The Lucky Ones |
directed by Neil Burger
(Lions Gate, 2008)
Three soldiers back from Iraq team up and rent a car to drive to their respective destinations. Things happen to them along the way. When they get to their destinations, what they find is not what they expected.
That's The Lucky Ones in a nutshell. But it doesn't do justice to this quirky, touching and funny film.
Tim Robbins and Michael Pena give sturdy, soldierly performances, but the real story here is Rachel McAdams, who is mesmerizing as the blunt talking, somewhat naive, wounded (literally, in her thigh), deeply religious, sexually open-minded and perpetually optimistic Pvt. Colee Dunn. She is a ray of pure southern sunshine and steals every scene she is in.
A furious McAdams throws her soda on Pena when he insults her boyfriend, killed in Iraq, by saying he was unfit to be a soldier because he supposedly did armed robbery.
This movie has many such moments.
One lowlight: A contrived, cheap-looking tornado scene that's just in the movie to give Pena and McAdams a chance to huddle in a drainpipe, allowing a certain delightful discovery to be made. Afterward, the twister has blown the landscape to pieces, but their vehicle is untouched.
Final thought: This is not an Iraq movie. This is an America movie -- a terrific American road movie.
31 July 2010
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