|Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, The Lucky One, Warner Bros., 2012.|
The latest harmless yet mundane Nicholas Sparks' adaptation has hit the multiplexes with a stultifying thud. The Lucky One gets just about everything perfectly bland. Will Fetters' script only magnifies the crappiness of Sparks' universe. Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling dutifully fulfill their one-dimensional characters with a burgeoning desire bordering on the bucolic. A war-vet and his destined true love unravels in shit streaks so dried up they're not even worth noting.
On the brighter side, dp Alar Kivilo does some stunning things with some sunsets, Mark Isham's score is lovely and warm unlike the film, and Blythe Danner has fun with her kooky older wise lady role.
Director Scott Hicks is an immensely gifted helmer whose unilateral envisioning of our lives has produced some of the most heart-felt human dramas in recent world cinema. Shine, Snow Falling on Cedars, Hearts in Atlantis, and No Reservations all displayed a genuine commitment to objectively portray emotional desire in a transgressive environment. I've always looked forward to his new movies; I feel that he is a vastly underrated auteur. With the dismal The Lucky One, he has made his least film.