Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
Zac Efron … Logan
Taylor Schilling … Beth
Blythe Danner … Ellie
Riley Thomas Stewart … Ben
Jay R. Ferguson … Keith Clayton
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Warner Bros. Pictures
Village Roadshow Pictures
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|Distributor||Warner Bros. Pictures|
“The Lucky One” is the newest Nicholas Sparks novel to be made into a feature film. In this latest romance, Luke (Zac Efron) is an Iraqi-War veteran whose 3 tour duties and survivor’s guilt has rendered him with intense post-traumatic stress. His return home is bleak, save for his dog and one RAY OF HOPE: a photo of a beautiful blond stranger.
Luke understandably feels a strong connection to the unknown female. Upon finding her photo in the Middle East, it had put him out of the range of a lethal missile. With the photo giving him new purpose, he walks across several states to find her.
When Beth (Taylor Schilling) first meets Luke, she assumes he’s at her dog kennel for a job. She’s quickly, however, creeped out by his intense stare and story of enormous walking. Her witty grandmother (Blythe Danner) sees the good in Luke and hires the handsome soldier, despite Beth’s reluctance.
Taylor Schilling and Zac Efron have good chemistry and work well with what they’re given. Though their characters are somewhat limited by the script, both have admirable qualities. Beth works hard to be a good mother to her son. She shows growth in dealing with her over-bearing ex-husband. Luke is a hard worker, genuine, and very reserved. Since he is reserved, one could say that his character lacks a bit of a spark. My favorite scenes are when he deals with Beth’s ex. Despite taunts and even threats, Luke remains unprovoked and responds accordingly.
The violence is moderate. There is a war scene in the beginning of the film. Several soldiers are shot, and some blood splatter is shown on a wall. Some missiles explode, and afterward there’s a slow montage of a tank exploding. Besides war scenes, there are a few more instances of violence. One male character punches a man in the shoulder, and then proceeds to spit food in another male’s face. Afterward, he draws a gun and points it. No one gets shot, since the assailant is subsequently punched in the face, and the gun is taken from him.
The film does have a heavy amount of sexual content, especially for a PG-13 rating. Throughout the film, Beth sometimes wears low-cut shirts and is once shown briefly in a towel. During their second kiss, Beth straddles Luke, as he touches her behind. She puts her head back in enjoyment. There are two sex scenes. In the first scene, Beth begins to kiss Luke passionately while in an outdoor shower. He then pushes her against a wall, while still kissing. She undoes his pants, , and he touches her derrière. In the subsequent scene, they begin to remove each other’s wet clothes. Beth’s bra is shown being unsnapped, and she puts her hand underneath Luke’s underwear. In the second sex scene, they are shown in bed together with Luke on top of Beth. This scene is milder than the first and is shorter.
There is also some profanity. In all, I counted 14 uses. One sounded like the “F” word, but I am not quite sure. In all, there are 5 sh_t, 6 hells, 1 a_s, and 1 d_mn. Alcohol is also in the film. While many people are shown having beer, only two are shown drunk. One is immediately taken to bed, while the other becomes threatening and pulls out a gun.
“The Lucky One” briefly addresses the theme of fate, but never becomes too preachy or New Age. However, it’s enough to make one ponder. Was Luke meant to find Beth’s picture? If this were so, was the original owner meant to lose it and die? As humans, our perspective of the world is so mortally limited. It can be frustrating at times when God humbles us and either allows or requires our lives to take a whole new direction. Whenever in an unpleasant predicament, I try (but don’t always succeed) to see it as a fertile training ground for spiritual growth (Proverbs 2:2-12). As our King, the Lord isn’t required to give us reasons why, but His word tells us to trust him, for we serve a holy king who loves us. In Proverbs 3:5, King Solomon wrote,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Due to the amount of objectionable content, I do not personally recommend the film. Though it has good qualities, I don’t find “The Lucky One” a stand-out film. In my opinion, Blythe Danner gave the best performance and elevated the film’s quality up another notch.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
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