‘THE CHOICE’: A Romantic Drama about True Love and a Second Chance


Like clockwork, a new Nicholas Sparks production seems to pop up at the box office at least once a year – and sometimes twice. The Choice (2016) is based off a novel of the same name, and is actually one of my most favorite stories written by him.

The Choice (2016) Film Review

Life is good for Travis (Benjamin Walker). He works with his father (Tom Wilkinson) in the family business and on the weekends, he’s on the water with close friends. There is just one problem with this way of life. All of his friends are married and raising their young families. Travis doesn’t mind until now; and then his neighbor Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer) breezes into his life.

Opinionated with a sassy attitude that intrigues Travis, Gabby is the first woman to tell Travis “no” at every turn. Whether he invites her for a casual dinner or an afternoon with his friends on the water, Gabby doesn’t fall for Travis’ southern charms. Already in a committed relationship with her doctor boyfriend, Ryan (Tom Welling), Gabby’s happy. Is Ryan the man she is meant to settle into life with? Or is the pull she feels towards a new choice her future? the choice (2016)

Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer co-star in the #NicholasSparks adaptation of The Choice (2016): A Romantic Drama about True Love and a Second Chance #GoodMovies #FeelGoodMovies Click To Tweet

Unless my memory fails me, I think this Nicholas Sparks’ book-to-screen title is very different. The differences are small yet significant. Contradiction or no, I don’t know how better to explain this without giving away plot points from either the book or film. The book offers less resistance to see Gabby and Travis together (props) whereas the film gives them prior relationship cliches. This is one small example of the changes between the two.

BOOK REVIEW | The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

As a story, The Choice is lovely. I like its themes and the genuine chemistry and love between the couple. Travis’ feelings for Gabby comes across as all-consuming in the novel not to mention he doesn’t “feel” like such a playboy in the book (again, Travis’ annoying ex hinders this). Unlike most of the romance films playing at the box office, what’s so charismatic about this film is the sense of completion it has. The movie spans seven some years, and instead of leaving its characters apart, they are together for those years, and more importantly, happy. Lest you assume otherwise or I say too much to spoil things, I will just say this don’t assume that’s where or how the story ends. the choice (2016)

Unlike some of Sparks’ earlier adaptations, this one features a group of newcomers. Australian actress Teresa Palmer from Warm Bodies and I Am Number Four. But it’s Walker who is the real unknown. It’s interesting that after so many familiar faces in the leading man role, producers cast someone unfamiliar. If it was any kind of risk, I feel like it pays off. Though it might not be a favorite on-screen couple for the masses, I really like Teresa and Benjamin together. Their scenes are sassy and entertaining in turn, and I especially like how the writer’s allow the proposal scene to play out. It was unlike any I’d seen on-screen which is what made its feisty scripting so memorable. Maggie Grace (Taken) also co-stars as Travis’ sister, Stephanie.

“I’ve said all the words, all I need is a lifetime to prove it to you.” – The Choice

Review of The Choice (2016) with Benjamin Walker.

Basically, this will be a suitable for one kind of person. Anyone who is a fan of Nicholas Sparks, seeing The Choice is something you’re likely to enjoy. The script contains more adult content than the novel (like profanity), and there is alteration; but at the heart, the story is the same. For me, that was good enough.  

Content: There are two sensual scenes; one involves the removal of clothing with close up shots of caresses or kisses, another shows the couple in bed, sheets obscuring anything graphic. There’s social drinking and the garden variety of usual PG13 “acceptable” profanity.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Well Rissi, you have convinced me to give this movie a go. I thought this movie would be an insta love story so I wasn't going to watch it until I read your review. Plus it has Teresa Palmer and Tom Welling in the movie and they are two of my favourite actors.

    1. *bites nails* Uh-oh… I do hope you like it then, Carlyn. :D I thought it was a lovely romance albeit sappy (because it IS a Nicholas Sparks flick), but then I don't mind that so it didn't bother me. If you see it, let me know what you think (and I like Teresa as an actor too though I've not seen Tom in much, I liked him regardless).

    2. I am. A 60 yr old male raised on horror, action, and karate movies. Just caught this by happenstance, after a Sunday, and this movie made me cry. Not on the accident and coma stuff. But the blossoming romance. Don’t know what it is, but these 2 actors had Amazing chemistry. The romance didn’t feel contrived. The scenes in her house when she cooked dinner were the most heart felt and erotic. Wow. I cried when I saw it was apparent she is falling in love. My tears came from longing for the very same in my failing marriage of 24 years

  2. These movie stills you included are just heart-melting. I can't believe I haven't seen this one yet. Probably because I usually only go to the movies with my dad and it's always an action, lol. Nice review, Rissi! :)

    1. Aren't they!? I like to TRY and find pictures for my posts that I don't see promoting the movie everywhere else (for whatever film I'm reviewing). It's more fun this way.

      I get that. A trip to the theater with my dad usually involves something more action-packed too, although he's willing to watch anything once. Hope you enjoy this one, Bekah – and as always, thank you for reading. :)

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