Nicholas Sparks’ novels do not always transfer well to the screen, but “The Lucky One” may be an exception. It is a love story about a Marine who returns to Colorado after three tours of duty in Iraq, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While in Iraq, Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) found a picture on the battle ground of a woman, but was unable to find the owner of the picture. He regarded it as his lucky charm when he escaped from serious injury in several instances.
Unable to adjust well to civilian life, Logan decided to go to Louisiana to search for the girl in the picture. A lighthouse landmark indicated the exact place in Louisiana where the picture was taken. When Logan made inquiries, he learned that the girl was Beth Green (played by Taylor Schilling) who worked in her family’s business, an animal kennel.
When Logan appeared at the kennel, Beth believed he was there to apply for the job she had advertised. Unable to tell Beth the real reason he was there, Logan took the job, making himself invaluable to the organization. Beth did not take well to him initially, but her grandmother Ellie (Blythe Danner) liked Logan and encouraged Beth to trust the new employee. Logan soon made friends with Beth’s young son Ben who had no positive male role model in his life since Beth and her husband Keith divorced.
Keith threatens to seek full custody of Ben and uses the growing friendship between Beth and Logan as a reason to call her an incompetent parent.
Logan learned that Beth’s brother Drake was a Marine who died in Iraq but Beth never found out the circumstances of his death. Logan had no recollection of knowing Drake when he served in Iraq. This was resolved in an unusual manner.
The viewer does not find it difficult to sympathize with Logan. Zac Efron’s beautiful blue eyes are very convincing. Young adults in particular will take well to this story. However, there are graphic sex scenes as the couple find themselves falling in love despite the difficulties which their friendship has caused.
The film ends happily although a brawl between Logan and Keith might have been fatal. A rescue of Ben from a lake in a thunderstorm also adds some tense moments.
I found the film to be enjoyable as well as based in reality. Nicholas Sparks seems to come up with endless plots which keep the viewer returning for more whenever his novels are turned into movies.
The Lucky One (2012)