Travis (Benjamin Walker) is a country boy from a small, coastal town in North Carolina. Gabby (Teresa Palmer) is a silver spoon-fed debutante and Travis’s new neighbour. They are both in relationships of varying commitment. They meet, hate each other initially, inevitably fall in love, and then have to make a choice: do they choose love? This is the whole plot of The Choice, essentially.
The Choice is based on the 2007 Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name. This should tell you a lot. Overheard during the screening of this film: “Maybe this will be the Nicholas Sparks movie that will change my mind about Nicholas Sparks movies.” No. It will not. Instead, it will numb your mind, make you cringe and laugh out loud—not because moments are genuinely funny, but because the dialogue is so ridiculous and corny there’s nothing else to do. As expected, there is also a heavy-handed illness of some sort which is intended to touch your soul but will actually make you roll your eyes.
The movie is 111 overdrawn minutes of Travis and Gabby falling in love—and not in an interesting or passionate way. Not much else happens here. There are, however, plenty of requisite cheesy lines and “revealing” conversations between characters. So many unnecessary conversations between characters! Characters like: the receptionist at Travis’s veterinary clinic; the nurse at the hospital where Gabby is an intern; Travis’s dad; Travis’s sister; Gabby’s boyfriend’s parents—all of these wooden people get way more screen time than is required. In a film with so many flaws, the biggest travesty, though, is Tom Wilkinson’s role as Travis’s dad—he deserves so much better than this.