The Choice Parent Guide

Despite all its sentimentality and content issues, the message that the sum of all choices determines our life path may be a message worth contemplating.

Overall B-

Based on a Nicholas Sparks' novel, this romance looks at how choices affect life's outcomes -- especially for two neighbors: Travis (Benjamin Walker) and Gabby (Teresa Palmer).

Release date February 5, 2016

Violence B-
Sexual Content C
Profanity C
Substance Use C-

Why is The Choice rated PG-13? The MPAA rated The Choice PG-13 for sexual content and some thematic issues

Run Time: 112 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

February movie releases are certain to include at least one romance and the adapted works of novelist Nicholas Sparks often contributes a tear or two to the genre. This year The Choice is the latest movie based on one of Sparks’ books. It offers us most of the plot elements we have come to expect in his writing: An unlikely couple, and characters whose lives have been brushed by death.

In this case the pair are Travis and Gabby (Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer), who coincidentally meet under less than favorable circumstances. They are neighbours and initially there are a lot of misunderstandings that involve loud music interrupting Gabby’s medical studies and her skepticism when Travis explains the woman he is hanging around with is really his sister. Travis also has a hard time convincing the girl next door that his dog is not the culprit that left her pooch pregnant.

Of course, we know from the opening moments that, despite each of these people having existing romantic relationships, somehow, someway they will get together. It takes a lot of time and manoeuvring but finally the sparks fly—resulting in a lengthy sensual scene that starts in the kitchen and ends in the bedroom.

Now it appears this relationship should progress, yet there are still many obstacles to overcome and grief to endure. By the end, it all feels like too much pain and not enough gain. Fortunately, there is lots of beautiful scenery in this film that may distract you from recognizing the content concerns it contains for teen viewing. In addition to two premarital sexual interludes we also hear a wide range of mild and moderate profanities, along with some sexual discussion and a sexual finger gesture. Disappointing as well is the impression that the characters in this film can’t socialize without alcoholic drinks in their hands.

Overall The Choice comes off as a clumsy Valentine’s Day card with a verse that’s pages long. However there are a few reasons diehard romantics may still want to include it on their date movie list. Families are portrayed as an essential element contributing to a happy life. And some of the characters demonstrate how their faith has helped them through difficult circumstances—although a prime opportunity to have our protagonist recognize this is missed.

Despite all its sentimentality, the plot tries to make the point that even little choices add up to big choices. And the sum of all choices ends up determining our life path. That may be a message worth contemplating.

Directed by Ross Katz. Starring Alexandra Daddario, Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Maggie Grace. Running time: 112 minutes. Theatrical release February 5, 2016. Updated

The Choice
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Choice rated PG-13? The Choice is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sexual content and some thematic issues

Violence: A jealous man punches a rival, and a bloody nose results. A car accident is depicted and the driver is bombarded with shattered glass. An injured character is shown hooked up to medical equipment in a hospital setting. Death is discussed, and grief over the loss of a loved one is portrayed.

Sexual Content: People are frequently seen in revealing beachwear. Male characters ogle women in bikinis. A female character admires a shirtless man. Sexual banter is shared between characters. Slang terms and phrases are used to describe sex. Couples kiss and exchange flirtatious touches. A woman sees a man as he is putting on his pants and shirt. Premarital sex is implied. Couples are seen in bed together. A fairly lengthy and sensual scene shows a man and woman kissing passionately, undressing each other, and laying on one another.

Language: The script includes frequent mild and moderate profanity, scatological slang, and terms of deity used as expletives. A sexual finger gesture is shown. Crude and anatomical terms are used to describe body parts and bodily functions.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters drink in almost every scene of this movie, sometimes to excess. One character says she is suffering from a hangover.

Other: Characters lie to one another, sometimes to protect someone. Characters make small wagers. Characters discuss God and their religious philosophy.

Page last updated

More parents' guide for The Choice after the break...

The Choice Parents' Guide

Travis is a womanizer who is used to getting his way with women. How does Gabby’s initial disinterest in his flirting influence the way he feels about her? What do you think motivates him to work for her affection? Why do you think Gabby has a change of heart? How do you feel about the script’s observation that, “Every woman wants a man that will fight for her”?

Gabby says that people often don’t appreciate what they have until it’s gone. How is this theme woven into the script of the movie? Do you agree with her statement? What things could you do to help you appreciate the good things in your life before you lose them?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Choice movie is May 3, 2016. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: The Choice
Release Date; 3 May 2016
The Choice releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD) with the following special features:
- Deleted Scenes
- “Cinematic Choices: Making The Choice” Featurette
- “Choosing Home: Nicholas Sparks and North Carolina” Featurette
- “Nicholas Sparks with…” Featurette
- Molly & Moby: Choice Dogs
- Audio Commentary with Director Ross Katz and Actor Benjamin Walker

Related home video titles:

This movie is based on The Choice, a novel by Nicholas Sparks. The author also penned the books that inspired Safe Haven, The Notebook, Dear John, The Last Song and A Walk to Remember.

Trailers & Clips

You may select specific clips from the playlist below.
Videos begin after our sponsor's message.