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Hey Girl, The Lucky One is no Notebook ...

Hey Girl! The Lucky One is no  The Notebook so don't let me catch you sneaking into a matinee on your lunch hour!

Poor, poor Zac Ephron. It looks like the critics mostly hate his movie The Lucky One, based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. Yep, that Nicholas Sparks. The guy who wrote The Notebook that is pretty universally loved by all.
Most of that is due to the gorgeous Gosling and the major league chemistry between Gosling and Rachel McAdams. They were at that falling in, newly in love, can't keep my eyes or hands off of you stage. That stuff oozes out onto the screen and it's electrifying. And honestly I think another element in the magic of the sheer unbelievable but enticing romanticsm of The Notebook is that it's a period picture.  It is so much easier to let ourselves believe and be swept away by the sweet and soulful Noah of the 1940's time period than it is the black jockey brief wearing Logan the marine of 2012. Oh, they just don't make men like they used to! But let's be real, if Noah built Allie a house today, we'd probably call him a pathetic loser and a stalker. But done safely in the 50's? Sigh, he's a keeper. I would certainly keep him.

Just for fun, here's what the critics had to say about The Lucky One. If despite all these reviews, you choose to go and plunk your bucks down anyway, don't say you weren't warned. On the other hand, Roger Ebert didn't hate it?! So it can't be all bad. If you do go and you are brave enough to admit it, I'd love to hear what you have to say about it.

 Peter Travers in The Rolling Stone:
The Lucky One is the latest Sparks assault.

Todd McCarthy in The Hollywood Reporter:
Maybe you can't fool all the people all the time, but novelist Nicholas Sparks sure has a lot of them hoodwinked with his run of drearily predictable stories of love and fate

The New York Post
Lucky strikes out
But despite his promise in smaller movies like “Me and Orson Welles,” here he’s all flat affect, taking bottled-up angst to an extreme where you never actually see it. He’s perfectly likable but never riveting, dropping the ball on the chance to portray the complicated psychology of a war veteran.

Owen Glieberman at Entertainment Weekly:
When Efron stares, however, there's no undercurrent, no sensual mischief. He's just a lox — sweet, handsome, and a little dull.

Ann Hornaday in The Washington Post
In 2004, "The Notebook" - from another Sparks novel - became a bona fide sleeper hit, catapulting the relatively unknown Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling to newfound stardom. "The Lucky One" tries hard to re-bottle that lightning, to no avail. Some bolts are best delivered out of the blue.

Roger Ebert at RogerEbert.com
"The Lucky One" is at its heart a romance novel, elevated however by Nicholas Sparks' persuasive storytelling. Readers don't read his books because they're true, but because they ought to be true. You can easily imagine how many ways this story would probably go wrong in real life, but who wants to see a movie where a Marine leans over to pick up a photo and is blown up? And a mom trying to raise her son and feed lots of hungry dogs while her abusive ex-husband gets drunk and hangs around? That kind of stuff is too close to life.