Movies based on Nicholas Parks novels usually have the same general reaction from audience members. Anything from "A Walk to Remember" to "The Best of Me" have always been liked by teenage girls and disliked by the majority of everyone else, with the exception of "The Notebook" and "The Longest Ride." Personally, I enjoy both of those films. I am usually with the majority when it comes to Nicholas Sparks films. Directed by Ross Katz, starring Banjamin Walker & Teresa Palmer, and penned by Bryan Sipe, "The Choice" is a Nicholas Sparks adaption that I may just be in the minority on. Is it a great film? Absolutely not, not but the cast and main focus of the film had me intrigued.
Throughout this film, characters fall in and out of love. Focussing in on two couples as one is back and forth while the other is long distance, the two who now live next door, form a bond that they never expected. Creating more complications than they expected, their relationship blossoms into some very enjoyable chemistry between Teresa Palmer and Benjamin Walker. Maybe I am a sucker for country-esque setting or films that take place on a beach most of the time, but there was a very calming feeling throughout this picture that put me at ease.
I found myself chuckling at a lot of the dialogue throughout this film, which is not a good thing, due to the fact that I enjoyed watching these characters interact. The characters were likeable, but what they said to one another felt more like a high school play than a Hollywood feature at times. "The Choice" boasts a soothing score and a cast that gives it their all into making the audience believe they are really in love, but what felt missing was the element of surprise.
Beginning with a scene that clearly takes place during the climax of the film, you can see a horrible incident coming from a mile away, leaving any surprises out and making the film much more predictable than I am sure the filmmakers intended. The first and second acts of this film have a very light tone to them, so when the big incidents begin to happen toward the end of the film, I believe it will feel very jarring to the average moviegoer.
Most of these films have similar themes, so when talking about them, they seem to have the same tiring result. A film that tries very hard to make you love it's characters, while still being confused with it's story and not following through on everything you wish was in it's final act. As far as Nicholas Sparks adaptions go, this is one of the better ones I have seen in a while, but that is not saying much. I saw most of this film coming from a mile away. I enjoyed watching this cast together, but it is ultimately as forgettable as the majority of the fares within this generic genre.
Great romance films are slim to none these days. When a great one comes out, it sticks out like a sore thumb and it takes forever for another to pass it by. I am talking about "Silver Linings Playbook." "The Choice" tries very hard to make you like it's characters and it's premise, and while some of those elements work, the film is still forgettable. Recommendable? To young women, yes.
Review By: KJ Proulx