Boy meets girl. They fall in love. An initial problem attempts to tear what they have apart, but, in the end, they realize that they are meant to be together.
Call me a sap, or a total sucker for Nicholas Sparks love stories but I just melt at movies like “The Lucky One.” Even if they may be totally predictable and my friends make fun of me for it, I still love them. “Dear John.” “The Last Song.” “The Notebook.” All of them.
Logan Thibolt, played by the charming Zac Efron, had me reeled in the moment the sun hit his scruffy face as he walked down that dirt road with his adorable German Shepherd Zeus by his side. Just thinking about his character makes me have to fight the overwhelming urge to squeal. It could have been the fact that he was on a journey to find his “lucky girl,” but most likely it was because I was pretending that he was on his way to find me. Either way I was happy with this initial appearance.
Beyond Efron’s appearance, I was drawn to the overall plot from the beginning. Throughout the movie, there is a prominent showing of fate’s roles in the characters’ lives – a sort of “everything-happens-for-a-reason” theme. Each event leads Logan and Beth (Efron’s love interest, played by Taylor Schilling) into each other’s lives. Beth is at a rocky point in her life, dealing with the end of a previous relationship and trying to care for her son. Both characters are dealing with their own struggles, but I think that is what draws people to this film; their life stories merging in a way that an audience can relate to.
Centering around Logan’s journey to find Beth after his last tour fighting as a Marine in Iraq, he finds a photograph of her in the midst of a night raid but at the time didn’t know her name or who she was. The only thing he knew was that ever since he found it, he had survived attacks and incidents that he felt he shouldn’t have. At first, he wanted to find her to thank her for saving his life so many times. But when he meets her, plans changed.
Once Logan finds Beth working at her Nana’s kennel in Hampton, LA, and he recognizes her from the photograph, he gets the job working there to be close to her. Being reluctant to the whole thing, Beth wonders why on earth her Nana, played by well known actress, Blythe Danner, would hire him considering that he’s the new mystery guy in town. The entire time she is falling for him and doesn’t realize it – the only thing I kept thinking was, Oh snap what is going to happen when she finds the picture he has of her?
I’m pretty sure I was even more worried what her reaction would be, when she found out why he was really there, than Logan was. There seems to be at least one solid fight in every good love story, but in this one the story ended just the way the entire audience wanted. It makes you wonder about your own life’s sequence of events, and makes you feel for the characters pain and hardships.
All of the moments that Logan has with Ben, Beth’s son played by Riley Thomas Stewart, just made me smile. I fell in love with the relationship between Beth and Nana, especially Nana’s clever remarks. And don’t even get me started on the tragic scene with Clayton, Beth’s ex-husband played by J R. Ferguson, in the river…I was this close to tears.
This movie is not just a love story, but a story about fate’s connection to the things that happen in life and each character’s individual journey along the way to where they’re supposed to be.
That’s what I really love about the movie. It was more than the typical love story. It was something that could be relatable while still desirable. It made us all feel like we were in Beth Green’s shoes; like we were the lucky one.