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The Lucky One (12A)

Scott Hicks, 100mins. Starring: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling

Director Scott Hicks (Shine) and novelist Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook) have between them created a perfect storm of schmaltz in this tale of a US Marine's picturesque journey to love and healing.

 Zac Efron stars as Logan, who in the battleground rubble of Iraq finds the photograph of a young woman and believes it to be a talisman after his life is spared twice in combat.

Back on home soil he discovers her name – Beth (Taylor Schilling) – and walks all the way to her door in Louisiana, where the bayou is permanently sun-dappled, the interiors are all tastefully distressed and grandmother Blythe Danner plays wise old Cupid to the lovestruck couple.

You know at some point, Zac will have to bond with Beth's eight-year-old son and kick the ass of her boorish ex-husband Keith, but until then you will be tranquillised unto death by Mark Isham's repulsive score and pop-fillers so bland you'd prefer the whine of a dentist's drill. Lucky is the one who avoids this.