This weekend I finally got around to watching the film version of The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks.
The Lucky One is the story of Marine, Logan Thibault, who finds a picture of woman, with the words “Keep Safe” written on the back, in Iraq. Not only does the act of walking towards the picture save his life, but from the moment Logan finds this picture his luck changes and she soon becomes his lucky charm and guardian angel. When Logan then survives several situations which should have left him dead, he decides to somehow find this woman and thank her for saving his life. Logan locates Beth, a single mom still very much under the thumb of her ex-husband, Keith. Logan repeatedly tries to explain to Beth why he has come to find her, but something always gets in the way, and before he can tell her the truth, Logan and Beth fall in love. Logan also befriends Beth’s son, Ben. Beth soon realises that Logan understands Ben much better than his own father does, and also treats him better. A happy life beckons Logan, Beth and Ben; and the only person not happy with this situation is Keith - he is a Sheriff Deputy in town and his father is a powerful Judge running for Mayor. Beth lives her life knowing that any misstep she makes could cause her to lose her son to the powerful Clayton family, so she numbly allows Keith to exert control over her life. The question is, now that she has found Logan, will she allow Keith to destroy this precious chance of happiness? And what has the greater chance of destroying their new-found happiness; Keith’s threats, or the true nature of Logan’s move to Hamden?
Zac Effron is the perfect Logan! He did the character perfect justice and even added some depth to Logan. As for Taylor Schilling, she did a good job with Beth, but as for the way the character was adapted for the film, I found Beth to be much more likable in the book. Little Riley Thomas Stewart was also a perfect Ben, and I love Blythe Danner as Ellie - I just wish the character was as eccentric in the movie as she is in the book. As for Keith, the movie omitted so much of just what a jerk he is! The movie didn’t even mention the fact that he had spiked Beth’s drinks while they were together, leading to Beth sleeping with him and falling pregnant, and ultimately marrying him. Keith is a jerk beyond compare, but for some reason the movie softened him up a little. And then, my major complaint: Zeus. I am so disappointed that he plays such a small role in the film. In the book Zeus is a much more prominent character, and he hardly ever leaves Logan’s side – in the movie he’s hardly ever with Logan. I understand it is difficult to work with animals, but he deserved a bigger role. In the book he is, after all, the one who saves Ben from drowning – also omitted from the film.
As is always the case with an adaptation, the book obviously had more depth; but as far as adaptations go, The Lucky One was beautifully done. Overall, the film version does the book justice.