THE LUCKY ONE
cast: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling
At the end of TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, Tim Holt sets off for Texas to visit the wife of slain Bruce Bennett. This always seemed an intriguing premise. Years later... change wife to sister and you've got THE LUCKY ONE centering on a U.S. Marine in the Middle East who, on the battlefield, finds a picture of a beautiful blond that ends up saving his life – he picks it up just outside the perimeter where a bomb goes off. Once back home, suffering the aftereffects of war (ala flashback editing), he sets off with his German shepherd to find that special someone who was his “angel in hell.” Logan winds up in Louisiana and meets Beth, an assertive beauty running a dog shelter – more of a dream camp for wayward hounds. But she doesn’t trust this stranger one bit; those shiny blue eyes permeating within a stern elfin countenance just aren't enough. But this is one snag for our hero, who still can’t explain the reason for his visit. He soon meets Beth’s ex husband (and father of an utterly delightful son born of every mainstream film). Local cop Keith, the biggest jerk in history and as one-dimensional as they get, wants Logan out of town. And using every bully tactic in the book – including blackmail – he tries his best (or worst) to make that happen. But most of the film centers on Beth slowly defrosting to the mysterious stranger – inevitably leading to steamy generic sex scenes. Although chemistry between newly-buff Zac Efron and lithe damsel Taylor Schilling works best when they’re not getting along. And it’s Blythe Danner as Beth’s wise mother, providing sly input every time her daughter can’t make a decision, who grounds this chick flick that, while going on too long and resulting in a predictable conclusion, isn’t that bad. Guys forced to watch this with their girlfriends or wives are the real lucky ones; at least it ain't THE VOW or THE NOTEBOOK.