by Jessica Marshall
We know the main reason many of you may be hitting theaters this weekend to see the Nicholas Sparks adaptation "The Lucky One." That reason has big blue eyes and rippling biceps, and his name is Zac Efron.
Zac beefed up to play Logan Thibault (pronounced “Tee-bow” like New York Jets QB Tim Tebow), a former U.S. Marine sergeant fresh off three tours in Iraq. When Logan comes home with a serious case of PTSD and an anonymous wallet-sized photo of an attractive woman (Taylor Schilling) that literally saved his life overseas, he gets it in his head to go on a cross-country trek to thank her. He finds this mystery woman, Beth, in a small Louisiana town, where she runs a doggie hotel with her eccentric grandmother (Blythe Danner) and her whip smart, tow-headed son Ben (Riley Thomas Stewart). Romance blooms amid the splendor of the South despite a number of obstacles, not least of which includes Beth’s jealous, gun-toting ex-husband.
While you think you may be prepared for an eyeful of Efron, there are other preparations we suggest you make before heading to the theater that can enhance your viewing pleasure even more. Here are five things to do before seeing “The Lucky One.”
Read a Nicholas Sparks book
This bestselling author has written more than a dozen short and sweet novels that you will (hungrily) race through on a long car ride or in a day on the beach. We recommend starting off with “The Notebook”—and buying a bulk-sized pack of tissues to go with it. And be forewarned, once you pop, you can’t stop. When you finish one book, be sure to have another one handy.
Watch a film adaptation of one of those books
Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum, Liam Hemsworth, oh my! There is no end to the attractive and deliciously shirtless actors who portray the Romeos in these buttery romance flicks. There are currently seven Sparks adaptations (with more rumored) in the film universe—"The Notebook,” “Dear John” and “A Walk to Remember” to name a few.
Watch Zac Efron grow up
See how he has matured through the years with a Zac Efron movie marathon! From a troubled autistic kid (“Miracle Run”) to a smooth-talkin’ teen (“17 Again”) to a dreamy post-grad haunted by the ghosts of his past (“Charlie St. Cloud”), this young hottie will blossom before your very eyes.
Visit a lighthouse
A lighthouse figures prominently in the lush Louisiana scenery of “The Lucky One,” lending an extra bit of romance to the film. Haven’t you ever daydreamed that your crush would kiss you for the first time in a fit of passion at the top of a lighthouse as waves crash ashore and the sun sets? No? We bet you will now. There are thousands of lighthouses to choose from throughout the world, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding one. (The lighthouse featured in the film is in Port Eads, Louisiana.)
Show a soldier some love
Write a letter or send a care package to troops stationed overseas. While the odds that you’ll literally save a life or that you’ll replicate the romantic outcome of “The Lucky One” are slim, you can rest assured that your contribution will certainly brighten someone’s day. That makes us feel as warm and fuzzy as the movie does. There are a number of websites that can help you do it, like amillionthanks.org and soldiersangels.org.
Will you be seeing "The Lucky One" this weekend? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!