Chick Flicks: The Lucky One, Deep Blue Sea, Damsels in Distress
THE LUCKY ONE
Nicholas Sparks, the author of Dear John, Message in a Bottle, and, of course, The Notebook, has another of his books coming to the big screen recently. It’s called The Lucky One. In the film, Zac Efron returns from his tour of duty in Iraq carrying the found photo of an unknown woman, he believes, is responsible for saving his life. He tracks the woman down in a sleepy southern town where he finds Beth, a divorced mother of one who’s trying to run a dog kennel with her eccentric grandmother (is there every any other type?). There only to thank her and explain his story, Efron instead conceals his reasons for showing up, which allows for the predictable sexual sparks to fly.
The Lucky One is not as good as The Notebook, but better than Dear John or Message in the Bottle. Efron – who has made pretty good career choices to get him out of that teen heartthrob category – is likeable in this, his first real adult role. Chemistry between Taylor Schilling & Efron is good and the always reliable Blythe Danner provides plenty of laughs. Where the film suffers (like most of these Sparks novels-to-films) is it’s too predictable and full of clichés. A few hours of romantic espcapism is okay by me, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add some depth to the characters and story. But if you’re a big fan of Nicholas Sparks, or those previously listed movies, you’ll enjoy The Lucky One. For me, it gets a 6/10
From young love with its hope and optimism, to a love which one can unfortunately fall into. It’s a love which is often messy, destructive, and futile. That’s what you get in our next film, as Rachel Weisz finds herself caught between the devil, and, as the title says, The Deep Blue Sea.
It’s England of the 1950′s, and Weisz’s Hester finds herself married to, but not in love with a wealthy, older man. Along comes Billy, a poor, drifting rogue who longs for his former days in the war when his life had meaning and purpose. Their love is instant and all consuming, but Hester knows in her fragile heart - as we watch the film jump back and forth between present and past - that it’s a love which is doomed.
The Deep Blue Sea is a beautifully shot film, with strong performances, led by Rachel Weisz (if this film came out next Autumn she’d be sure of an Oscar nod). Where The Lucky One is safe, and predictable, The Deep Blue Sea is complicated and unpredictable, kind of like life. This is one of the better movies I’ve seen so far this year, and it gets an 8.5/10
And lastly, if the movie titles, Barcelona, Metropolitan, and The Last Days of Disco mean anything to you, then you might be a Walt Whitman fan. His new movie, the first in 15 years, is called Damsels in Distress, and it will please fans. To me, Whitman has always been the Woody Allen for the younger set, and Damsels in Distress is no exception. His characters are quirky, odd, but witty, funny, and likable (Greta Gerwig gives a wonderful performance). This film gets a 7/10