Choice, The : Movie Review

If Benjamin Franklin had lived during the early twenty-first century, he may very well have amended his "death and taxes" quote to include a third certainty in life: the annual release of a Nicholas Sparks film adaptation. Movies based on the author's best-sellers have historically been made with varying degrees of success (some of the best include 2002's "A Walk to Remember," 2004's "The Notebook," and 2008's "Nights in Rodanthe"), but at this point they have become so prevalent and their plots so derivative it is easy to guess where each one is headed. "The Choice" plays like a Sparks greatest-hits compilation, from the Meet Cute between sparring opposites attracted to each other, to the initial significant others who are tidily swept aside once our protagonists get together, to the trip to the carnival, to a scene of getting caught in the rain, to the urgent, food-tossing PG-13 sex scene atop the kitchen table, to a third-act accident/disease/tragedy putting our lovebirds' happily ever after in jeopardy.

Loud music and suspicions that her dog has been knocked up by his canine are the catalysts which bring together Wilmington, N.C., neighbors Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer) and Travis Parker (Benjamin Walker). She is a studious medical student with a doctor boyfriend, Ryan (Tom Welling). He's a country-boy veterinarian who has a way with the ladies. Despite her protestations, Gabby is smitten by Travis, and he with her. Playing hard to get can only last so long before Gabby's defenses are torn down and she must figure out how to break it off easily with Ryan. She has a feeling Travis may be "the one" for her, but as he foreshadows in his opening voiceover narration, the smallest everyday decisions sometimes have the power to change one's life forever.

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Author : Dustin Putman,