Predictable, Yet Enjoyable

One of the few movies I have yet to make it through all the way is The Notebook, the movie that started the Nicholas Sparks trend.  This weekend his latest installment the Lucky One flooded into theaters.  Now ever since being bored to death by The Notebook I have avoided most of his book based movies like the plague.  However, this movie I decided to give a shot, mainly due to going to see it with friends.  How was it?  Read on to find out.

            In case you haven’t read the book or seen the trailers, I’ll recap the movie for you.  The film centers on Logan (Zac Efron) a marine who one day stumbles upon a picture during a tour of Iraq.  This picture is of a beautiful women named Beth (Taylor Schilling) and becomes the lucky charm for Logan.  After service, Logan finds his life is not what it used to be and decides to seek out his guardian angel as a start.  Soon after arriving, he begins to get to know Beth and her family and begins seeking out his place in life.

Yeah I know this story has been used endlessly over the last decade, but I assure you there are some things in this film that keep it entertaining.  For one thing the acting is decent for this romance drama.  Efron at first didn’t impress me because he mainly just walked around and said very little, but once he got on a role he did a pretty decent job.   I felt he captured the emotion pretty well a majority of the time, but there were parts where he acted the part too extreme.  His co actor Schilling was the same way, sometimes taking the crying or pouting a little too far, which got a bit annoying for me after a while.  However, she still brings pizazz to the role and her combination of beauty and grace keep the male audience members into the film.  The two actors I want to give the biggest props too though Riley Thomas Stewart_ and Blythe Danner.  Stewart being so young played his part of a child prodigy well and seemed to not be acting as well.  Yes there were times where there was some overacting, but hey he is young and has a lot of time to improve.  His delivery of the lines, his skill with instruments, and his ability to be awkward were all well integrated to make a fun character that helped drive the story.  Danner is just as witty and kind as she was in Meet The Parents, and for me had the best lines of the movie.  Countless times she broke the tension or cheesiness of the movie with a well-delivered phrase that made me laugh fairly hard.  I say that without her the humor in this movie would have been considerably limited, so I applaud the directors for picking her as the grandmother.

What else was good about this movie?  Okay let’s see well for one thing this movie wasn’t that slow, a big relief for me.  Although a few scenes dragged on, the movie as a whole had a good pace and kept me interested and awake.  Part of my interest came from how relatable the characters were to me.  Although many were incredibly cheesy extreme romance characters, Efron and the gang had qualities I could latch on to, such as brotherhood, creativity, and kindness all of which were shown well.  The camera work combined with the music was also well done, working together to bring out the emotion of the scene without you even realizing it.  The scenery as well was beautiful too, the area they chose to shoot in having a beautiful assortment of nature shots that many fans, myself included enjoyed seeing.  It was nice to finally see a movie that didn’t involve CGI or artificially painted settings.  Yet another factor I liked were the dogs in this film.  These well trained canines brought another factor of fun to the movie, and those impressed by dog training will be happy to see some of the tricks and commands they listen to you.

I found this movie still had some weaknesses though and I wish to comment on these as well.  For one thing, this movie is predictable out the wazoo with where it is going and what is going to happen. I know most romance movies are supposed to be predictable, but surely someone out there can put a twist in the movie I don’t see coming, like Crazy, Stupid, Love did last summer.  The second weakness for me was some of the crying scenes, although I could sympathize with some of the crying it did get a little old and annoying as the movie progressed.  A third thing was some of the romance was incredibly cheesy and overdone, which I know again is used to rope in the main demographic for this film.

Despite these weaknesses though The Lucky One was an okay film.  It’s definitely a date movie, but also can be seen with a group of friends as well that will enhance the enjoyment factor.  If you’re a Nicholas Sparks fan, like one of my friends is, then you may find this to be the best film of the bunch.  If you’re not, well hopefully the dogs, Blythe Tanner and Riley Thomas Stewart will entertain you as much as they entertained me.  Is it worth a trip to the theater?  In my opinion no, this film is more of a Netflix/movie rental film for couples to enjoy in their own homes.  My scores for the movie are as follows:

Romance/Drama:  7.0-7.5

Movie Overall:  5.5-6.0 as it is a generic drama that really didn’t add anything new

So until next week my friends enjoy the movies and tell your friends about my blog!

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