The Choose Your Own Adventure books were first published in 1979, so I grew up with them. I always thought it was fun to see how the story changed based on simple decisions. Reading the same book over and over was fun when the outcome was different every time. Netflix has jumped on the nostalgia train for those kinds of books by creating several different interactive programs that allow you to choose what direction a show or movie will go based on your answers. I have seen a few done to some success, so I thought I would check out “Choose Love,” directed by Stuart McDonald.
Cami Conway (Laura Marano) is feeling stuck in her life. Her job isn’t advancing the way she hoped. She loves her boyfriend Paul (Scott Michael Foster), but she wonders if there could be someone else for her. When she goes to a psychic, she is told that she has choices ahead of her: Different potential suitors and potential changes for her professional life. She then has a chance to reconnect with her old high school boyfriend, activist Jack (Jordi Webber). She also meets Rex Galier (Avan Jogia), a rock star recording his new album at the studio where she works. How will her life go? That’s where the viewer comes in.
I hated almost everything about this movie. I am not opposed to fourth wall breaks, but they need to make sense, and they absolutely do not make sense in this movie other than because the format seems to think it requires it. When a character looks at the camera and says, “Which guy should I choose?” that is not clever or effective — particularly when the audience isn’t addressed for every choice, but only most choices.
I tried a few different paths for Cami, but nothing interesting ever materialized. Even though she is presented with some potentially game-changing choices, they all end up in basically the same place, with only minor differences. I didn’t exhaust them because I found the story incredibly bland and safe and couldn’t bring myself to spend any more time than absolutely necessary with the movie.
The performances are fine, I guess. The script was awful, so there wasn’t much to work with, but they did nothing to lift it up. It is wooden and stiff the whole time. I didn’t feel any chemistry between any of the characters at all.
I will always try to find some redeeming quality about whatever movie I’m watching. I know that people work hard and put something of themselves into the work they put out into the world. But honestly, I am struggling to find a single thing I liked in this movie. The costumes were pretty good in a few places. Ultimately, I think you should just choose to give this one a miss entirely.
ALISE CHAFFINS is a Morgantown writer who reviews a movie from a streaming service every Saturday and one newly in theaters every Sunday. Find more at MacGuffin or Meaning on Substack.