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The Lucky One: Cheesy Chick Flick
We’ve all seen, at the very least, one Nicholas Sparks film which is enough to figure out the formula that has probably made him into a millionaire by now. While they’re usually super cheesy, they sweep you along in a torrent of emotion. You laugh, you cry, you swoon and you leave the cinema happy. But even with adjusted expectations, The Lucky One isn’t particularly entertaining.
The film is completely centred on the romance and so there’s absolutely nothing to distract from Zac Efron’s zombie-like state. Or from the film’s frightfully cheesy dialogue. Or from the fact that it packs a whole hoard of clichés into an hour and a half in a desperate plea to activate our tear ducts.
Efron plays Logan, a marine stationed in some Arab country (turns out to be Iraq) fighting the scary brown men. The morning after an ambush, he finds a picture of a blonde chick with the words ‘keep safe’ on the back. He carries the picture around with him everywhere, like a talisman, and lo and behold, he cheats death several times while a ton of people around him die. Traumatized, he returns to America with the aim of finding the girl in the picture and thanking her for being his guardian angel. He tracks her down, is unable to show her the picture or tell her why he’s there, takes a job near her and they soon fall in love. The blonde girl turns out to be a single mum by the name of Beth (Schilling) who has an abusive ex who keeps threatening to take their kid away from her and who doesn’t like the fact that she’s seeing Logan.
Out of the two leads, Taylor Schilling is definitely the least offensive, though Blythe Danner, as Beth’s grandmother, despite being the most watchable person on screen, was a rather head scratching piece of casting. Beth’s mother would be understandable but grandmother? Either she’s found the fountain of youth or Beth looks far older than she actually is. Schilling’s character fluctuates between brave, selfless mother and helpless female, both of which only require her to stand around looking pretty which isn’t exactly difficult for someone who looks like Katy Perry’s blonde twin. All in all, she’s pleasantly bland. Efron on the other hand looks like a buff, tanned corpse. His character is supposed to be grieving for all the friends he lost on duty but what we get from Efron is a complete lack of emotion. When he’s not showing off just how nice he is by playing with Beth’s kid, he’s standing around blank faced, looking stiff. Resembling a teenager isn’t helping his cause much either.
The lack of tension is what really does the film in though. The Notebook had a sense of urgency about it. You genuinely rooted for the couple to be together even though they weren’t necessarily pleasant characters. Part of that was Amy McAdams and Ryan Gosling’s chemistry which Efron and Schilling lack but on the other hand there was an actual obstacle keeping them apart. In The Lucky One, their troubles are more hiccups than roadblocks.
This film is really only recommended for die hard Nicholas Sparks fans or people who don’t mind staring at beautiful actors, sun drenched scenery and a gaggle of adorable dogs in lieu of a decent story. Stay away if you’re prone to incessant eye rolling.
First, it’s important to establish that we cannot place the blame in its entirety on Ramez Galal for his sadistic show. A big part of the blame should fall on us, the viewers, who eagerly wait for pranks and spike the show’s ratings, even reaching the point where café owners will blast these shows on large TVs to attract customers. It’s time to admit that there’s a sadist in all of us.
The premise of the show is a guest will come in to film an episode about the World Cup on a zodiac boat out at sea. The boat malfunctions, one of the presenters dives in to see what’s wrong, and the events quickly escalate to the boat sinking with the guest and a fake shark attack.
In the episode with Rania Mahmoud Yassin and Mohamed Riad, it’s interesting to point out that the boat didn’t sink entirely, and Rania kept a firm clutch on her sunglasses in a situation where any normal person would’ve let go of his/her belongings in exchange for safety. We ignored these points at first, but after several mentions on TV and by other viewers, we couldn’t help but wonder.
The show comes with a lot of legal issues this year, of which, a case that Athar El Hakim filed against Galal, banning her episode from airing, under the pretence that the prank extremely frightened her. The truth behind that is in question, after a video of her discussing her pay for the episode was leaked. Other legal issues concerning the show include damage to marine life from planting metal poles to support the hidden cameras.
Because nothing is black and white, it’s important to admit Galal’s sense of humour and experience, especially when it’s imitated by an artist like Mohamed Fouad in his show “Fo’sh Fil Mo’askar”, a stale and completely void of humour prank show.
We have to admit, we were impressed by the shark boat Galal uses to rescue the guests. He is a smart actor who was able to establish himself within Ramadan TV and create shows that people wait for year to year.
The sequel to the 2012’s sleeper hit, Think Like a Man, is unfortunately, not as smart or funny as it thinks it is. Based on the bestselling relationship-advice book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, the story seems to have taken on more than it can handle and as a result, ends up bringing in a whole load of concern and very little excitement.
Set in L.A – before travelling down to Las Vegas - Think Like a Man Too follows the story of four male friends; Dominic, (Ealy), a dreamer and aspiring chef who becomes involved with the career-obsessed Lauren (Henson). Michael, (Jenkins), a real Mamma’s Boy whose unusual attachment to his widowed mother, Loretta (Lewis) is causing concern with his current girlfriend – and wife-to-be - Candace (Hall). Zeke (Malco), a serious player and a true ladies man who is forced to try and court Mya (Good). Jeremy (Ferrara), a man who has been in a relationship with Kristen (Union) for over nine years, but is refusing to grow up and pop the question, and finally, there is Cedric (Hart); the divorced guy who enjoys dishing out advice and provides the necessary insights into the workings of a woman’s mind.
So, when the girls stumble upon a new self-help book - written by comedian and game-host, Steve Harvey - they decide it’s time to turn the tables on their respective partners, but it’s not long before the men figure out what is going on and begin doing the same thing.
Directed by Tim Story - see Barbershop or any of the Fantastic Four movies – and written by Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, Think Like a Man Too appears overworked, disjointed and a little timeworn. There is very little comedy hiding beneath the neon lights of the infamous Sin City, and although the characters shared a decent amount of chemistry on screen – special nods to Hart who ends up carrying most of the comedy as the bitter and “knowledgeable’ divorcee – but, there are just too many of them to keep up with, let alone fully connect to.
Think Like a Man Too is neither ground-breaking nor completely dreadful; relatively funny but overly long and a little loose, the movie offers too many storylines - and very little relationship advice - but not enough story, or focus, to see any of them through until the end.