The Choice Movie Review

The Choice

My wife picked Nicholas Spark’s latest movie adaption, The Choice, for us to see. She’d heard it was like the new Notebook which we both liked.

The Choice can best be described as two movies glued together. Let’s dive into it!

Travis, played by Ted Cruz lookalike Benjamin Walker, is a womanizing veterinarian who has a semi-steady girlfriend.

Gabby, played by Teresa “looks like a heroin addict” Palmer, is training to be a doctor and is dating one of her superiors at the hospital, Ryan.

Gabby moves next to Travis and they soon realize they are a terrible fit for each other and that Gabby will never sleep with Travis.

Of course Travis can’t have that! He slowly seduces her. They break up and get together. Yadah yadah, typical romance movie stuff.

Now normally the movie would end there, with the happy couple’s wedding.

The Choice is no ordinary movie though!

Fast forward seven years and Gabby is in a coma due to a car accident.

The movie does not spring this on you suddenly. The first scene was actually Travis entering the hospital with flowers and everything else was a flashback.

Travis has to make the titular Choice, keep Gabby alive in the hope that she will return to him and their two children or remove life support?

I won’t spoil his choice or the results/consequences. The end had many tear jerking moments and that’s all you need to know.

The second part of the movie is great and I’d definitely recommend it. As for the first part…

The first half of the movie suffered from the disease of “all these characters are jerks.”

Everyone had some sort of adolescent sexist agenda. Travis is a lady killer. Gabby distrusts all men. Travis’s sister thinks that because Travis and Gabby are opposites that they will obviously get together.

The minor characters get included in the sexist mess as well. Travis’s friends wives say, “Men have more fun if they feel like they’re getting away with something.”

Additionally, the characters have zero problems in their lives except what I already outlined.

As another review I read states, “in the Nicholas Sparks universe, everyone is beautiful and successful.”

While this let’s the audience focus on the plot it did seem odd to me. For example, Travis encounters no racism when he hangs out with his black friends in Carolina. The Confederate flag is also mysteriously absent from landscape shots of the harbor.

I think that would’ve made an interesting sideplot but I understand why it wasn’t included. The movie is about Travis and Gabby, not Travis and his friends. There might’ve even been a conscious choice to leave our racism with the notion that if racism is absent in media then it could eventually vanish in real life.

Regardless of intentions, all these elements disrupted my suspension of disbelief during the film. I kept thinking, “That doesn’t make sense, why isn’t that there?” or “Oh God, another sexist/patronizing speech.”

Adding to that, Walker looks 40 years old in The Choice while Palmer looks 20. This isn’t accidental. The characters they play are actually 10-15 years apart in age. It adds this whole other creepy element of cradle robbing to the film.

Despite all that I’d still recommend the film for its stellar second half. My gripes disappear there and I can wholeheartedly recommend the movie for a Valentine’s Day date with your significant other.

-GoCorral

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Valentine’s 2015

Here it is almost two weeks later and I still haven’t made a post about my awesome Valentine’s date!

My wife and I went out to eat at her favorite restaurant, Chevy’s. She likes the place a lot because they have really good tortilla chips and the family friendly atmosphere is very inviting.

After the wonderful dinner we used a birthday present I’d gotten for her back in November, tickets to Disney on Ice!

The opening act was a few ice-skating boomerang throwers.

Mickey came out along with all of his friends who wanted to throw a birthday party for somebody, but it wasn’t any of their birthdays!

The Mad Hatter came out along with Alice and suggested an Unbirthday party instead.

After the party Mickey stayed to clean everything up by putting on his wizard clothes and summoning a bunch of iceskating brooms.

The next celebration was Halloween (because Halloween is totally on Valentine’s Day in February).

After Halloween came Valentine’s Day. Finally!

Minnie was looking for her love, but couldn’t find him. All the Disney princes and princesses tried to help out by dancing around a fountain. Most of the traditional amazing ice skating moves were during this number. Lots of princes lifting princesses and dazzling spins on the ice.

In the end Mickey was inside the fountain that Disney royalty was dancing around. He came out and had a dance with Minnie.

Hu-Ha! Let's get married, Minnie!
Hu-Ha! Let’s get married, Minnie!

