When I started watching The Choice I kept asking myself “Have I seen this film before?”, and after the first ten minutes I realised I actually had watched it before, it was just in a different location, with different actors and a different name.
The Choice is mediocre in its ideas, plot, character development; something I would probably enjoy watching if I was 12 again and my vision of a perfect romance was a Nicholas Sparks novel. The whole action is just a big cliché from start to ending. When Travis’ (Benjamin Walker) radio is on too loud, Gabby (Teresa Palmer) storms out of her house and starts an argument with him, making the audience foolishly believe that they will end up hating each other (typical behaviour for such a story). As I expected – they start falling in love with each other.
Travis is a bachelor, a funny guy, a ladies man, someone who conquers women easily, but Gabby is the complete opposite (we all know that opposites attract) – medicine student, serious about her studies, can’t take jokes. And I forgot to mention that she even has a rich, fellow doctor boyfriend. So how can this romance develop without making her look like a cheater? Easy, send the boyfriend out of town for some weeks. We all know (or at least this film does) that it’s okay to cheat as long as you’re in love with someone else.
But what is going to happen after the boyfriend returns? Is she going to get back to him and leave the summer romance behind; or is she going to break up with him because she realised Travis is “the one”? Somehow this situation brought tears to my eyes; I guess it was the softie inside me spilling some emotion out. Some more spicy drama follows after that, but it only leads to the obvious finale I’d been waiting for since the beginning. Keep in mind this film is a drama, so there will be some not-so-happy moments as well.
Even though the plot is disappointing, the production value and choice of music is not. The beautiful location outside the big city life, with a lake, trees, birds, the beautiful scenes of the two lovers, freshly hit by Cupid’s arrow, creates a communion between man and nature.
If I don’t look at what a cliché this film is (even the sex scene is no different than the rest of its kind – unrealistically pushing all the dishes off the kitchen counter just to grab her on top of them), the message it tries to send is better than the film itself – every choice we make builds our future and leads us to the point where we are today (if only they could’ve had a more creative approach to such a deep statement). The ending however saves the plot a bit; it shows what tragedy and despair can do to a person and how vulnerable us human beings are when it comes to our feelings. It is also a lesson of patience and how with our choices we can not only change our lives but the lives of others.
Is The Choice further proof of how the Hollywood industry has started to lack creativity and originality? Or maybe on the contrary, these are the kind of films the audience enjoys watching, so Hollywood is just selling the same films, slightly changed, so it can get the cash.