Nicholas Sparks has a way with words. Seven of his books have been adapted for the big screen, all of his books have been New York Times Best Sellers and the films have done moderately well. Two of his books are currently in preproduction and ‘The Lucky One’ comes to theaters. Much like other Nicholas Sparks films, the movie showcases an already established star, Zac Efron and also features Taylor Shilling as his love interest.
‘The Lucky One’ is the story of U.S. Marine Logan Tibault (Efron), and his return to the United States after his third tour of Iraq. Logan gets a hold of a picture of a young woman who keeps him motivated to live and is determined to thank the woman upon his return. His meeting with the woman of the photograph, Beth Clayton (Shilling), doesn’t go so smoothly as he is hired by her to clean and take care of her local kennel. Soon after his job acquisition, the two fall in love. This development isn’t exactly surprising because after all, this is a Nicholas Sparks adaptation.
‘The Lucky One’ doesn’t particularly stand out to me through the previews or from its stars. Reviews accumulated by Rotten Tomatoes almost all say the same thing, “The film is formulaic” and “There is no chemistry between the two stars.” This isn’t an out of the ordinary observation from movies having to do with love. In this case, while Zac Efron is a capable actor, a lot of the scrutiny over this film is that he’s almost too pretty to take seriously. One of the reviews goes as far as to say that while he has great blue eyes that twinkle, his face is more often vacant than not, leaving the audience to only admire that twinkle. That’s not to say he’s the only reason why there might not be chemistry. His ‘High School Musical’ franchise perfectly showcase chemistry between him and his former girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens. Sometimes it just doesn’t work.
With a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 28%, ‘The Lucky One’ doesn’t seem likely to become a classic, though it’s expected to perform well. Efron still has a rabid fanbase who will likely catch the film on opening day, and Nicholas Sparks’ fans will flock to the theaters in droves. The film is clearly marketed towards fans of Zac and his physical appearance, and believers of the phrase “There’s someone out there for everyone.” At the very least, it should make a great date night movie. ‘The Lucky One’ opens in theaters this Friday.