Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Lucky One (PG-13)


I admit it. I’m a Zac Efron fan. And yes. I did see all the High School Musicals. I think I watched them with my niece though so that’s okay right? Right? Man, you’re a tough crowd! Tonight I went with a couple of my co-workers and a friend of theirs to see The Lucky One. We’d been planning this outing for at least a couple months. If the first night is any indication, it’s not going to do too poorly. I picture women telling their friends that they have to go see and then going with them when they do.

The story revolves around a young Marine (Logan Thibault) who, after three tours in Iraq, searches out the woman who has, unknowingly, become his good luck charm (Beth Green).

Wow! Who thought I’d ever be able to sum up anything that quickly? Yeah, I’ll tell you a little more but not much. As most of you already know, this is based on a book by Nicholas Sparks. If you’ve ever read more than one of Nicholas Sparks’ books, you know that someone, at some time, is gonna die. It’s a fact. One of the women I went to the movie with – we’ll call her Wally - had encouraged me to read the book first. I am about half-way through and was so glad I hadn’t finished it. So far, the movie kept only to the basic story. Most everything else was changed. And the changes were pointless. I liked the book version a LOT better. I’m definitely going to finish it now. Having read as much as I did, I was torn about who would be chosen to kick off. I finally broke down and asked Wally if one certain character was the one whose life force is terminated. It was not. Whew!

Now, let’s talk about some of those changes. In the book Beth’s son, Ben, doesn’t really care much for his dad. Not so in the movie. Logan’s German Shepherd, Zeus, is a big part of the book. The first half of it anyway. Once again…not so in the movie. I could go on and on but I won’t. You get the picture. The book is different than the movie. Big shocker, I know.

I think I’ve seen every Nicholas Sparks movie that’s come out and while this wasn’t the best, it wasn’t the worst either. Armat and I cried during The Notebook and tried to hide that fact from each other. It was quite amusing when we both caught on. I was angry about Message in a Bottle. I had read that book first and hoped beyond hope that the person who died in the book would somehow survive the movie. Didn’t happen. I didn’t read Nights in Rodanthe before I saw the movie and when I did see it, I bawled. So glad I didn't see that one at the theater. If you’ve kept up with my blog, you know how I felt about The Last Song. Wally told me that the screenplay for that was written with Miley Cyrus in mind to play the lead. Whyyyyyy? I didn’t have a very strong reaction to A Walk to Remember but that’s mainly due to the fact that I didn’t really like Mandy Moore. Most of her movies are an absolute cringe fest for me. Sorry, Mandy. Did I cry during The Lucky One? Nope. Not at all. Why? Not tellin’.

The casting directors did a pretty decent job with their selections. As mentioned before, I like Zac Efron. So true. I DO know that he’s at least five years my junior, thanks for pointing that out. I can deal with that fact. I can also deal with the fact that High School Musical Zac is all grown up now. Zac plays the part of Logan. I like him in this role but one thing sort of bothered me. He was a tad too pretty. What I mean is he didn’t look like a three-tour veteran. At least not what I pictured one would look like. Especially considering what all he was supposed to have survived. He still looked relatively innocent though a couple scenes in the movie proved THAT theory wrong. I also expected “Disney” acting and it appears he’s outgrown that. I especially like him in the scenes with Ben. He seems to be comfortable around kids. You might notice that not all actors are. I also liked him in one certain scene with Beth. Sigh.

Taylor Schilling played the part of Beth. I had never heard of her before this movie. While she’s no Julia Roberts, she certainly held her own. My favorite scene in which she’s involved is when Ben is playing the violin. She did proud well.

Blythe Danner plays the part of Beth’s grandma, Ellie. I love Blythe. I really do. She’s a real spitfire. She is obviously protective of her babies in the movie but she doesn’t put up with any guff either. She has a very big heart. I never did figure out why half the furniture in her house was covered with sheets. I thought we’d be drawn in to some sad story of loss regarding certain rooms. Never happened. I guess they just didn’t use that furniture much.

Riley Thomas Stewart plays the part of Ben. Let me tell you right now that he is most definitely not book Ben. If I had my druthers, and I do, I would have chosen an actor from another Nicholas Sparks movie. I think Bobby Coleman from The Last Song would have been a great Ben. Especially if the powers that be had stuck to the book. Riley is not a bad little actor at all but he really wasn’t right for this.

Now that we’re past the people part let’s break it down.

Sex/Nudity – Yes. Yes, there was sex. And more than one scene. I’m guessing that if Zac wanted more grown up roles, he succeeded. If you want to ensure a “cuddle fest” at the end of a date then this is definitely the movie for you. It got a little warm in the theater. Zac in his unders was a sight to behold. Hey! It’s just the facts, man. Although we know that the characters were naked, the important parts were kept off camera. That sounds like they were physically removed from their persons. You know what I meant, though. At least I hope you do.

Drinking/Drugs – Several of the characters drink beer but it’s not a major part of the movie. No drugs.

Cussing – Yes. At least one GD but the word of choice was $#!+.

Violence – Beth is treated somewhat roughly by her ex and in one scene a gun is pulled and aimed at another character. That’s it.

Intense scenes – The gun scene and the climactic scene. The only blood we saw came from Ben’s nose after he got hit during a softball game.

I would definitely recommend this as a date movie. If you’re not seeing anyone then this is a straight-up chick flick. I’m pretty sure my mom and sister would like it but based on her response to Breaking Dawn: Part 1, I don’t think Armat would want PT to watch this just yet. I’m willing to bet that the sex scenes pushed this movie perilously close to an R-rating. Having said that. I enjoyed The Lucky One and will be purchasing it when it comes out on DVD. Okay, when the DVD goes on sale. I try not to pay full price for movies. It’s how I roll.

P.S. Since I was with other people and one of them was my ride, I didn’t sit through the credits. Had I known my companions would be utilizing the facilities I would have stayed behind.

P.P.S. According to IMDB…”A Marine travels to North Carolina after serving three tours in Iraq and searches for the unknown woman he believes was his good luck charm during the war.” Ummm…no. In the book he went to North Carolina. In the movie he went to Louisiana. Obviously someone paid more attention to the book

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