Lucky One, The
Theatrical Release: 4/20/2012
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter
Writer: Will Fetters & Nicholas Sparks
Producer: Denise Di Novi
Director: Scott Hicks
Runtime: 101 min.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Starring: Zac Efron,
Based on Nicholas Sparks' bestseller The Lucky One, Zac Efron ("17 Again," "Charlie St. Cloud") stars alongside Taylor Schilling (TV's "Mercy") and Blythe Danner ("Meet the Parents" franchise) in this romantic drama directed by Academy Award®-nominated writer/director Scott Hicks ("Shine," "No Reservations").
U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Efron) returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive-a photograph he found of a woman he doesn't even know. Learning her name is Beth (Schilling) and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.
Nicholas Sparks' movie will no doubt "spark" some interest (get it?) for the romantically inclined, but I was disappointed that it was in the last third of the film that it ceased to be eligible for our Dove Seal as it featured profanity and a strong sex scene. It had been pretty much sailing along with the Dove Seal within sight until then.
Zac Efron continues to develop as an actor as he is quite believable in his role as Logan Thibault, a former marine who saw his buddies die in Iraq. He is in excellent shape too as a marine would be. The premise is that he finds the picture of a beautiful young woman with a "Be Safe" note on the back and he finds it just before surviving a deadly blast of enemy fire which takes the lives of some of his friends. He returns home to live with his sister but he suffers for a time from post-war trauma and so hits the road in search of the beautiful girl in the photo (Taylor Schilling). He finds her (Her name is Beth) and she mistakes him as an applicant for a job on the ranch which she helps run. He is hired by her grandmother and she finds herself attracted to him. But she has an ex-husband who is jealous and makes life difficult for both Logan and her as well as for her son.
Unfortunately the strong language and a sex scene prevent us from awarding the movie our Dove "Family-Approved" Seal.
Sex: A couple has sex a few times and in one scene the woman still has a skirt on but the man is thrusting underneath the dress and in another scene he grabs her rear and she does the same to him; passionate kissing.
Language: GD-1; G/OMG-1; H-5; H (as a location)-1; A-1; S-5; Geez-1; D-2
Violence: War scenes including rifle fire and explosions and fires and men hit and killed; a former soldier is surprised in his bedroom by a child and grabs him out of force of habit; a young boy is hurt in a baseball game and is seen with a bloody nose; man threatens man with gun who takes it away from him; a man grabs another man; a boy and man are dragged into deep waters.
Drugs: Drinking scenes including beer and champagne; bar scenes; beer; woman comes home drunk; talk of grabbing some brews.
Nudity: Woman seen in bath towel; cleavage; woman in man's shirt alone and we see her thighs; shirtless man; shirtless boy.
Other: An ex-husband threatens his ex-wife that he will take sole custody of their son; the death of a man and grief; in an inspiring scene a man and boy play a song together in church.