I consider myself a guy who can enjoy a good romantic chick-flick. My appreciation for them has diminished over the years, but if someone today told me, “You’re going to watch ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ / ‘You’ve Got Mail’ / ‘The Holiday’ / ‘Shakespeare in Love’ with me.” I’d shrug my shoulders and say “Sure, why not?” In fact, as a kid, whenever my dad and my brother would watch football or something, my mom would be upstairs watching chick-flicks, and I always chose to watch the latter.
I just wanted to get that out there real quick.
So I wasn’t entirely sure whether or not I wanted to take the time to see The Choice. I told my wife about it to see if she was interested in going, and she more or less said “eh”. However, a couple that I know went and saw it and told me that it was such a great movie, and the husband, who’s read some of my reviews said I should review this one. He said he was looking forward to my thoughts on it.
Well, sorry man, but I thought The Choice, for the most part, was garbage.
This movie has a lot of problems with it. The premise isn’t all that original, the script is largely inept, the lead characters are relatively unlikable and unconvincing, and the flow of the movie, especially during the first half, is nonexistent.
In regards to the premise not being all that original, all I have to say is that this is a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. The man practically has the generic-love-story-formula patented, not to mention movie posters where one or both of the main characters are face-grabbing each other.
And sure enough…
Now a generic, cliche love story in and of itself is not necessarily an immediate fail as a movie. I understand that love-story movies exist primarily for women on a good day off and guys who want to get a second or third date with the cute girl he’s interested in. If a cliche love story has all the other parts working well, I can enjoy it as a film. However, most of the other parts of The Choice are terrible as well.
The script is not only largely dependent on tired cliches, but it tends to rush through the series of events without ever explaining anything.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the leading male is a forever-single, shameless flirt that knows his way around the ladies and is a scoundrel. While that is terribly cliche in and of itself, the film only develops this aspect of our male lead once, when he’s flirting with two girls on a boat (complete with cringe-worthy dialogue). Then his womanizing ways are never demonstrated again. It’s like they completely forgot that it was a thing. Did the script-writers really think a prominent character trait, that’s referenced by other characters later in the movie, can be established with just one 45-second scene?
And stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the leading female is a serious type with a nice doctor boyfriend, and she finds our lead male’s chauvinistic ways insufferable. Again, not only have I seen this a hundred times in better movies, but she goes from that to having sex-eyes for our lead male in about ten minutes of screen time.
It’s like the movie just assumes that you’ll accept things they tell you and not actually try developing real characters. This movie doesn’t create real characters; instead, it creates walking tropes in a poorly paced romance film.
Because of this, the two leads had no chemistry with each other. When they get on each other’s nerves, it feels like the script is obligating them to do so, and not actually portraying real emotions on screen. When they’re falling in love, I constantly asked myself “Whyyyy? What exactly do you see in this guy that makes you wanna cheat on your doctor boyfriend with him? What exactly do you see in this girl that makes you want to stop living the bachelor life?” Their… cute… thing between each other is that they get on each other’s nerves or something. Every time they mention that, I rolled my eyes.
Travis, the leading male, was extremely unlikable. I never felt for his cares or struggles once. Gabby, the leading female, aside from one or two solid scenes, seems like she’s forcing her way through all the bad dialogue and directions.
There was this one scene in the movie where the two are on a date, and they start talking about their belief, or lack thereof, in God. I sank to my chair because the script had demonstrated their inability to handle anything correctly so far. Travis says something to the effect of “I believe in love-and-family-or-something”, to which Gabby replies, “I believe in some unnamed higher power because stars-and-moon-are-so-complex.” The movie pretended like this was some great conversation between the two, and all I could think was, “Great, those were practically the two most boring answers you could ever give to that question.”
There were a couple of scenes that tugged at my heart strings, one of them at the end because of something really touching Gabby says, but considering the rest of the movie was garbage, I can’t imagine sitting through this crap-fest again just for those two or three scenes.
Anyway, if you just want to see a movie where two people fall in love and don’t care about how the story develops, go see this movie. There were two older women who watched this movie with me, and they started tearing up during the….. sentimental scenes… so I know this movie will have appeal to the sappy love movie audience. However, there was close to nothing I found great about The Choice, and I’m giving this movie a 3 out of 10.