The Lucky One
Unconvincing, one-dimensional drama starring Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling
The latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel is as schmaltzy as ever but also hopelessly contrived and unconvincing. Stretching credibility from the start, Zac Efron stars as a US Marine who comes across a photo of an unknown blonde beauty (Taylor Schilling) while serving in Iraq, which he credits with saving his life. Once home, he resolves to find his guardian angel and tell her his story, eventually locating her at a dog sanctuary in North Carolina. But his inability to find the words to tell his story invokes the suspicion of her jealous ex-husband.
Scott Hicks’ film struggles to engage on the emotional level it is seeking partly because the slushy romanticism afforded to Efron’s hero feels at odds with the harsher reality of the war he is returning from, but also because Efron fails to convince as a traumatised veteran. Schilling fares better in a star-making turn but given the telegraphed plotting and one dimensional characterisation that is also rife, nothing can prevent this from being an empty, shallow experience for those unlucky enough to see it.
General release from Wed 2 May.