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The Nicholas Sparks Romance Flop Defying Odds And Killing It On Netflix

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Contains spoilers for “The Choice”

“The Choice” is a story about two deeply indecisive souls who stumble into each other’s lives -– Travis Shaw (Benjamin Walker), a veterinarian, and Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer), a medical student. From the moment they first meet, the pair bicker like an old married couple desperate for a messy divorce or a peaceful grave, whichever one arrives more quickly.

As is the way in romantic comedies, that tension grows and changes form. Travis accepts his feelings before Gabby does, but it doesn’t matter because they’re both sort of in relationships. Travis has an on-and-off-again girlfriend (Alexandra Daddario) while Gabby is in a long-distance relationship with a doctor (Tom Welling) who’s ready to propose. And with that, all the primary pieces are set for dramatic shenanigans.

After the dust settles and the parents get involved, Travis and Gabby get married. The couple spend many happy years together … but it wouldn’t be a Nicholas Sparks story if it ended there. Gabby falls into a coma after a tragic car accident. And Travis is forced to decide whether or not to keep his wife on life support. Just as soon as Travis involves the parents again, Gabby miraculously recovers. The end.

As the critics noted, “The Choice” is a paint-by-numbers romantic comedy without a single surprising element. That said, it’s easily digestible. And since Netflix probably won’t be releasing anything new for a while, what with the Writers Guild of America strike currently in play, viewers could do worse than take a familiar trip through Sparks’ world.