Love and death go hand in hand, especially in fiction. Nobody thinks that one day everything ends – not just love but life itself -, much less when you’re in love. The passion, the unspeakable and magical process of falling in love with someone, the simple romance, or even just the illusion of love, the chimera of knowing that there is a person who fits what we mean by loving and being loved, without adjustments, these are some of the elements that make up good love stories, which can start in a happy, harmonious way, go downhill, downhill, until there is not even ashes left from that initial fire, or, on the contrary, sprout timidly, like the grass in the field. , grow, gathering strength where you least expect it, and overcome even the greatest adversities, and even time. Woe betide those who waste a second trying to understand the designs of love and, obviously, of life; he will waste years in a fight where there are no losers or winners, no glory or failure, but only things as they should be. Or what they call fate.
These points all come to light in “The Choice” (2016). Director Ross Katz chooses to abuse the melodrama in order to narrate the trajectory of a love, happy at first, as almost always, but that leaves a trail of destruction – moderate here -, because it assumes its own nature without bothering to leave it in ruins the dreams of anyone. Inspired by “A Choice for Love” (2007), one of Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling books (the publication title is much more accurate than that of Katz’s film), “The Choice” doesn’t go far beyond the sugary plot that characterizes the author’s text, to some extent chiseled in the screenplay by Bryan Sipe. The public already familiar with Sparks’ work, of course, lies and rolls, but the viewer in general finds some ends to tie in the bed of the plot, starting from a South Carolina that is much more like Ibiza, an island on the east coast of Spain, or the French Riviera. Nines out, no one who appreciates Sparks’ pen or technique opens one of his best sellers looking forward to coming across sentences that would confuse him with Machado or Dostoevsky, as even those who have never heard of the writer will want to find De Sica or Bergman. in “The Choice”. By the way, the repetition of the noun over almost two hours is perhaps what irritates the film the most. Was it a requirement from Nicholas Sparks, one of the producers? It is likely.
Travis, Benjamin Walker’s candidate for good guy, appears attacking a yacht full of beautiful women and some friends from his bachelor days, a scenario whose aura of somewhat bucolic melancholy is highlighted by Alar Kivilo’s photography, and more antagonistic impossible as to what is happening. assists in the second act. Meanwhile, the character is enjoying life madly, like his almost namesake in the John Hughes film (1950-2009): he goes to as many clubs as he can, flirts with all the girls he meets, takes most of them to bed. , but he does not neglect his veterinary career — and it is cowardly to use well-groomed dogs in a half-assed film; what kind of monster speaks ill of a movie in which a dog performs better than many of his homo sapiens counterparts? It is precisely through one of the great pranks of Moby, Travis’ collie, that he meets Gabby, his neighbor until the end of the summer. He and Teresa Palmer’s character face almost invincible resistance (on her part), but they begin to understand each other. By leading Katz to the approach of the two, it is understood that they will go up to the altar even before the first kiss, but impediments (also on her part) postpone don juan’s plans from the swamps. Empowered woman is what it is.
An unfortunate event involving Gabby, who even marries Travis, marks the turning point of “The Choice”, but the subplots are, shall we say, much more stimulating. Award-winning Tom Wilkinson as Doctor Shep, chief veterinarian of the clinic where the protagonist – who is not by chance his son – works, the antipode of the conqueror incarnated by Walker, and even the once Superboy Tom Welling as Ryan, the deprecated fiancé of the anti-heroine, unforgivably wasted, is much more fun than the essential lisp. As is repeated three by two in the film, life is made of choices. But sometimes they are a lot easier than usual.
Movie: The choice
Direction: Ross Katz