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The Lucky Ones: Surprisingly Funny and Cute

It's hard to say bad things about a movie this well-intentioned and sweet. It's a story about Iraq War soldiers that is heartwarming and funny, which is something we haven't seen much in films about the current war. I have no idea why the trailer for The Lucky Ones includes Sarah McLachlan's "I Will Remember You," a song practically engineered to force people to cry, because this movie isn't really sad. I brought tissues and I didn't even use them.

Rachel McAdams is the biggest reason to see this, as her character is so incredibly endearing and McAdams portrays her perfectly. She plays Colee, a young soldier on a 30-day leave from Iraq after a gunshot wound to the leg. Colee is an (extremely) open book, blunt to a fault and full of wide-eyed, childlike naiveté. Tim Robbins is career soldier Cheever who is leaving the Army for good after suffering a back injury. Michael Pena plays TK, a bit of an insufferable know-it-all whose "private parts" are not quite back to normal after being wounded. The three are stranded in New York when they land and discover that all flights have been canceled. There is one rental car available to them at the airport, and thus the three embark on a road trip together. Nothing — seriously, nothing — goes as planned, however, and challenges pop up for these characters faster than a whack-a-mole game. This bombardment of predicaments is both funny and problematic, though, so to find out more,


Each character's storyline includes some kind of obstacle (or obstacles), and over the course of their shared trip a staggering number of new obstacles present themselves. This demands some powerful suspension of disbelief, and at times the plot is like a brainstorming game between friends on their own road trip ("And then all the flights out of New York will be canceled, and then two of them will fight and the old guy's wife wants a divorce but his son needs college money like, right now, so the three head to Vegas, but along the way they stop off at a bar so the girl can get into a fight, and then there's a car crash and — ooh! I know! — a tornado!" and on and on).

Some of these things are totally preposterous (do college loans not exist in this world?), but it's not necessarily a random, rambling course of events. Much of what happens feeds our understanding of each character and many of their conversations are recalled in some way later in the story. Like the words "luck" and "lucky," which they repeat about 20 times in the movie. The occasional triteness aside, it's a rewarding experience to watch this movie, as you can consistently identify references to previous things. All in all, it's a flawed script that's saved by some great performances and a sweet dynamic between these unlikely friends.

Photos courtesy of Roadside Attractions

Join The Conversation
em1282 em1282 8 years
Looks cute, and I love Rachel and Tim, and Michael Pena was the only good thing about "Crash", so I think I'll be checking this one out.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
You're so right about that song, Buzz. They play it in this particularly sad ASPCA commercial that makes me cry every time! I think I might wait for this on video, but it sounds cute.
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 8 years
looking forward to seeing this. I will remember you is my graduating class song and everytime I hear I just about choke up
catswig catswig 8 years
eee I was an extra in this movie along with my house! (or maybe just yard, not sure). they were using the house next door for a large portion of the movie and would be using our yard as well so of course i had to ask! i can't wait to see if i can catch a glimpse of myself!
SassAndBide SassAndBide 8 years
it looks good. but i'll probably wait for it on dvd. glad to see rachel back on screen though
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it's funny - last night my fiance and i were trying to figure out what movie we'd want to see today and i saw the name for this movie but i couldn't remember what it was about. i think that the fact that rachel is in it is enough for me to go and see it, but i think that the plot line could be interesting enough for me to see it as well. i'll let you know if we end up seeing it tonight and what my thoughts are too.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
I saw the trailer for this the other day and I thought it looked cute too and I really like Rachel McAdams.
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