Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer star in this eleventh screen adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks romance.
“There’s nothin’ cuter than puppies in a basket.”
It’s a sentiment with which everyone can probably agree, but do we really have to hear it? Yet the line is prominently delivered by a central character in the eleventh Nicholas Sparks screen adaptation, arriving just in time to offer counter-programming to the testosterone-fest that is the Super Bowl.
The Choice is the cinematic equivalent of staring at a Hallmark Card for two hours.
Set in the author’s usual North Carolina locale — in this case mostly Wilmington, whose tourist board should use it as a promotional tool — the film depicts the romance that develops between an attractive young couple who naturally “meet cute” and bicker incessantly until, well, they don’t.
They are charming ladies’ man/veterinarian Travis (Benjamin Walker) and medical student Gabby (Teresa Palmer), who live in adjacent houses located, naturally, right on the water. One late afternoon, while Travis is enjoying a beer in the single chair on his lawn that signals his commitment issues, Gabby storms over and berates him for allowing his Saint Bernard to impregnate her Golden Retriever. Pseudo-witty banter ensues, with Travis telling Gabby, “You bother me,” although clearly not meaning it.