By Sydney Moore
Past adaptations of Nicholas Sparks’ tales from novel to film are fairly good, and the latest addition is The Lucky One.
Directed by Scott Hicks, The Lucky One hit theaters on April 20. The cast includes Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling and Blythe Danner. The storyline is about an ex-Marine named Logan Thibault (Efron) who miraculously survives three tours while many of his friends die. He conjures up luck from a picture he has found lying outside a raid site in Iraq. The picture is of a young woman.
Once Thibault is released from duty, he feels an obligation to thank the woman in the picture. He decides to walk from his home state of Colorado across the country until he finds this mystery woman. When he reaches North Carolina, he asks around and finally comes up with a name, Beth Clayton (Shilling).
After he finds Beth, her Nana (Danner) hires him to work in her family’s dog kennel. From then on a series of romances sparks and takes flame with Thibault and Beth, which also causes some conflict with other characters. While most movie adaptations loosely resemble the books and many viewers walk away feeling disappointed by the key parts that are missing, The Lucky One left no such feelings with me.
Having read the book cover to cover several times before seeing the movie, I feel I know pretty well how the story goes. I have one complaint, however. In the book, there was a friend of Thibault’s who had a great deal of influence over his decision to find Beth. He is not mentioned in the movie.
The movie has everything the classic Sparks stories have: romance, conflict, comedy, an underlying touch of Christianity and, of course, tragedy.
The acting is wonderful; the chemistry between Shilling and Efron is perfect. Their portrayal of their characters is almost believably real, and the cinematography is outstanding.
But where there is good lies the bad, and the bad is that like in all Sparks stories, someone dies. The ending and death in the movie are a bit rushed for me. However, I still give this movie five out of five stars.