Classic Review: The Choice (2016)

Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “The Choice” which originally appeared here.

Medical student Gabby (Teresa Palmer) moves next door to a charming womanizer named Travis (Benjamin Walker) in North Carolina. Although Gabby has a serious boyfriend Ryan (Tom Welling), she and Travis quickly develop feelings for each other that blossom into love and over the course of a decade, their relationship faces ups and downs as they try to decide what they want out of life and what is truly important to them.

Nicholas Sparks books have inspired a lot of films with the most famous one being The Notebook. The Choice is the 11th film based on a Nicholas Sparks book. I wouldn’t normally associate myself with these types of films but you can chalk this up to having to see every film for my site. Another reason for watching this was that I secretly wanted to know what this “choice” was. I will say that I got an answer to this question and I think that you can probably figure this out too without seeing this. For those who don’t know, the story is about a medical student named Gabby (Palmer) who moves next door to a charming man named Travis (Walker). Despite already being in a relationship with her boyfriend named Ryan (Welling), Gabby begins to have feelings for Travis which eventually develop into love. Their relationship faces a series of challenges as they must decide what they want with their lives and figure out what is important to them. When it comes to a romance film, there’s not much new here. Girl meets boy, girl already has a boyfriend, girl doesn’t want boy, boy hounds girl, girl falls in love with boy and it goes on. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. The love story here probably isn’t the most realistic but it probably wouldn’t have worked otherwise because it would only make sense if good looking people fell in love. This is where the series of romantic film cliches begin. First you start off with the good looking people who are drastically different at first and the film tries very hard to demonstrate this. Then you get your shots of lakes, beaches, and stars throughout because they’re romantic. There are some side characters who serve no other purpose but to be there for support including Travis’ friends Matt and Ben (Jesse C. Boyd and Brad James)(I didn’t know their names until I looked them up on IMDB), Travis’ sister Steph (Maggie Grace), Travis’ father Shep (Tom Wilkinson), and Travis’ ex-girlfriend Monica (Alexandra Daddario). I understand that the trailers make it look like Travis and Gabby are supposed to be together but I just didn’t believe in their progression as it just escalated too quickly for me. I also did not like Gabby as a character. This could be because of the writing but her logic did not make sense to me. I guess it was to advance the plot. She keeps denying Travis because she has a boyfriend and then just forgets about him and throws herself towards Travis. She does not have any remorse over this and then Ryan is made to look like a villain. After Travis and Gabby finally get together, and that’s not really a spoiler, it kind of gets cheesy and it just drags on. Overall, this was pretty generic, yet watchable romance film with okay performances and nice scenery.

Score: 6/10

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