Life is but an unending series of choices. Some are more important than others and some are absolute no-brainers. For Travis Shaw (Benjamin Walker) he’ll have to make the most important choice of his life. It will impact his life and those around him forever. There’s neither a right nor wrong answer to his dilemma, only the best case scenario; but more on that later. The story starts off with Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer) and her acclimation to her new home in the sleepy coastal town of Beaufort, North Carolina. Gabby, a nurse is Travis’ new neighbor and they don’t exactly hit it off. But eventually opposites attract and the two develop a relationship. However, Teresa has a problem, her boyfriend, Dr. Ryan McCarthy (Tom Welling) who’s a doctor at Teresa’s job. Teresa has a choice to make. Should she ignore her growing feelings for Travis and stay with Ryan, or should she leave her perfectly fine relationship with Ryan for Travis? Back to Travis for a second; his decision is a major plot development and discussing it now would ruin the movie.
It’s February, so it’s time for our annual Nicholas Sparks film adaptation. With The Choice, the book as well as the film is told in two parts. Part 1, the developing relationship between Gabby and Travis, could’ve stood alone as a separate film. Choosing between what “is” and what “could be” isn’t a thing to be taken lightly. Gabby has a boyfriend. Though her mind chooses Ryan, her heart chose Travis. Which side will win? All of this is moot as we move into part 2. The outcome of Gabby’s decision sets up part 2, in which Travis will have his life changing decision. The film felt top-heavy as we spent too much time in part 1 than part 2. Such is the case with Nicholas Sparks adaptations, all romance and little drama. The Choice doesn’t stray too far from the formula, which is a shame because it could’ve been more dramatic than it was.
The vague description of part 2 may not make any sense, unless you’ve read the book or seen the trailer. The latter virtually encapsulates the story in a little over 2 minutes. While standard fare from Nicholas Sparks, The Choice isn’t terrible; just disappointing, considering how much promise it shows.
Rated: PG-13 @ 111 mins