PG-13, 2012, ****
Starring: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Jay R. Ferguson
Yet another Nicholas Sparks novel turned film, and takes place in Louisiana – nope not the typical North Carolina coast film. I love these movies, and this one is fantastic! Along the lines of other awesome ones like "The Notebook” or “Message in a Bottle,” and Efron is just as hunky in his own way, and can't be compared to Gosling or Costner. I think his best movie so far is “Charlie St. Cloud,” and if you haven’t seen that you must check it out. In fact, I believe it's somewhere in the stash of reviews on here.
Logan (Zac Efron, “Seventeen Again,” “High School Musical”) is a marine in Iraq; and the morning after an attack, he finds a photo in the rubble of a blond woman (Taylor Schilling, TV Series “Mercy,” “Dark Matter”), and starts to believe that it is his lucky charm, and has kept him from being killed. One of his marine buddies convinces him he needs to find the girl in the picture and thank her. So he does. (The picture was given to Beth's brother a marine, Sergent Drake, who died in an attack the morning Logan found it).
When he arrives home to his sister’s house in Colorado, he decides to go on a Forrest Gump like journey, and walk all the way to Louisiana; where he found out a lighthouse in the background of the picture might be. Soon enough he is walking up to a barn/kennel area, and sees the woman in the photo. She introduces herself as Beth, the owner of Green Kennels, and she automatically assumes he’s seeking work, and saw the ad - he takes the job, so he can learn more about her and believes he is there for a reason - for her (of course he doesn't have the gumption to tell her yet about his finding of the photo during the war, and the reason for finding her.)
So, you know the rest from there (and Efron does show some skin in this one), also expect lots of drama along the way; Beth's ex Keith (Jay R. Ferguson, TV Series “Mad Men,” “The Killer Inside Me”), is the town Sheriff and causes trouble every other scene, trying to get Logan to get out of town and to stay away from his ex wife Beth (Taylor Schilling). Beth has the cutest little boy Ben (Riley Thomas Stewart), who takes a liking towards Logan and looks up to him (as he did Beth's brother, his uncle who died in Iraq and lost the picture -- the one Logan found and kept as his lucky charm). Also Gwyneth Paltrow’s mom, Blythe Danner plays Ellie aka Nana, Beth’s grandmother.
This is a great love story about people that were meant to meet and be together, and one that you will want to watch from time to time. I collect these Sparks' novel to movie adaptations, so you’ll find it on my shelf! Now you can pick it up on Blu-Ray DVD for the holiday season! Also check out the awesome song played at the end of the film by Brandi Carlile called "The Story." She's a gritty singer along the lines of Melissa Etheridge.