Sorry, this is one of those Nicholas Sparks-adapted tearjerkers that elicits more snickers than swoons.
Zac Efron, 24, visibly struggles playing Logan, a personality-free Marine sergeant in Iraq who cheats death when he stumbles upon a photo of a pretty blonde. Once home, Logan finds his mystery girl (Taylor Schilling, 27) in a small Louisiana town — yet instead of explaining his connection, he clams up and takes a job at her family-run kennel.
The two strike up a slowly paced romance illustrated in a series of sunny, Lite FM-scored montages that resemble Country Time Lemonade ads. Then again, at least the interludes detract from the stars’ wincing dialogue (“You should be kissed every day, every hour, every minute!”) and their baffling lack of chemistry. Even the shower-sex scene is merely lukewarm!
Look, it’s perfectly lovely to take in a shameless sappiest on a rainy day. But the next time the clouds roll in, just queue up The Notebook.