The Choice (2016) Romance Film Review – Free on AMAZON PRIME



By Melissa Antoinette Garza


It feels like spring in Western Mass and despite enjoying horror films and everything strange and dark, I do have a soft side.  I’m a girl.  I grew up on soap operas which with few exceptions are obsolete now.  After surrounding myself in all the dreary, haunting and scary flicks during winter, I often seek out romance films in the spring.

Like many movies, I hadn’t heard of this flick.  Other than Tom Wilkinson who portrays the male lead’s father, I wasn’t even all that familiar with the actors.  I did however know about Nicholas Sparks.  He wrote the novel of the wildly popular THE NOTEBOOK (2004) and the novel for this film among many others that were adapted to film.

My mother adored THE NOTEBOOK.  I could take it or leave it.  There was always something about Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams relationship in the movie that seemed forced and unnatural.  Odd since they dated in real life, but I just didn’t get the connection of the characters that most others seemed to appreciate.

THE CHOICE however is everything THE NOTEBOOK isn’t.  The film opens with southern playboy Travis (Benjamin Walker) successfully flirting with every girl in sight.  One lady who doesn’t fall at his feet is his new next door neighbor Gabby (Teresa Palmer).  She hates that he blasts his music at all hours and finds his smug nature irritating.  When she finds out her dog Molly is pregnant, she assumes it’s Travis’s dog’s and confronts him.

The two playfully argue and Travis puts on the charm.  They get on each other’s nerves, but when Molly has issues with her pregnancy, Travis comes to the rescue.  His father owns a Vet clinic and he’s followed in his dad’s footsteps.

When Gabby’s boyfriend Ryan (Tom Welling) leaves town for a few weeks, things heat up between the neighbors.  For the first time, Travis ends up falling in love.  Gabby falls hard too, and the chemistry between them is electric. When Ryan returns, however, Gabby is torn and isn’t sure what to do.



The story doesn’t end there and it takes place over a 7-year period.  It isn’t just about a love triangle but an accident that occurs.  It’s a tale of the strength and power of love and it’s done remarkably well.

At first, I didn’t think Travis was attractive at all.  He reminded me of the guy you see at the beach who thinks he’s more than what he is.  As the film progresses, he goes through a genuine metamorphosis. The character become deeper and more sympathetic.  Walker does an amazing job displaying Travis’s transformation over time; and it definitely translates to sexy.


Palmer does a great job as well.  Gabby never comes across bitchy or entitled.  There’s a softness in Palmer’s portrayal that even when makes bad decisions, one can’t help but feel for Gabby. Palmer sort of reminds me of Reese Witherspoon, but is more dramatic and in-tune with her character than Witherspoon typically is.

I highly recommend this for the female readers.  When I watch this style film, I don’t typically watch it with the hubby.  I know he won’t enjoy it and as he doesn’t often force Japanese super hero sitcoms on me, I give him the same respect. Plus, I get to become more involved in the movie and more connected with the characters and plot when I’m not worried that he’s bored and just putting up a good face for me.

So, gals watch this with your girlfriends or alone.  It’s a nice romantic drama that has comedic moments, and fine acting. It does have a religious message some may agree with and some may not, but I don’t think it bashes you over the head with it.  Unless you are an outright atheist who hates all that is miracles, I can’t imagine you’d have a problem.



Scared Stiff Rating:  8/10


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