Apr. 25, 2012 - Issue #862: The Real Deal
The Lucky One
Co-accused: Scott Hicks (director), Will Fetters (screenplay).
Charges: Crimes against drama; grief porn; hokey romance with a Christian halo.
Previous convictions for: Mission Message in a Bottle, A Walk To Forget Remember, The Post-It Notebook, Nights in Rodamnthe.
Opening statement: The accused willfully plotted a maudlin movie about a Marine (Zac Efron) who finds a fallen soldier's photo of his smiling blonde sister; back home, he tracks down still-glowing-after-grief Beth (Taylor Schilling) and they fall in love.
Evidence: Cliché Exhibits A – H: All-Americana (pickup trucks, Budweisers, baseball) and adoring shots of the two meant-to-bes, looking at each other adoringly. Brutish ex-husband who's also a sneering Southern sheriff. Cute son (hers) whom he is just so amazing with, amazing her! Death as a force that makes us feel the special-ness of our present Hallmark moments and Christian-lite destinies. Endlessly sun-dappled shots of Louisiana bayous, the lovers, and rustic, grand homes. Feel-good jobs and moments, from her work as pet-carer and primary-school teacher to his and the son's performance of a church hymn. Grandma dispensing wise advice at just the right times. Hunk acting so sensitive to her and being a well-built man of few words and smoldering looks.
Mitigating circumstances: The best masturbatory-dishwashing scene in romantic-movie history.
Verdict: Lucky to get off with one star. The true unlucky ones are the viewers.
Directed by Scott Hicks
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