(If you haven’t seen The Lucky One, I would recommend seeing it before reading this. Please know, that if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, there are *spoilers*.)
As someone who went in to the movie theater for The Lucky One without having read the book and was only going off the reviews and what friends have told me, I went in really looking forward to the movie. I was not disappointed! It was a typical Nicholas Sparks book turned movie but with a happy ending. We all know that most of his other books have ended sadly. Allie, The Notebook, ended up with severe Alzheimer’s, Jamie, A Walk to Remember, passed away from Leukemia, and Savannah and John, Dear John, ended up apart. At the end of The Lucky One, you see Logan (Zac Efron) walking away from Beth (Taylor Schilling). While you almost expect the end of the movie to be heart wrenching, it’s heart wrenching in the best way possible with Beth and Logan becoming a family with Beth’s son, Ben.
But let’s back up as there is so much that happened in the beginning!
The movie starts with Logan in the Marines fighting in the war in Iraq. After a raid on a building in which they get fired upon, Logan is sitting outside and finds a photo of a woman with “be safe” written on the back when his unit is attacked. Logan continually escapes near death experiences and credits the photo for saving him.
When he returns home to his sister’s house, he is constantly plagued with what he encountered in Iraq and after finding that a landmark in the photo of the woman was in Louisiana, he sets off, on foot from Colorado, to find this woman and thank her. When he does, indeed, find this woman, Beth, he is unable to tell her why he is there and instead she believes he is there for a job and has an immediate distrust of Logan coming all the way from Colorado for this job.
While Logan is working for Beth and her grandmother (Ellie) at their dog kennel and training business, he slowly makes his way in to their family and gains Beth’s trust. He also meets Beth’s ex-husband, Keith Clayton, with whom she has a seven-year-old son, Ben. Keith immediately hates Logan because of his involvement with Beth. Keith tries to find ways to get Logan to leave town and, later, threatens Beth with custody of Ben if she doesn’t stop seeing Logan.
Did you forget about that picture Logan had? So did I. While Logan was at Beth’s house, he finds a picture of Beth’s brother and sees a tattoo he had of “Aces”, both the cards and the word. At this point, Logan remembers a guy, with a nickname of Aces, being in the crossfire of the raid and dying trying to save his friend. Logan realizes that the picture he found belonged to Beth’s brother. He still can’t get the courage to tell Beth that that is why he found her. After looking at the picture, hiding it, and setting the dresser up in pristine condition, Logan leaves and when he returns, the door to his place is open and the picture is gone. He realizes that he needs to tell Beth the truth but by the time he gets there, Keith has already told Beth and Ben saw them fighting and ran off to go to his tree house by the river during a bad storm. Keith and Beth run after Ben and Logan runs after him with them. When Keith gets there, Ben is trying to cross the wood swing bridge to his tree house and the river is running by so fast and the storm is so strong that the tree house is slowly falling apart. As Keith begins crossing the bridge to save Ben, the bridge breaks and Keith’s foot gets caught. Keith is able to get to Ben and hold on to him and Logan goes in to save them, but after he saves Ben and is trying to rescue Keith, the tree house falls and kills Keith.
The next day, Logan goes to talk to Beth about everything and tells her the truth of what happened with her brother, the picture, and why he went to Louisiana. After he tells Beth his story, he leaves the house expecting to not be a part of Beth’s family anymore. Instead, Beth runs after him stopping him from leaving. The very end showes Logan, Beth, and Ben hanging out and laughing on the boat that Beth’s dad and brother used to always use; Happiness shining on all their faces.
Mr. Sparks knows something about love stories. He knows how to draw you in and keep you there, and despite what tragedies take place in his stories, at the end you always put the book down, or shut off the DVD player feeling satisfied. And in love. I guess you could say it’s a type of cloud nine feeling. And he has perfected it.