Director: Ross Katz
Writers: Bryan Sipe (screenplay), Nicholas Sparks (Novel)
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Maggie Grace, Alexandra Daddario
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content and some thematic issues
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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.
I had the opportunity to watch “The Choice” at the Grove. I was rushing due to traffic but times had been printed wrong and the movie started at 7:30. Phew! We were able to sign in with a really polite staff and get our seats earlier than expected.
Now the movie… [Spoilers ahead]
I had been on board with Nicholas Sparks with his earlier work: A Walk To Remember, The Notebook and Message In A Bottle. I stopped watching, somewhere around 2008, as his films started feeling the same. Nevertheless, “The Choice” does fall into the arc pattern that Nicholas Sparks is so known for but it somehow feels fresh. Teresa Palmer and Benjamin Walker make a heartfelt duo, pleasantly surprised with the latter as I’m used to seeing him in drama films. But the films starts light and with lots of humor as Gabby and Travis show us their relationship 7 years prior to the choice and it is pleasant to see them falling in love. In the third act, by the accident, you know where this movie is going but the director still plays a bit with angles in different shots during different scenes to keep the element of surprise: will he end it? Would he disconnect his wife? Travis wishes he could breathe for his wife and blames himself for not being on time, as this would’ve changed the outcome. This is the lesson that he intends to give since the beginning of the movie: every choice you make in life changes everything. He chooses to wait, to not disconnect his wife, while he tries to look for a way to show how much he loves her: give her the moon and the stars just as he promised by recreating a childhood memory of hers by their spot.
Even if the script was a bit predictable, I found myself enjoying “The Choice”. Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer are a refreshing duo that keeps your interest and the director managed to present us a lovely love story. This is not your usual tearjerker, and mostly due to the subtle way that Travis’s playful personality lightens the emotional moments during the scenes, but it does manage to emote a feeling of hope for the two characters.