February 1, 2013

The Lucky One (2012)

Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner

O.M.G. I thought this was just a regular, run-of-the-mill Nicholas Sparks movie - lame, but tolerable and impossible to stop watching. There was the cheesy story line, the just-attractive-enough cast, and a sleepy town setting. (Seriously, has Nicholas Sparks ever been to a city?) There was even the requisite love scenes that involved super close-ups of people groping bare backs and caressing each others faces.

Where the movie started to fail was expecting me to believe Zac Efron as a hardened Marine veteran. Don't get me wrong, he's certainly attractive enough to star in film like this. I've previously mentioned that I went to see Charlie St. Cloud for the sole fact that he starred in it. In the theater. By myself. So me, more than anyone, is rooting for him to make it big and start landing real lead roles. But this movie is not helping his case.

For one thing, he has a weird sort of accent that comes and goes. His character is from Colorado, so I'm not really sure why he would have an accent in the first place. He also does this stiff walk with his arms away from his body like guys with too much muscle mass walk. Except he doesn't have too much muscle mass, so he just looks like a bad walker (similar to bad runners, except this is more embarrassing because honestly, who can't walk?). He's just... awkward... but not in a way that's constructive to the plot.

As a secondary (and by no means equal) annoyance, Taylor Schilling's character always has her bangs in her face. I know it seems ridiculous to even point out, but I felt like she was a white Aaliyah, trying to hide a lazy eye or something! I also couldn't decide whether it was a good or bad thing that her acting was no better than Zac's. On the one hand, neither of them were able to upstage each other; on the other, there was no refuge from the Lifetime-movie quality of acting.

So back to the fact that for the first nine-tenths of the movie, it was a typical Nicholas Sparks movie. I was ready to chalk it up to another Dear John experience and then... the last fifteen minutes happened. There's really no way to talk about it in any detail without "ruining" the movie (which is ironic, really, since the movie is terrible to begin with), so I'll just say that the ending plot decisions were... unfortunate. (Feel free to substitute that final word with any of the following: horrifying, baffling, ridiculous, idiotic, beyond stupid.)

Final word: I hate myself for having watched this.

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