The Lucky One (2012)

Just glancing at the syrupy plot synopsis for The Lucky One should have you clutching desperately for the insulin. Ex-High School Musical star Zac Efron is Logan Thibault, a Marine who’s served three tours in Iraq. After surviving numerous scrapes with death, Logan attributes his good fortune to the picture of a mysterious woman that he discovered in a bombsite.

Back on home turf, Logan sets out to track down the woman in the photo, Beth (Taylor Schilling), and winds up working with her and her grandmother (Blythe Danner) at their idyllic dog shelter.

If you’re still here, you’re either an Efron groupie or a hopeless weepie-lover. The Lucky One is resolutely targeted at the Notebook crowd, and Efron is clearly looking to ape the success that Ryan Gosling had after beefing up that Rachel McAdams tear-jerker. The similarities don’t end there. Both Notebook and Lucky One are based on impossibly romantic Nicholas Sparks novels, and both depict implausibly flawless man.

Efron’s Logan is almost robotically perfect. He’s good with kids, animals and his hands. His biceps are as bulging as his eyes are blue. He can even play the piano. “No guy could ever be this good,” notes Beth, and she’s right. Logan feels like a composite of an ideal lover – sensitive but strong, introverted by confident – and he exists solely to rescue Beth from her problems.

It’s Danner to the rescue, then, Gwynnie’s mum grounding proceedings with an earthy likeability. And despite the predictable drama, Lucky One squeezes in a few surprises. It’s almost impossible not to fall for its apple pie charms – not least when it’s got a lead as pretty as Efron – and The Lucky One is cosy, familiar and undemanding. It also features some of the best dog acting since The Artist’s Uggie. 3/5

Via Out In The City