Choose Love (2023)

Choose Love (2023)

A sparkless interactive romcom in which all possible outcomes are disappointing

3.7

Movie

United States of America
English
Comedy, Drama, Romance
2023
STUART MCDONALD
Avan Jogia, Benjamin Hoetjes, Blair Strang
77 min

TLDR

Netflix, I refuse to be complicit in writing the terrible, toxic fantasy you desperately want this to be!!!

What it's about

An audio producer in a committed relationship begins to question what she really wants after connecting with a former flame and a charming musician.

The take

With uninteresting characters and an aggressively bland story right from the start, Choose Love fails to establish any stakes worth caring about, no matter what choices we make throughout. Any sense of novelty from playing this choose-your-own-romcom vanishes once you notice how certain decision points lead to the exact same idea, or are blatantly disregarded by the character you "control" anyway. Choice is a complete illusion here, and the fact that we're only asked to participate when it comes to some of the most inane dilemmas only highlights how the film's protagonist isn't acting like a rational, adult human being with any self-respect or regard for others. Sure, people are inherently flawed and it can be fun to see how disastrous this situation can get through our own manipulation, but by the end there's still no believable spark to be found. It feels like a cop-out no matter what.

What stands out

You can tell that lead actress Laura Marano has energy and charm to spare, which helps makes some of the choices go down a little easier. Unfortunately, with the way this whole project has been set up, it just feels like they've miscast her—taking her from a woman who should have agency to choose among different suitors (or to choose herself) into some sort of over-expressive game show host. The film isn't confident enough to let these characters be characters on their own, and so any sweet or romantic thing that they do rings hollow.

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