Christian Living


The Lucky One: Movie Review

Star Rating

Movie Info


PG-13 for some sexuality and violence


Adaptation, Drama, Romance


April 20, 2012


Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Riley Thomas Stewart, Jay R. Ferguson, Adam LeFevre


Scott Hicks


Warner Bros. Pictures

More on this movie at IMDb.com

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Nicholas Sparks, author of The Notebook, Dear John and A Walk to Remember, is known for his sentimental romances. The Lucky One, a new movie from Warner Bros. Pictures starring Zac Efron, is Sparks' latest novel hitting the big screen.

Better than Dear John, The Lucky One still has its share of disappointments. Featured among them is the film's sexual content (explained below).


U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault owes his life to a woman he's never even met. Finding her picture in the rubble of war-torn Iraq, Logan feels compelled to meet his "guardian angel" when he returns home to the states. His search takes him to Louisiana where he befriends Beth, her shy boy, Ben, and grandmother Ellie. Initially cautious of this stranger, Beth eventually opens up to Logan, and a romance develops. Still, what's a relationship without some complications? A jealous ex-husband and unexplained personal histories threaten it all.


Zac Efron's High School Musical days are gone. The young actor exercises a range of human emotion not yet asked of him as The Lucky One's leading man. Not a bad actor, Efron pulls off the chivalrous and battled-tested Marine, letting you almost forget he’s the kid who sang and danced in those high school movies from a few years back. His love interest, actress Taylor Schilling, is joined by her on-screen family played by Blythe Danner, Riley Thomas Stewart, and Keith Clayton, as the hateful ex-husband.

The Lucky One, directed by Scott Hicks (No Reservations), is a story about fate, about how one decision can change the course of your life and others around you. Layered beneath the fate and destiny talk is the notion that our lives are part of a larger picture. We don't always see how each moment leads to the next or how those connections even lead to healing and resolution. Everything does happen for a reason and we know God sees it all. Faith is present in the film mostly during a church scene when the hymns "'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" and "In the Garden" are played in front of banners extolling God's love (one with the words, "Saved by Grace"). Produced by Denise Di Novi and Sparks, both of whom are Christians, it's nice to see a mainstream film unashamed of mentioning the name Jesus.

A pretty good film in some ways, The Lucky One relies on clichés and "romance" too much. Rated PG-13 partly for "some sexuality", it contains multiple sex scenes between the two unmarried leads. You're left asking: Was a shower scene really necessary? Beth and Logan's romance speaks to the emotional intimacy that happens when two people fall in love, but the amount of sexual content downplays his chivalry and distracts from their love story. The PG-13 rating also is due to violence (mostly due to the explosions and gunfights during Logan's time serving in Iraq).


The Lucky One is a familiar storyline that may pull on the heartstrings of devoted Nicholas Sparks fans. It goes too far in the "romance" department, making it inappropriate for young teenagers. Viewer discretion is advised.

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