Rating: 2.5 of 5
I’ve never watched a movie as piecemeal as The Lucky One. There isn’t really an entire scene in the whole movie. It’s 2 lines of dialog and moving on. A nice shot of someone running or walking, moving on. Three lines of dialog… I’m not even exaggerating. I think there were maybe five scenes or less where there were more then 3 lines of in the entire movie.
Which is a death knell for a romantic, character movie like this. Because we never really experience the characters. We see them for an hour and a half. We get glimpses through 2 or 3 lines of dialog. Even then there are moments where that dialog doesn’t make any sense because we don’t have any motivation from the characters because nothing’s been explained. We never get to know them and how can we care about characters we don’t know?
Besides the under developed characters, the performances weren’t great. Zac Efron was playing a stoic character, which is always difficult. Because playing a character like that faithfully is true to the book but isn’t necessarily interesting to watch. You need someone like Taylor Kitsch or Wentworth Miller who always has something going on underneath even when they’re mostly emotionless. I don’t think it was a bad performance from Zac, I think it was a bad character that he couldn’t quite crossover from blank slate to silently compelling. Taylor Shcilling is pretty but was hit or miss on her moments. Blythe Danner and the kid were both good.
The story was decent. I didn’t read the book and even if I did, I don’t mind when they change things to turn a book into a good movie, because a movie uses different tools to evoke character and emotion and therefore has to handle plot differently. But I fault the writer almost as much as the director for the piecemeal nature of the film. It was all beautifully shot but I don’t understand how no one looked at the script and saw two lines – next scene / three lines next scene… and didn’t think something was wrong.