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Taylor Schilling Shines Alongside Zac Efron In “The Lucky One”

“High School Musical” star and famous amateur nude picture-phone photographer Zac Efron, has sincerely grown up. Not only has he become an imposing physical specimen, the kid’s finally become a man in terms of being an actor – by starring in an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ “The Lucky One.” Many truly great acting careers have gotten their spark from starring in Sparks’ adaptations. 

The Lucky One

Think about it: Let’s go back to 2004 when “The Notebook” was released. Actor Ryan Gosling’s career blew up because of that movie. Same thing in 2010 with the release of “Dear John,” which Channing Tatum starred in before becoming one of the most highly touted actors of this year 2012. This formula also proves right for the careers of Mandy Moore, Miley Cyrus and Rachel McAdams, among others. 

In director Scott Hicks' “The Lucky One,” we’re brought to the war in Iraq right off the bat, as Logan (Efron) is a Marine on his third term of duty that finds a picture of a beautiful woman shining bright on the ground the morning after a night raid. He heads home with the picture only to walk thousands of miles to see if destiny can help him find this girl.

After arriving in Louisiana and finding Beth (the beautiful Taylor Schilling – click here for Sumo Skinny’s interview with Taylor), Logan sees that there are many obstacles for him to overcome to get the girl of his dreams. She has an abusive ex-husband named Keith (Jay Ferguson), with whom she has a child, and lives with her religious and single mother Ellie (Blythe Danner). 

The Lucky One

From there, y’all can guess where it goes – since it is of course a Nicholas Sparks adaptation. It’s a cliché love story with a sappy ending (something that a lot of you Bros out there don’t usually care too much for), but this film has a gritty edge to it that we aren’t used to with typical romantic dramas. There are many dark spots in this roller-coaster-ride of a love story, including the PTSD and the ex-husband Logan has to deal with to get the girl of his dreams.

In ten years, we should all play the “Nicholas Sparks – Where Are They Now?” game where we locate former actors and actresses who starred in the film variations of his books – I can almost guarantee Efron and Schilling will both be big Hollywood names by then. Until then, if you’re a Bro, take you’re “Lucky One” to see this film with you – you’ll score points with her AND end up seeing a decent movie. Boom. Done. Date night set.

Grade: B-

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