An Interactive Romantic Comedy Experience
For fans of the app “Episode,” this is the movie for them. Choose Love is Netflix’s first interactive rom-com. Cami is unhappy with her life. She has a job she doesn’t really enjoy, and her boyfriend isn’t horrible, but she’s not sure if they’re the right match. Confused, Cami seeks out a psychic who explains that she will have three men to choose from. Cami runs into “the one that got away” and a famous rock star. She now must decide who is right for her as well as the career she wants to pursue. Choose Love was directed by Stuart McDonald. It was released on August 31, 2023. Fans decide which man Cami will end up with, and everyone has different opinions. Fans have even been sharing videos on TikTok showing the decisions that they are making.
Change Your Mind
The film’s overall plot certainly makes sense, as well as the background behind her fears. When Cami meets a psychic who discusses three suitors from three different cards, this comes back later as Cami describes each of the men: the knight, the magician, and the fool. It was very interesting to see a lot of the things the psychic said to come back into play in Cami’s life. For example, if the viewer chose this option, Cami giving her niece advice was predicted of her changing a young child’s life. Each scene definitely coincides with what is going on in the film. However, because this is a choice sort of game, some opportunities are missed out on. If it is a choice, the viewer can go back, but in some instances, the viewer might not be able to view it. For example, it’s never an option for Cami actually to go to dinner with Paul. Also, if someone wanted to end up with Paul or chose to stay with Jack at the protest, they never get to see Cami perform with Rex, even if they chose the option.
What’s interesting is that if the viewer initially picks Paul, it goes straight to the ending, and it’s the shortest option. However, if the viewer picks Rex or Jack, there are multiple options to change their mind. In this way, it seems the director/creator prefers/ wants the viewer to pick Paul. The pacing works well throughout the film, but it is best for the Rex option. It did seem a little crazy that Jack was just magically in Las Vegas for a protest, but that craziness often happens in romantic comedy universes. For those who believe a woman doesn’t need a man to be happy or just doesn’t like any of the options, there is a way to have Cami end up alone, like if someone picks Jack and at the end picks “just Cami.” Also, when the viewer has a happy ending with every guy, they unlock a special ending montage.
The film stars Laura Marano as Cami. Laura is best known for her role as Ally on Disney’s hit show Austin and Ally. She has also been in other Netflix romantic comedies and other movies like Bad Hair Day and Perfect Date. Starring alongside Laura as Rex is Avan Jogia. Avan is best known for his role as Beck in Victorious as well as Rags. Most of the acting was pretty decent. It did seem a little awkward when Cami’s character began talking to the audience; it takes the viewer out of the movie for a minute when this happens. Avan is always a great actor, though, and did great with his portrayal of Rex, which was similar to his role in Rags.
Laura is a great actress, but she seems to have trouble with the chemistry between her and her love interest. Maybe if the characters had more development, and it’s also the fact she’s seen with three different guys, she can’t really focus on one in particular. But it just seems like she could’ve been more attracted to them or even seemed more in love with Paul, who she’s been with for almost three years. For fans of Laura Marano’s old TV show, there are so many parallels between Austin and Ally and the film, like when Cami’s character tells Rex not to touch her soundboard in a very similar way to how she would tell Austin in her TV show not to touch her songwriting book. Rex also looks a lot like Austin. Furthermore, if the viewer picks this option, when they sing together on stage, there are a lot of similarities to the first time Ally sang with Austin when getting over her stage fright, like him helping her feel calm and the way they’re looking at each other.
The best part of this film is definitely the fact that the viewer can make choices throughout the film. For example, the viewer can choose whether or not the main character, Cami, should kiss her old flame. Another option is whether or not to stand up to her boss, and finally, the best choice of them all is which guy Cami ends up with. Most fans of romantic comedies would kill for this option in their favorite movies, especially because everyone can have a different opinion on who the best guy is. Something the film did a really good job with is the fact that the viewer can “undo” their choice. Those fans who might not be the best decision-makers can change their mind and go with the overall best option without starting the film over. However, the choice is on a timer, so it might decide for the viewer if they don’t think fast enough. This feature is frustrating, especially if the viewer is not by their TV or just can’t decide.
Perhaps for interactive romantic comedies in the future, Netflix can either get rid of the time limit or make it a little longer, especially for indecisive viewers. The movie was too short at only one hour and seventeen minutes, and seemed to rush the viewer into making the ending decision a little earlier than expected. Furthermore, it seemed there could have been more choice options. However, if someone picks Jack or Rex, they get more choices as well as a longer movie, as the viewer can change their decision after picking these two. At the end of the complete Jack ending, Paul comments on the reason the viewer picked Jack was because of his looks, which “is the first thing to go,” which was very comical.
Are You Ready to Choose Love?
Netflix’s Choose Love is a great interactive romantic comedy. More movies need to have these situations where the viewer can help the character make decisions. It might even be more successful if the viewer can choose the characteristics of the guys/ their appearances, similar to the app “Episode,” which was very popular among teens and young adults. Fans of Laura Marano’s Austin and Ally and Avan Jogia’s Victorious should definitely add this to their watch list, as well as those who enjoy the romantic comedy genre and always wanted to pick the ending. Overall, the movie was very good, other than the fact that more decisions could’ve been made along with a longer movie. Choose Love is available to stream right now on Netflix, with hopefully more interactive romantic comedies on the way. Choose love again and again and again!
Choose Love (2023) Official Netflix Trailer