Some have criticised Nicholas Sparks’ works for their formulaic nature, and The Choice, currently sitting in the Netflix global top ten list for two weeks in a row, is no exception.
The tried-and-tested Sparksian formula peaked with The Notebook, starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. Even then, some people find Noah and Allie’s tale too mushy.
Based on the novel of the same name, The Choice revolves around the lives of Travis Parker (played by Benjamin Walker) and Gabby Holland (played by Teresa Palmer), who find themselves falling in love amidst unexpected circumstances. The Choice has all the classic elements of a Sparks’ tale, including small-town charm, adorable pets, and a twist that tests the couple’s commitment.
The Ross Katz-directed film, written by Bryan Sipe, is filled with melodramatic dialogue, saccharine sweet characters, and contrived situations that are tailor-made to pull at heartstrings. The terrible dialogues and even hammier acting packs this one particularly difficult to get through.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Frank Schenk had called the film “the cinematic equivalent of staring at a Hallmark Card for two hours,” while Andrew Barker from Variety brutally described it as “beginning as a merely mediocre retread of standard Sparksian tropes, veering off into self-parody around the hour-mark, and finally concluding with one of the most brazenly cynical climaxes recently committed to film.”
But Sparks junkies apparently don’t care because they seemed to have found their way to the 2016 film on Netflix and are enjoying every moment of it. The film also features Maggie Grace, Alexandra Daddario, Tom Welling, and Tom Wilkinson.
The Choice may not be a cinematic masterpiece, it undeniably serves its purpose as a guilty pleasure. So, if you’re in the mood for a cheesy, low-budget romance with a stale touch of Nicholas Sparks’ magic, The Choice on Netflix might just be what you’re looking for. Or you can simply cringe watching the trailer here: