‘The Lucky One’ – A Romantic Drama and a Soldier’s “Lucky” Charm


For those of us who love a good drama with pretty theatrics set against scenic locations – plus the chance to see a leading guy who is easy on the eyes, The Lucky One (2012) might be an option for your next Saturday night in.

The Lucky One (2012) Film Review

Destiny is something you sometimes have to experience to believe… or this is what U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Efron) discovers. While on his third tour of duty in Iraq, Logan experiences a tense night raid. The result of which leads Logan to find a photograph of a blonde woman lying among rocks with the words “keep safe” on the back. Seconds later, a bomb drops where Logan stood moments before. In the aftermath he carries this with him as a token through the rest of his tour, and just before they are to return home, their convoy is hit… 

Logan’s friend Victor doesn’t make it out. Logan does.

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The adjustment to civilian life is rocky. His sister urges him to get help but instead he simply leaves, and sets out to find the woman in the photo. The woman is Beth Green (Taylor Schilling), a single mom who runs her family’s dog training farm. When Logan accepts a job working for her, a friendship blooms between the pair… but secrets and Beth’s own rocky past threaten what could be, a happy future.

If only one thing can be said about novelist Nicholas Sparks, it’s that he has a simplistic, easy-going knack for gushing romantics. Touted as one of Spark’s “best” with exception to the always loved The Notebook (honestly, what is so great about this one?), this film is actually more than a “pretty face.” Prior to this, I’d never read any of Sparks’ books, and I must admit the experience is all the richer having read the novel. 

Tending more towards being a visual person, I still probably like this on-screen storytelling best. I love knowing what’s coming, what the characters are feeling and thinking of, at the time, and also, their motivations. Reflective and moody is how to best describe this nearly two-hour film. It seems to burrow in its emotions that “feel” unusually genuine something that works well. A lot of key moments and scenes are expressive, and characters who observe how others react or act in situations. Something Sparks does well is develop the relationship between Logan and Ben (Riley Thomas Stewart). 

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Writing about this, I’ve tried not to consider other writings I did see because I read some reviews prior to seeing this. Given how “kind” mainstream critics have been only further intrigues me. The film itself is wonderfully honest and complimentary to the heart of the story. No matter what critics say about Efron, I think he’s great in the role. With Logan, he proves that he has more acting chops than just that of a teen idol from his HSM days. His depiction of Logan is one of substance and heart-wrenching emotions that not everyone could pull off. Similarly, the rest of the cast does nothing to hinder the movie. 

Does the screenplay compliment the story? Yes, without question but it also does things its own way, and I can respect that having now actually read the novel then seen the movie come to life. (Just one example is how it downplays Keith’s character; I really value the omission of his true nature.) There are liberties, but these liberties are not necessarily a “bad” thing. This film is moving in certain instances, disappointing in others but most of all, really beautiful. There is more than just a sweeping romance at stake, and as much as is fair to expect, The Lucky One rises to the occasion. ♥

You can find The Lucky One (2012) digitally on Amazon Video


‘The Lucky One’ - A Romantic Drama and a Soldier’s “Lucky” Charm. A review of The Lucky One (2012) with Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling. Text © Rissi JC
‘The Lucky One’ – A Romantic Drama and a Soldier’s “Lucky” Charm. A review of The Lucky One (2012) with Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling. #Romance #MoviestoWatch #Adaptation Click To Tweet

CONTENT: this film is PG13 for two lengthy love scenes [shot in a muted glow of evening]. One begins in the shower and is a sensual picture of a clothed [heavy] make-out scene, legs wrapped around each other before moving to the bedroom in a slow dance of removing clothes [hands move down the others body and there is movement under the sheets]. A man drowns; there are about ten minutes on the battlefield with some explosions and gunfire. Startled, Logan nearly chokes his nephew. Beth often dresses immodestly and there’s social drinking. Profanity is infrequent; a few uses of sh*t, h*ll and GD is about all there is.

Note: this review was published in the archives five or more years earlier. Since moving to WordPress, 90% of the reviews, lists and articles need re-formats and/or other updates. Updated edits and changes to fit current formats have been made; it has also been updated with new photos, and republished.

Originally published: May 1, 2012

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. I want to see this movie so bad! Mostly because I'm a sucker for sweet romances (my family doesn't like them, so they're a treat for me ;) And… because Zac Efron is adorbs. ;)

  2. I may or may not see this movie… I am always disappointed in a romance which culminates in a night together. This looks like an interesting story, but I have trouble with swallowing Hollywood's idea of romance… =/

  3. Rachel – you and me both! I love a "good" romance. My movie shelf is kind of packed full of them, too. ;D

    Zac Efron is cute, isn't he!? ("Adorbs" works well! ;D) All that aside, I was actually really impressed with his acting; he actually made a good, believable leading man and I hope he continues to get some good roles that challenge him because he has talent.

    AnnaKate – I hear you.

    Unfortunately, Hollywood is probably not going to reform itself anytime soon – if ever. I have made the decision to watch movies accepting that they will deal with topics I don't believe in because otherwise, I wouldn't watch anything! Hollywood's idea of romance is not how it should be seen… but sadly, most people do view it as that.

  4. Aw! I am glad you are looking forward to seeing this one, Jessica because it is actually really quite good. I thoroughly enjoyed it. =) (Definitely a buy-on-dvd movie.)

    The book: Normally, I don't care that I've not read the novel prior to or even after the film but I felt the experience was all the richer so I am exceedingly glad I did. It was well worth it.

    Thank you for commenting – I always try to be honest so it is nice when readers feel like I have accomplished that in reviews. Thank you.

  5. It always seems better to read the book if you are going to watch the movie. I'm telling my mom to just wait (she is saying that Papa George from Hugo is mean) and hear the rest of the story. It's much nicer knowing what it coming, being outraged at the changes (if they're bad) and in the end deciding which was better. :) Thanks for the review. Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Because You Are!)
    Philippians 4:8

  6. I was never one to read the novel prior to – or even after seeing the movie (if I did, it'd usually be a Christian book/film), still, I am willing to admit that I loved seeing this one that much more, Sierra. =) It perhaps is changing my thoughts. Maybe. ;-)

    About a month ago I watched Hugo – it was really good but awfully slow.

    So glad you stopped in. =)

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