The Lucky Ones

by Alan Rapp on September 26, 2008

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Lucky Ones
  • IMDB: link

“Thank you.”
“No, thank you.”

The film, except for small cameo roles, is a three-man piece.  Two soldiers wounded in action (Rachel McAdams, Michael Peña) with 30-day furloughs and one (Tim Robbins) on his way home for good travel home on the same flight.

Do to circumstances beyond their control the threesome find themselves renting a mini-van and travelling west.

Cheever (Robbins) just wants to make it home to his wife (Molly Hagan) and son (Mark L. Young) in St. Louis.  T.K. (Peña) is on his way to Las Vegas in hopes of curing an unfortunate medical problem caused by his injury.  And Colee (McAdams) is traveling to Vegas to return a friend and fallen soldier’s guitar to his family.

Their journey across the country will lead to surprises and disappointments as the world they fought so hard to get back to has change and dreams they had for their futures turn to ash.

The script by Neil Burger and Dick Wittenborn is much more light-hearted than I expected.  Filled with comedy and tragedy, its a story about three people’s journey together.

Although the characters’ backgrounds inform their decisions this isn’t really a film about war or a message about our soldiers in Iraq.  At it’s core it’s simply a road movie of an unlikely threesome who find they have more in common than the uniform.

Although all three stars shine here, it’s McAdams who shines brightest as the simple Southern gal with a heart of gold.  I was initially unsure about the casting, but she pulls the role off brilliantly.  I usually like her as an actress though I’m often put off by some of the projects she chooses.  It’s nice to see her back in a film I can genuinely enjoy.

Fans of the road movie, or of any of the three stars who each give strong performances, should check this one out.

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