At last check, The Lucky One had a rather unlucky 21% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I think that’s a little harsh. Sure, the movie is pure, unadulterated chickflick-romantic-drama-sap with a capital ‘S’. But if you made it through – or even sorta liked – all the other Nicholas Sparks books-turned-into-movies (The Notebook, Dear John, Message in a Bottle, The Last Song, Nights in Rodanthe…), then this one is what it is. More of the same (though far short of The Notebook).

In fact, if you saw Dear John, you may actually think you’re watching a remake of the same movie, only this time it’s starring Zac Efron (instead of Channing Tatum) as the war-scarred soldier (er, Marine) and Taylor Schilling (instead of Amanda Seyfried) as the blonde chick he falls for. And instead of a letter, there’s a photograph.

The plot doesn’t really matter much. It’s basically about a U.S. Marine (Efron) who serves three tours of duty in Iraq and is convinced his life’s been spared time and time again because of a good-luck charm in the form of a photo he found resting in the desert sand after a particularly brutal ambush. When he’s finally sent home from war, he goes in search of the woman in the photo – and finds her, of course. But will he tell her why he’s really there? Will there be lots of miscommunications and drama and steamy kisses that leave little to the imagination despite its PG-13 rating? You betcha! It’s a Nicholas Sparks book-turned-movie!

So – bottom line. If you’re a fan of Nicholas Sparks books-turned-movies, or you think Zac Efron is hot, then don’t let those Rotten Apples at Rotten Tomatoes spoil your fun. And if you’re not a fan of Sparks and/or Efron, then definitely take a pass.

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