook so I’ll give this a Saturday matinee shot and review it or comment here again. Loved your detailed review.

  3. I read one Sparks book, can’t recall the title, and it was more than enough for me. I felt emotionally violated. I’m not surprised his movies are sappy and the characters one dimensional, it sounds like they’re sticking to the source material at least 🙂

    • I refuse to ever read one of his novels just because I have a feeling they’re all terrible but there is an audience out there. And it’s definitely not me.

  4. I definitely agree with you about Blythe Danner. She definitely steals the movie in every scene she is in. Her humor brings a nice change of pace and atmosphere to break up the syrupy parts. Yes, it definitely is 100% Nicholas Sparks. You definitely know going in what you are going to get and if you are going to enjoy it or not. It’s not a great movie, but it is better than some of his other adaptations that have hit the big screen. Great review and thanks for commenting on mine earlier!

  5. Great post! This movie looks so stupid, I almost gag everytime the ad comes on the television. I hate chick flicks in general, and though The Notebook was pretty good (old people in love, looking back, how can you go wrong?), this Sparks guys seems to be interested in hooking young, naive girls into thinking this is what they should expect from life and men. Plus, I think that chick looks old enough to be his aunt…..:pukes:.

    • She does look a tad older than him but she’s only 3 years older than him in real life. Still, this movie blows no matter what anybody tries to say. Thanks!

  6. Wow this sounds bad! I was already on the fence about reviewing this over the weekend, but I’m definitely going to pass on this one after reading your review. Good review though. Sometimes the bad ones are more fun to write about. 🙂

  7. I was also wondering about the guy’s post traumatic stress disorder. It just vanished into thin air. I should have spoke about that in my review.

    Good job.

  8. I can’t believe you could even stand it…I hear Nicholas Sparks and I want to barf…hehe funny review. Cheers. 🙂

  9. I and my friend enjoyed it. Yes it’s sappy but that’s what you expect from Sparks. Blyth Danner and Efron delivered.

  10. This is coming out here in the UK this weekend and my girlfriend is trying to get me go with her. I think I’ll get her to read your review and hopefully it will persuade her to give it a miss.
    It’s like Sparks has some sort of spell over all women that turns them into cinema going zombies.

  11. Great review! I didn’t plan to see this one and I definetly won’t after reading your review. I’m guessing the only good movie out of those you mentioned is The Notebook.

  12. Nice review, Dan! My review will be up tomorrow so check it out when you get the chance. I could hardly find any entertainment in this… Lame as hell. For some reason, I’m sort of hoping Safe Haven will be a little good… I must be crazy, right?

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