Luck is where you find it

The Lucky One Warner Bros. Rating: PG

Just about everyone in The Lucky One is lucky, except for the heroine’s ex-husband.

Zac Efron plays a marine in Iraq who stops to pick up a dusty picture of a girl amid the carnage of war and just misses getting blown up. The picture becomes his good luck charm to survival. When his third tour of duty is over and he’s back in the States he somehow tracks down the girl (Taylor Schilling).

She’s a single mom running a dog-boarding kennel in Louisiana. The picture belonged to her brother and he died in the war. Efron doesn’t tell her about the picture and instead hires on to work in the kennels. Soon Efron is winning the heart of Schilling’s grandmother (Blythe Danner), her eight-year-old son, and eventually, Schilling too. But her nasty ex-husband is jealous and tries to prevent their relationship.

Based on Nicholas Spark’s best-selling novel, there are few surprises in the movie. You always know where you are on the road to its Hollywood ending. There are lots of beautiful sunsets over autumn coloured forests; Efron is suitably hunky and Schilling appealing, the kid is cute, grandma is wise, the dogs are fun and the not-so-bad villain (the ex-husband) gets his.

But while there’s nothing different or outstanding about The Lucky One, it is well done romantic melodrama, easy to take and pleasant to watch. The mostly full theatre of a mostly female audience seemed to enjoy it all.

Rating: three deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff