The Choice


Action / Drama / Romance


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April 24, 2016 at 06:13 AM



Teresa Palmer as Gabby
Maggie Grace as Steph
Tom Welling as Ryan
720p 1080p
820.81 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 48 / 382
1.69 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 52 / 194

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Steve Pulaski 4 / 10

Problematic in presentation, gender relations, and believability - your average Nicholas Sparks film adaptation

As Nicholas Sparks' film adaptations go, Ross Katz's "The Choice" is a better film than the bland "Longest Ride" we got last year and certainly miles past the perplexing and downright unbelievable "Safe Haven" in 2013. With that being said, it's still burdened by the same kind of misguided tropes and cloying incredulity that makes each of these films a chore to sit through. These films come decorated in the same kind of clothing as the next, as they're built from the ground up on impossibly romantic circumstances, characters that always look beautiful no matter what, a truly tragic plot device played up perfectly to engineer an emotional reaction rather than naturally warrant one, and a slew of "perfect moments" to make your relationship with your significant other look like a slog. And, specific to this one, seriously questionable treatment of its female character. Happy Valentine's Day.

This time, we focus on Travis Parker (Benjamin Walker), a veterinarian working with his father (Tom Wilkinson) at his practice, living in the small coastal town of Beaufort, North Carolina. Travis lives on his own and enjoys the peacefulness brought on by cold beer, his beach chair, and his dog, until his quietness is disrupted by his new neighbor Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer). Gabby is a med student, who is currently dating a fellow doctor, but her playfully stubborn aura makes her all the more attractive to Travis.

When her boyfriend leaves for a medical retreat for several weeks, the two succumb to intense emotional desires, have sex, and begin to that thing that so many young people do nowadays where they act like they're dating to others, have sex and sleep together like they are, but really aren't together. When her boyfriend gets back, Gabby immediately wants things to go back to the way things were before he left, leaving Travis out to dry, and making them both look like immature, stupid people who can't appropriately handle or discuss their own baggage. Nonetheless, Gabby winds up breaking up with him and her and Travis wind up getting married and starting a family of their own.

This may sound like I just went through the entire film's plot, but that wouldn't make sense since I never addressed the core "choice" this film and its two lead characters love to talk about through narration. Well, "the choice" comes towards the end, when a catastrophic accident occurs and leaves one of the parties with a big decision. However, Katz (who directed "Adult Beginners" two years ago) and screenwriter Bryan Sipe rush through this whole circumstance at the end like it's a big afterthought. The fundamental "choice" of the film isn't introduced until far too late in the picture, where it can't develop, and as a result, feels like a tacked on conclusion.

"The Choice" is a tad more forgivable than many other Sparks-branded pictures because at least one of our leads has an ounce of personality this time around. Benjamin Walker's, who already looks and talks like a young Colin Firth, Travis is a very snarky character throughout the picture, which at least makes him an interesting personality rather than a plastic presence. Teresa Palmer's Gabby is a blander, more ordinary female lead, but her ability to handle the more dramatic scenes with competence makes up for her lack of character development.

I think the most problematic thing about "The Choice" as a whole is the strange way it tries to pass off unromantic instance as romantic, and, if we're going to be completely critical of the film's ideology here, almost makes a case for "no means yes" misogyny that has plagued women for decades. Consider the scene when Travis drives all the way out to Gabby's parents' home, where she is staying for the weekend, to ask her parents for her hand in marriage. Gabby is clearly horrified by this entire circumstance, yet her mother and father are in awe of Travis's conviction of wanting to marry her. Though she repeatedly says "no" a good dozen times, her mother and father keep insisting that this is what's best for her, going as far to say this is what she wants, and even encourage Travis by giving him a ring with which to propose. The next scene, they're happily married in a church. What a strange, uncomfortable scene that illustrates the least romantic circumstance that basically tells Gabby's character, "stop resisting, smile, and accept the ring, you ingrate."

