Reason Writers at the Movies: Peter Suderman Reviews The Lucky One


Senior Editor Peter Suderman reviews The Lucky One, the latest big-screen adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, in today's Washington Times:

Midway through "The Lucky One," the movie's pair of glowing lovers consider fate, the future, and the purpose of their lives.

"Do you think that life has a plan for you?" young blonde Beth (Taylor Schilling) asks her unshaven Iraq War veteran lover, Logan (Zac Efron).

"Aw jeez," he says, at which point they promptly return to gazing blankly into each other's eyes.

Viewers will find themselves with no choice but to do the same.

Based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, "The Lucky One" has a barebones story, but it is almost pathologically conflict averse. Like its young, conventionally handsome stars, it is designed to be looked at rather than engaged with. And while it sometimes styles itself as an investigation of love, destiny, and the rest of life's great romantic unknowables, it offers only mindless cliches by which to understand them. The movie's biggest mystery is how Mr. Efron keeps his mat of stubble so perfectly trimmed.

Whole thing here

NEXT: Kurt Loder Reviews Darling Companion and The Moth Diaries

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  1. Like its young, conventionally handsome stars

    Looks like the Jezzies got Peter. At least you got a good alt-text in.

  2. So is Nicholas Sparks the Thomas Kinkade of books?

    1. Yes, but unfortunately he is still alive.

    2. Worse.

  3. Suderman, I’ve been railing against the matriarchy and the unreasonable stubble expectations the objectifying media/society place on us myn for years! Thank you for a media voice.

    I am neckbeard, hear me roar!!

    1. The worst part is when we do manage to have a nicely groomed stubble, they take it as an invitation to use the female gaze. It’s very unsettling. I remember one time when a women I barely knew stared right at my chin and made a comment about how I must have forgotten to shave that day, but that it looked good on me. It scared me, but I did my best not to panic. Needless to say I showered and shaved as soon as I got home that evening.

      1. My eyes are up here, ladies!

        Amiright, or WHAT??!

        Is it too much to ask to be treated like a humyn BEing! I am not just a five o’clock shadow.

        1. MMmmmmm. Facial scruff. *dreamy sigh*

          1. This x eleventy million jillion

            I makes my heart all warm & melty when my squeeze doesn’t shave, cause I know he’s not shaving for me!

            1. The stubble thing is kind of funny to me. It’s really the only time I can be lazy and sexy at the same time. Win/Win!

        2. And what about us men who unfortunately can’t grow beards, huh? What about us?

          1. Consider yourself Othered.

          2. You have misused the word “men”.

  4. A scathing review of a Nichols Sparks movie is obvious at best and redundant at worse. There’s no there there; it’s like screaming into an echo.

    1. All I want to know is – can I watch it with the wife, and not feel like barfing halfway through?

      1. If you can, you have a stronger stomach than I do. I can barely make it through the advertisement for it without feeling ill.

        1. I bitched about the ad the other night. Wife said, ‘you’re so damn cynical.’

          I replied, ‘that’s not cynicism that is having a soul’ Pointed to the ad. ‘THAT is cynical. They think you are an easily manipulated meat puppet.’

          I’d like to report that she saw the logic of what I said, but that is not at all how it went down.

      2. Maybe some sort of barf rating system. “I give it four barfs out of five!”

        1. Two barfs up?

      3. Who cares about barfing during it, I just wanna know if pretending to watch it while she sits in my lap (so she can’t see me checking the score on my phone) will increase my odds of getting laid that night.

        I’ll even skip shaving if it helps


        1. That sounds like a most uncomfortable way to watch a movie. My wife catches me playing Hearts on my phone all the time when I sit through her movies.

          1. Yes but I’m betting that you’re not gettin any after she does 🙂

            1. Well, she’s 7 months pregnant. So at some point I did in fact get some, even if it is a distant memory…

              1. Huh, my wife was a sex fiend when she was 7 months pregnant but now that we’re up to 4 kids the issue is more finding time when we’re both actually awake and the kids aren’t which is the problem.

                1. She was like that the first 4-5 months and then wham, nothing. Now it’s all get me some ice cream and bring me some water.

                  1. fascinating.

    2. Suderman could of probably just went with the alt-text and left it at that.

    3. And yet, this schmaltzy, derivative, boring ass piece of estrogen soaked shit will more than likely do very well at the box office this weekend, possibly even opening in 1st. May 4th can’t get here fast enough.

      1. What happens May 4?

        1. Star Wars day. “May the fourth be with you.”

          1. Also, some superhero movie or other that you’ve probably never heard of because it’s only been alluded to in about 10 other superhero movies.

            1. Oh yeah, forgot about that. (Not really my thing, although I want to see Dark Shadows, much to my husband’s chagrin.)

              1. HL, I thought Thor was worth is just for looking at Chris Hemsworth for 2 hours, so The Avengers may also be worth it. No guarantees, though.

                1. I was dissapointed. No Segel dick! WTF!?!?!? He flashes it in every movie, but not Thor. I mean. come on, it’s begging for a “I got you’re Mj?lnir right here, T-man!:

                  1. “Go ahead baby, touch Little Mjolnir, it won’t shock you. Probably.”

                    “What do you mean? Aren’t they all shaped like that?”

                2. Wish I could say the same for Natalie Portman. I did like the movie, though. Good mindless fun.

                  1. “Ms. Portman, will you please show us your wormhole?”

  5. So Dagny Taggart from Atlas Shrugged I is in a love story with the kid from High School Musical? Is this movie supposed to be about a cougar and a young buck?

    1. She’s younger than you think, and it’s been quite a while since High School Musical came out.

  6. Wanna know who hasn’t watch Nicholas Sparks lately, even though he was supposed to as part of losing fantasy football?

    Sloopy, that’s who.

    1. But he is living in a Nicholas Sparks movie, so perhaps that supersedes having to watch it?

  7. So I Googled up a pic of ol’ Nicholas.

    He looks like a cross between a weiner and a douchebag. A weinerbag. With hair plugs. Bad hair plugs.

    1. Describes both his physical appearance and writing style.

  8. Haven’t seen it yet, but I am willing to give it a try, loved his previous films.

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