I’m not sure who has a worse track record with bad movies – Tyler Perry or Nicholas Sparks. Perhaps the edge should go to Perry, since he’s involved in every aspect of his crappy films. And Sparks did give us The Notebook, which wasn’t half bad.
Zac Efron, who wasn’t half bad in the horrible New Year’s Day, is a Marine who returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq. He found a photograph of a woman, and he thinks it’s his good luck charm. It did keep him alive one time.
He knows nothing about where she lives, yet he shows up at her door and takes a job at her family-run kennel. Any guess on whether a romance will develop between the two? You sit there watching it wondering why it doesn’t happen sooner, since they both obviously want it.
Now, when Tom Hanks shows up on your door after being stranded on a island for years, you can get teary eyed. When Efron shows up, don’t you start thinking “stalker”? And really, how many coincidences had to happen for this story to move along the way it did? Let’s just say, you probably would’ve had the same odds in that lottery a few weeks ago.
The landscapes and autumn colors make for some nice shots. Of course, there always seems to be boats around for that clichéd romantic scene.
As a dog lover, I was enjoying a scene with cute dogs that were being washed by Efron. Then they went and ruined it with a song that made it look like a bad music video.
Of course, he’s great with the young son, and Blythe Danner can tell he’d be perfect for her daughter. I’m just wondering what she had to say about the ex-husband. He’s a local cop that comes around being abusive and sending his other cop friends over to harass them. Yeah, one call to internal affairs and that storyline would be shot to hell. And let’s not even discuss the whole premise about him threatening to take the son away if they start dating, simply because his dad is a judge in town. Yeah, and no lawyer would be able to shoot that one down, either. I seriously doubt a judge would jeopardize his career getting involved in that, or that nobody would talk about the conflict of interest if he did.
I don’t knock the realism if it’s a super hero movie, or something involving aliens. With romances, though…I think they can be very powerful if done properly. I think of some of the romances in movies like Casablanca, Cousins, The Prince of Tides…and those are among some of my favorite movies. It’s not hard to make a film a bit more realistic.
The screenplay was written by Will Fetters. He’s the guy that gave us Remember Me, which I’m sure nobody remembers. He gives us horrible dialogue in this like “You deserve to be kissed every day, every hour, every minute, every second.”
I couldn’t believe I was the only one in the theatre that laughed upon hearing that.
The screenwriter shouldn’t get all the blame. Let’s talk about director Scott Hicks. He gave us the great movie Shine in the mid-90s. And now this is what he’s making. Giving us scenes of the angry ex-husband (Jay R. Ferguson) sitting in his car, stewing as he watches his wife and her new lover gallivant around town.
I probably shouldn’t admit this, and it’s probably not the most professional thing in the world to do as a film critic…but I left when the movie still had another 45 minutes to go. I really just stopped caring about the outcome and figured I woldn’t waste any more of my time.
The lucky ones are the people that don’t see this.
It gets ½ a star.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun