Movie Review-The Lucky One

I don’t often see romantic movies. And even rarer do I see one that’s not a romantic comedy. Ergo, I was really out of my element when I walked into a screening of “The Lucky One.” Nicolas Sparks’ books turned movies, as a rule, are teary romances where somebody dies.  War-turned romance is no stranger to the Sparks pen either. In this film, the war factor brought a grittiness that lent depth to another boy meets girl tale.  “The Lucky One,” turned out to be just that—a winning mix of heart and reality that resonates where many other romantic films do not.

When Logan T (Zac Efron) returns from active duty in Iraq, it’s not an easy transition.  We learn in the first five minutes that one thing kept him going-a picture of a girl found in the wreckage of a raid.  This woman becomes his guardian angel and seems to keep Logan alive when others don’t make it.  Bent on thanking this mystery woman, Logan sets out to find her and when he does, the story really begins.  “The Lucky One” eases into a romance that grows among the Louisiana farmlands.

Forget the grown up teen heartthrob.  The real breath taker in this film is the scenery.  Part of the movie’s charm comes from the old home where much of the action takes place.  Complex character development also plays a part in warming the audience to this tale.  Logan is not your typical romantic hero.  He is both socially awkward and damaged mentally from the war.  Beth (Tyler Schilling), the woman in the photo, has her own demons to defy.   Throughout the story, these characters grow together naturally and nothing seems forced but the occasional cheesy romantic line.

Though rated PG13, there are quite a few sex scenes.  This is not a movie for teenage date night.  But more than the physical romance, there are a lot of deeper struggles both in the relationship and outside of it that can’t be appreciated by less mature audience members.  Adult viewers will understand better what choices the characters make and what holds them back from puppy love.

“The Lucky One” has the feeling of an older film where dialog takes precedence over action.  The authentic slowness of the story doesn’t drag it under, it organically grows the viewer’s attention.  I left with the feeling of a film refreshingly authentic in its simplicity.  Enjoy the pace and take it all in.