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This is a guest post by Jane Smith.

My personal life has most definitely been lacking in the romance department. So when I decided to go see the gorgeous Zac Efron in his latest flick The Lucky One, I just knew I’d leave the theaters in tears and possibly longing for the “love” the two main characters Logan and Beth shared. After all, the movie is based on the Nicholas Sparks book under the same name—the very same Nicholas Sparks who wrote the epic love novel/ movie The Notebook. While Sparks’ more recent romance movie adaptation Dear John really didn’t move me at all, I had high hopes for The Lucky One. I read the book. It wasn’t the absolute best. It was predictable but had enough substance and character development that made me interested enough to flip the next page and wonder what would happen next. It even had a highly suspenseful ending. The movie, on the other hand, did not.

In a nutshell, The Lucky One is about a 25-year-old U.S. marine named Logan (Efron) who finds a photo of a woman in the midst of war. After finding the photo, he starts to realize that it’s sort of a lucky charm: he escapes the grasps of death on more than one occasion. After his last tour of duty is finished, without any clues except a lighthouse in the background of the photo, he sets on a journey to find the woman to simply give her “thanks.” Of course, things don’t go as according to plan and the romance story takes off. But it takes off a little too fast in my opinion. There’s no real explanation of what great lengths he had to go through to find her or why he was so gung-ho about tracking her down in the first place, which is done successfully in the book. Thus, the movie just seems really unrealistic and unbelievable. It makes Efron’s character look really flat and the entire movie lacks depth.

Let me say that I understand that movies are shorter and thus directors and screenplay writers are forced to cut out certain parts of the books to help with flow and story line—but everything that made the book “decent” was taken out of the movie. At first, Beth (Taylor Schilling) is supposed to be reluctant about Logan. She’s standoffish, doesn’t trust him, and questions his every intention in a very attitude-type way. In the movie she mutters a few lines about how she can’t stand him but seems to gawk at his sculpted body from a far every chance she can get. Thus Logan doesn’t have to really work hard to earn Beth’s love and trust, which was a driving factor in the book.

Logan’s highly trained German Shepard Zeus is supposed to have a much greater story line, even rescue someone. But he was only seen in a few clips. I’m not certain if they just thought the dog would complicate things, or producers were too lazy and cheap to find a dog that could do great tricks.

Not to mention the villain, Beth’s ex-husband Keith, isn’t scary enough in the movie. In the book version, he’s loathed so much that even his own 8-year-old-son can’t stand to be around him, something that would later make a tragic incident seen more justifiable. His devious ways also create more tension, which if kept in the movie would have greatly added more depth.

In sum, The Lucky One fell flat. Instead of focusing on character development, producers decided to try to romanticize the audience with beautiful images of sunsets and boat rides. It didn’t work. In fact, producers should be lucky they earned any money off this flick at all. As far as Sparks is concerned, he should really try to stop pumping out so many books. There will never be another Note Book.


Jane Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. She writes about criminal background check for Backgroundcheck.org. Questions and comments can be sent to: janesmth161 @ gmail.com.