Getting all riled up about the gender relations in the latest Nicholas Sparks' film is a losing battle in and of itself because these films are so contrived and detrimental not only to men and women but romantic expectations in general that pervasive analysis only warrants a headache. This is another loser in the long line of these mediocre, incredulous films that perpetuate false ideas of romance with the same narrative structure and emotional manipulation so much so that the white flag I've been waving at these films for the last few years, in utter defeat and contempt, has long been discolored.

Reviewed by kelly-89789 2 / 10

The dog, Moby was the most credible character in the movie.

If you are looking for a movie you can zone out during this is the one for you! The Choice once again delivered Nicholas Sparks tried-and-tested formula, full of Hallmark moments oh and not forgetting a basket full of puppies!! Only this time it felt a bit like a check list. Boy meets girl ✓ Girl is not interested in boy ✓ Boy and girl get together ✓ Boy takes girl out in a rowing boat ✓ Boy and girl split up ✓ Boy and girl get back together ✓ etc etc etc

The problem is whilst the screen writer and director are ticking off the list they forgot to make it credible. (I felt incredibly sorry for Gabby's dog who gives birth to puppies who look about 8 weeks old OUCH!!)

I will say that in the cinema there were a group of girls around 14 years old all ahhing, laughing, crying and clapping so I guess I now know which audience this movie is aimed at.

Would I recommend my friends go see this movie? No but I would tell them to watch it on TV if they were looking for something to watch and fill time.

Reviewed by David Ferguson ([email protected]) 5 / 10

Puppies in a basket

Greetings again from the darkness. When the word formulaic is used to describe a movie or book, it's typically meant as a disparagement. We must admit, however, that if the formula works, it only makes sense (and dollars) to stick with it. Most Hollywood blockbuster franchises are built around a basic formula – superheroes, romantic-comedies, alien invasions, etc. Author Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook) has taken his tragic-romance novel formula and turned it into big screen gold. This is the eleventh film developed from his writing, and it's likely to be another successful entry into the Sparks canon.

Director Ross Katz (Adult Beginners, 2015) is at the helm of the screenplay by Bryan Sipe (upcoming Demolition) and many of the familiar Sparks features are present. First off, the key players are all exceedingly attractive – Ralph Lauren model attractive. Secondly, there is a will they/won't they romance that will of course happen and then may fall apart, but probably won't. And third, some type of tragedy will occur that will kick off a stream of tears from a certain segment of the audience.

This one begins with a narrator's humble-brag promising to tell us the "secret of life". That narrator is Travis, played with an over-flowing abundance of southern charm by Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, 2012). His main vices are a tendency to use "damn" to the point of overkill in most every conversation, and his natural ability to attract the ladies. Oh, and he has a rescue dog and a lake house and he is a veterinarian. See, in the Sparks universe, everyone is beautiful and successful. Travis has his eye on his new neighbor, who is pretending to be annoyed but mostly admits to playing a game of hard-to-get. This is Gabby (Teresa Palmer, Warm Bodies 2013), and she is beautiful and a doctor-to-be. Gabby's current boyfriend is, of course, a handsome doctor. Ryan is played by Tom Welling (a bit heftier than his days as Clark Kent/Superman in "Smallville").

The beautiful Maggie Grace (Taken) plays Travis' sister, and Alexandra Daddario (San Andreas) plays Monica … she is not only beautiful, but she is also the nicest, most understanding and supportive "other" woman ever seen on screen. Tom Wilkinson plays Travis' veterinarian dad, and Sharon Blackwood plays the wise-cracking and match-making assistant Cora. If that's not enough beauty and success for you, we also get "puppies in a basket"! Come for the chuckles and tears … just not twists or surprises. Fans of this genre will get exactly what they want. It's a romantic fantasy set in the somewhat realistic world of doctors, veterinarians, and equestrians. The faces are perfect. The dialogue is snappy without being demanding (even in the God discussion). Many scenes feature loyal dogs, or a serene lake, or the "moon and stars". Even the difficult parts of life – raising kids, health issues, etc – are given the "yada, yada, yada" treatment. While Travis claims over and over that Gabby "bothers him", it's the kind of bother that creates a cryfest in the theatre … whether things go right or wrong. It's also the reason that all eleven Sparks films feature a couple of lovers on the poster. Just remember, if that formula works ….

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