The Lucky One
An ex-soldier finds his guardian angel.
Directed by Scott Hicks(PG-13)
This latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks romance novel is as “gauzily soft and disposable as the tissues” that its target audience will want to bring along, said Alison Willmore in Movieline.com. Unfortunately, it “never reaches the grandly melodramatic heights” of 2004’s The Notebook, drawn from an earlier Sparks novel. Zac Efron stars here as an Iraq War veteran who’s journeyed many miles to find the young woman in a photo that he credits with saving his life. Yet he’s finished his search by the opening credits, then endlessly delays doing whatever he came to do, apparently because she “looks so lovely in soft-focus sunsets,” said Steve Persall in the Tampa Bay Times. Director Scott Hicks tries, without much success, to fill the script’s empty places with montages and musical interludes. Efron, the former teen heartthrob, “still projects a one-dimensional handsomeness,” while his co-star, Taylor Schilling, adds little but “the well-scrubbed prettiness of a country pop star,” said David Fear in Time Out New York. In a way, they’re “the perfect stars” for this movie, a banal love story “that leaves you with no impression whatsoever.”