At the corner of attractive and lonely, there is chemistry. If you're lucky, you might stumble there just in time to meet your soul mate, also attractive and lonely. If you happen to be a young Iraqi War veteran and she happens to be a young single mother with an irascible ex-husband, then you're probably Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling in the movie The Lucky One, based on Nicholas Sparks' romance novel of the same name.
The movie outshines the book, thanks to a well-edited screenplay and an engaging soundtrack, but the plot points are primarily the same. After a night raid, an American soldier named Logan, on his third tour of duty in Iraq, finds a picture in the rubble of a young woman standing in front of a lighthouse. Unable to find its owner, he slips it in his pocket, becoming the "lucky" survivor of multiple bombings and attacks. His buddies think the picture protected him. He's unconvinced.
Home in Colorado and haunted by memories of the war, he sets out to find and thank his guardian angel, walking across the country until he comes to the right town with the right lighthouse and the right girl. Her name is Beth. She runs a kennel outside of town. She's there in shorts and a sheer cotton top. She has great legs. He stops walking and stays forever.
As chic flicks go, it's a decent story and packs an emotional punch. Destiny, not God, carries it, though, and beyond kindness to others, all destiny requires is that you jump in bed with your soul mate frequently, particularly if you need to fill screen time. This is a PG-13 movie, so there's nothing explicit, but there's plenty of passion and a generous smattering of profanity to mar an otherwise likeable film.