In an era of overwhelming entertainment choices, Netflix’s “Choose Love” tries to stand out with an interactive spin on the rom-com genre. But unfortunately, it fails to take advantage of the format, falling into the pitfall of predictability. While the viewer is given the illusion of control, the ultimate result is the same: a linear, uninspired narrative punctuated by banal decisions.
“Choose Love” centres around Cami Conway (Laura Marano), who finds herself juggling the romantic advances of three men — Paul (Scott Michael Foster), Jack (Jordi Webber), and Rex Galier (Avan Jogia). Though the film’s interactive format allows you to make choices for Cami, you quickly realise that these options don’t drastically impact the overarching story, nor do they provide any innovative or unexpected scenarios.
The film opens with a tarot card reading, giving you the chance to pick between hearing “good news” or “bad news.” But no matter what you choose, the cards are the same, and so is the fortune. This perfectly encapsulates the disappointing experience that follows; despite the interactive premise, the choices amount to superficial alterations rather than meaningful deviations.
“Choose Love” serves up nothing more than stale clichés in a choose-your-own-adventure format. In essence, the film allows you to pick your cliché rather than pick your story.
Another lowlight was that is was very obviously shot in Auckland, where we (FENNEC) are based, and they made no effort to get left hand driving cars. One character even says he likes to hire a right hand side car to remind him of the UK. As if, more like production couldn’t be bothered to source the correct cars. It simply screams lazy.
At the end, the viewer is given the chance to revisit the film and make different choices, presumably to experience alternate endings. But after one run-through, there’s little incentive to explore further. The characters lack depth, the dialogue feels contrived, and the interactive moments feel forced and gimmicky rather than integral to the story.
“Choose Love” ends up being a missed opportunity for Netflix. With the interactive format offering immense potential for complex, nonlinear storytelling, the film falls short of delivering anything more than the kind of formulaic romantic comedy we’ve seen countless times before. It’s a predictable film masquerading as an innovative, viewer-driven experience.