04/19/2012 01:27 pm ET

'The Lucky One' Review: Zac Efron Shines In Film Adaption Of Nicholas Sparks Novel

By Paige Smart

Paige is a senior at Whitney Young High School. She’s a reporter for The Mash, a weekly teen publication distributed to Chicagoland high schools.

“The Lucky One,” in theaters on Friday, is a film adaptation of yet another sappy romance novel written by Nicholas Sparks. But this one is different. If I were to describe the movie in one word, I would say “simple,” and that’s not a bad thing.

Sparks has created a phenomenal love story between a U.S. Marine and a small-town school teacher with just a little luck.

Zac Efron is excellent in the role of Logan Thibault. Forget Troy from “High School Musical” -- you’ve never seen Efron like this. He has grown into much more mature roles such as Logan, who is quiet, smart and, ahem, extremely handsome. If you don’t go for anything else, you have to see Efron’s role as a Marine. Girls, when he first emerges on the screen in the war zone, your heart will race.

But be warned -- the fast-paced flashes of war seems so realistic, it’s actually a bit scary.

How is The Lucky One different from other Sparks’ novels, especially similar war story Dear John? This movie follows the struggle of a Marine’s life with post-traumatic stress disorder.

To try and deal with challenges of being back home, he goes on a search across the country for a woman in the photo that he believes brought luck into his life.

Although it doesn’t completely stay true to the book, the movie does a good job of conveying all the right emotions that the characters have in the novel. Overall, the cast makes the movie. Though there are some intense moments between Efron’s love interest, played by Taylor Schilling, and her ex, there are also some really great moments that will make you laugh. After all, falling in love isn’t always easy -- in fact, it’s sometimes also a bit awkward.

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