After the Valentine’s Dance there was an intermission followed by Mickey’s fantastic travel the world second act! If you’ve been to Disneyland and seen the Magical Dot show, it’s almost the same thing.

Asia, Agrabah, all over Europe, New Orleans, and Hawaii!

Hawaii was the best of all. A man came out and sprayed some liquid onto the ice. Then the male lead from Lilo and Stitch came out with a fiery baton and lit the liquid (gasoline) on fire!

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Pyrotechnics are hard to capture on film beca-THIS SHOW IS COPYRIGHTED BY DISNEY!

And then the show ended with the required big finale where all the characters came out to sing and make merry.

I know what you're thinking and no, Woodie did not make merry with the dinosaur.
I know what you’re thinking and no, Woodie did not make merry with the dinosaur.

Pretty cool date! Definitely glad that we went.

-GoCorral

 

Valentine’s 2014

My cat "helping" with my Valentine poster.
My cat “helping” with my Valentine poster.

My wife and I have several cute traditions. One of them is making posters for each other for special occasions. We fill the posters with pictures of ourselves, drawings, and notes. I decided to make a poster for my wife for this Valentine’s.

I forbade my wife from coming in to our office and printed off about ten pictures to glue onto some foamcore board we had left over from a school project. My cat helped me by lying down on the pictures to make sure the tape was firmly pressed down to keep them on. I added some extra decoration with hearts and a love note on the back.

I also got my wife a stuffed monkey holding an heart that says, “I ❤ U,” on it.

The crowning present I got for my wife was a playlist CD I made. The songs were:
1. I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie
2. If This Isn’t Love by Jennifer Hudson
3. Without You by David Guetta featuring Usher
4. All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers
5. Always On My Mind by Willie Nelson
6. I’m Yours by Jason Mraz
7. Love Story by Taylor Swift
8. Can I Have This Dance by The High School Musical Cast
9. Love Like Crazy by Lee Brice
10. When I’m Sixty-Four by The Beatles

The CD is meant to be the story of our lives. The first song frames the story with us reflecting back when we’re old and dying.

The second and third songs are us having fun and starting our relationship in high school.

The fourth  and fifth songs are about my breakup with my wife (then girlfriend) during our first year of college and my subsequent move to be closer to her and the rest of my family.

My wife and I joke about the sixth song. I was planning on proposing to her with it. I got all ready, hit play, and was singing along to it with the ring in my pocket. Then her grandma walked into the room and the moment died. Still, the sixth song represents me asking my wife to marry me.

The seventh song was used during our wedding ceremony. The eighth song was our first dance together (our relationship actually closely parallels that of Troy and Gabriella in the movie).

The ninth and tenth songs are about us growing old together. Then if you have the album on repeat you can go back to our deaths where we reflect on how happy our lives were together.

The album made her and myself cry several times. Successful Valentine’s!

-Mister Ed

Little Presents

A love note that my wife left on my bike while I was working.
A love note that my wife left on my bike while I was working.

My wife does sweet things for me all the time. This was a note she left for me on my bike while I was inside my lab working. She taped it around the crossbar. It had been raining a little bit, so when I went to my bike to go home the note had tiny wet spots on it. It was the best part of my day.

Last week we played a game. We went into the closet where it was super dark and made acrostic poems for each other with a flashlight. Acrostics are those poems where the first letter of each line spells something out.
Big
Old
Aged
Tugger
Would be BOAT for example.

My wife and I have a thing for Tim Allen’s TV show, Last Man Standing. One of the most recent episodes focused on Tim Allen’s character’s non-observance of Valentine’s. His character feels like Valentine’s is a holiday invented by FTD florists and chocolate companies, and thus not worth actually celebrating. I’ve heard that same thing from a few of my friends before as well. “Why do I need a special day to show my love for my partner?”

The special day is nice because my wife and I try even harder to please each other with gifts, attention, and time spent together. We still do special things for each other every day.

Like, a month or two ago I made a scavenger hunt for my wife. I put little riddles all around the house. The solved riddle lead to the next riddle. The final riddle said that I had her prize, a new set of headphones for her.

Just wanted to remind you all that Valentine’s isn’t the only day for love, but there’s no good reason it shouldn’t be one of the more memorable ones.

That’s all!

-Mister Ed