Grab that special someone and a box of tissues because “The Choice” has hit the theaters. The film, based on Nicholas Sparks’ bestselling book of the same name, asks the question: how far would you be willing to go for love?
“The Choice” focuses on the relationship between Travis (Benjamin Walker) and Gabby (Teresa Palmer) as they transition from feuding neighbors into star crossed lovers. After a devastating accident leaves Gabby in a coma, Travis finds himself faced with a difficult decision and must ask himself how far he is truly willing to go to keep the woman that he loves in his life forever.
While it isn’t the greatest love story ever told, the film is still a nice pick for a date night activity; but, compared to the book, the movie is slightly lacking. While the romance between Travis and Gabby develops gradually throughout the book, it happens all too fast in the film, which takes away from the sense of realism of such a situation. It fails to show the real struggle and effort that goes into a romantic relationship; by cutting certain scenes and rushing through the story, the film loses a great deal of drama and charm.
This cinematic adaptation is mediocre at best; it fails to answer its own question, which is concluded more effectively in the book. In the film, Travis’ internal struggle between honoring Gabby’s wishes and his own selfish desire to keep her alive is much less devastating and the resolution is anticlimactic, which takes away from the story’s drama.
One of the few saving graces of the middling romance was Walker’s portrayal of leading man Travis Parker. He effortlessly transitions from snarky ladies’ man to pining Romeo with plenty of humor, emotion, and likeable southern charm. Walker seems quite at home in his southern element, but his cast mates, Palmer and British actor Tom Wilkinson, make little or no attempt to hide their own accents for the sake of the film, ruining the illusion.
Both Palmer and Wilkinson’s acting in this particular film can be described as bland. Though she is in no way a poor actress, Palmer still fails to deliver a memorable performance. Wilkinson is witty and likeable, but he lacks the emotion suited for his character and the overall tone of the film. Walker’s is the only character who comes across as genuine.
Also stealing much of the show are Maggie and Moby, Travis and Gabby’s lovable dogs who sort of kick start the relationship between the main characters. In fact, the dogs have a more romantic and interesting relationship than the leading couple.
People who have not read the book will enjoy this movie more than those who have. Though a bit predictable and very cheesy, the film still manages to bring life to Nicholas Sparks’ heartbreaking tale of love and loss, and offers a satisfying ending that will have audiences everywhere weeping both tears of sorrow and joy. “The Choice” receives a 3/5.