In terms of Nicholas Sparks films, it isn’t the worst choice but there are plenty of better romance films out there. (for our original review, click here).
Synopsis: Travis and Gabby first meet as neighbors in a small coastal town and wind up in a relationship that is tested by life’s most defining events. (IMDB)
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, and Alexandra Daddario
Writer: Bryan Sipe
Director: Ross Katz
Rating: PG-13 (United States)
Running Time: 111mins
The works of Nicholas Sparks have inspired many romance films with perhaps the most famous being The Notebook. One big draw back then was simply to try and figure out what the “choice” was. Suffice it to say that the film was able to answer that question and you can probably figure out what that answer was without even seeing the film.
The story this time around was 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 (Tom Welling), Gabby would begin to have feelings for Travis before eventually falling in love with him. Their relationship would face a series of challenges as they had to decide what they wanted with their lives and what was truly important to them.
When it comes to a romance films, this film doesn’t offer anything new whatsoever story-wise. 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 the story in a nutshell. The love story here probably isn’t the most realistic which shouldn’t come as that big of a surprise but it probably wouldn’t have worked otherwise. From there, the story was pretty much nothing but romance film clichés.
First you start with a pair of good looking people who the film goes out of its way to prove that they are polar opposites. Then you get your shots of lakes, beaches, and stars throughout because they’re supposed to be romantic. There are some side characters who served no other purpose than as some sort of support system. In this case, they were Travis’ friends Matt and Ben (Jesse C. Boyd and Brad James), Travis’ sister Steph (Maggie Grace), Travis’ father Shep (Tom Wilkinson), and Travis’ ex-girlfriend Monica (Alexandra Daddario).
The trailers made it seem like Travis and Gabby were together but their arcs over the course of the film moved far too quickly. Walker and Palmer were fine as Gabby and Travis respectively, however, Gabby was not overly likable as a character. This could have been due to the poor writing as a whole but her logic did not always make the most sense and only served to advance the plot. Her stubbornness simply held up the plot, leading to her forgetting her boyfriend for whatever reason without remorse and made him into a villain before throwing herself towards Travis. This result was inevitable but it just got incredibly cheesy and dragged on from there, perhaps contributing to its excessive running time, clocking in at nearly 2 hours.
Overall, The Choice was pretty generic, yet watchable romance film with okay performances and nice scenery.