#REVIEW: “THE CHOICE”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
We’ve seen a string of Romances make their way to the Big Screen from Author Nicholas Sparks in recent years. Critics on the consensus have not seen eye to eye with these Adaptations, but that has not stopped his fans from coming back time and time again.
The latest outing from Sparks, The Choice, directed by Ross Katz, unfortunately is not the type of Film that critics can get behind and more so, audiences. The story is simplistic, boy meets girl, boy wants girl, boy has to overcome obstacles to get girl. However it is not the story that is at fault here, it is the chemistry or in this case, the lack of.
The Movie starts with Travis (Benjamin Walker) meeting his new neighbour, the beautiful Gabby (Teresa Palmer) and he inevitably develops a crush on her. However the feelings are not reciprocated as Gabby is notably off-put by Travis and moreover she has a boyfriend, Ryan (Tom Welling), someone she works with at the hospital. However, this does not stop Travis despite already having a woman in his life in the form of Monica (Alexandra Daddario). Things between Gabby and Travis are tense until Gabby barges over to Travis’ property one day to accuse his dog of knocking up her dog and things start to blossom from there as Gabby sees a side of Travis that she never saw before. We also see his desire to settle down. However with both Gabby and Travis being both in relationships, is a future possible for these two?
Despite Walker and Palmer delivering respectively, we have a hard time gaging their on-screen romance. Tom Welling who hardly is in the Movie enough, gives a fine performance, something we’ve come to expect since his days on Smallville. At first glance, he has more chemistry with Gabby than Travis ever manages to accomplish and this is a problem.
Moreover, Benjamin Walker captures the womanizing arrogance and entitlement of Travis well, but struggles to affect us and win our hearts. Lastly, the promising Alexandra Daddario is completely underutilized, reduced to an obstacle to the central love story and eye candy.
For fans of Nicholas Sparks, The Choice will be another in his growing collection of Movies that will induce tears undeniably. However, for the general audience and people wanting something deeper and substantial than the formulaic Romance, The Choice may not be for you.
eOne Films releases THE CHOICE in theatres on Friday, February 5, 2016.