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JUST MY LUCK (article first published : 2006-08-20)

Ashley Albright is one lucky young brunette. When she steps into storms, the sun bursts through the grey clouds. When she calls for a cab, four speed to answer her call. When she buys scratch cards she's always a winner.

She also manages to attract hunky boyfriends and, work-wise, get fast-tracked to a high-powered career in public relations after she is forced to step in for her boss who is late for an appointment, and successfully handles a lucrative account involving a top, pampered record producer.

On the other side of town we have handsome but accident-prone Jake Hardin, for whom Murphy's Law could have been written. His big ambition is to secure a recording deal for British band McFly in the US by getting the guys more exposure than their regular stints performing at a tenpin bowling joint.

Jake wants the talented quartet brought to the attention of, and signed up by, the very same mogul with whom Ashley is working.

When, inevitably, Ashley and Jake cross paths, at a masquerade ball, there is an instant, mutual attraction - but when they kiss on the dance floor, something bizarre happens. Suddenly Jake starts to strike it lucky, while Ashley almost immediately begins to experience the worse streak of bad luck imaginable - starting with her losing a shoe heel, ripping her dress and almost choking on an olive at the ball.

Director Donald Petrie milks the bad-luck angle for all its worth, but there is seldom any real hilarity and some of the situations stem from the characters being stupid and looking for trouble rather than experiencing any real bad luck.

Lighter than an eyelash and so predictable it's almost embarrassing, this film will prove tedious for some, and forgettable for many, but most of the under-20s in a matinee audience I attended, and in particular girls in their early teens, seemed to lap it all up.

Just My Luck is being marketed as the first adult role for child star turned teen star Lindsay Lohan but she still seems too immature for the role of a go-getting PR type. She's also disappointingly lacklustre here, a far cry from the zest she displayed in the hugely enjoyable Mean Girls.

Her co-star, Chris Pine, last seen opposite Ann Hathaway in Princess Diaries 2, fares much better, lending some charm and oomph to his character. Ditto for Samaire Armstrong and Bree Turner, who play Ashley's spunky workmates. Rating: 5/10 - Billy Suter




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