Netflix’s Choose Love: The Problem With Interactive Storytelling

Choose Love. (L to R) Jordi Webber as Jack, Laura Marano as Cami in Choose Love. Cr. Nicola Dove/Netflix © 2023.
Choose Love. (L to R) Jordi Webber as Jack, Laura Marano as Cami in Choose Love. Cr. Nicola Dove/Netflix © 2023. /

Choose Love’s biggest weakness happens to be the choice that makes it unique. Interactive involvement in the story has become a more common thing on Netflix, but this romcom highlights all the issues that come with a movie that allows the audience’s participation.

Cami is not thrilled with her life, uncertain about her three-year relationship with Paul, and struggling with not caring for her job. But things start to take a turn when she runs into Jack, her high school boyfriend and the one who got away.

Seeing him sparks excitement and uncertainty in Cami. Well, at least, the movie leads the audience to believe it should. Not long after reuniting with Jack, Cami meets Rex, a famous musician who can offer her the opportunity to take a chance on her dream of singing and songwriting.

The set-up itself is not too bad, especially when the movie establishes early on that Cami will have three potential suitors. However, the entire story, plot, and characters fall apart outside of that.

Since the audience gets to choose, it almost feels as if the plot of Choose Love lacks substance on purpose to avoid too many contradictions in the story depending on the direction the audience decides to go. Granted, the film’s stakes are severely low in the first place. However, it also highlights that one of the things that people love the most about movies is the uncertainty and watching characters make decisions for themselves, even when the storyline is predictable.

Making choices is part of what makes people human, even when they absolutely hate to do it or struggle when offered too many options. But, in this case, Cami never actually makes her own decision because Choose Love leaves it to the audience to do the work.

This element strips Cami of any redeeming personality, no matter how much Laura Marano strives to bring charisma to Cami as a person. Cami’s lack of making decisions about her own life leaves the audience not knowing her well enough to truly invest in her.

All of her greatest life decisions are literally made for her. In the event that the audience does not make a choice and simply lets the movie play out on its own, the viewers still know the exact moments where the film could alter the path had they chosen a different option for Cami.

The result of a film like this is that none of the characters are given a chance to grow because they do not have any agency at all.

Cami’s agency is taken by the audience making her life decisions, and her three love interests are reduced to potential options rather than people.

Had Choose Love tried, it could have created a similar plot to Sliding Doors or Look Both Ways, which allowed the audience to understand the alterations the main character’s life would have had depending on a particular event, which also offered an in-depth look at how those changes affected the characters.

But, in the case of Choose Love, it is nearly impossible to do that. Cami does not love her job. But, the film never gives enough substance to when she is offered the choice to quit or stay. Since the movie barely develops Cami’s interest in producing music beyond her saying she would like to do it, there is not enough emotional investment for the audience to root for her, especially when they get to decide her choice.

Choose Love removes the excitement and the feeling of an event being earned by giving the viewer a say in what occurs throughout the film. Even the love stories do not get the development they could because the audience always has the chance to decide how Cami should react in each situation.

Had Choose Love removed the interactive element, it could have created a more substantial plot line and array of characters to show Cami what she really wants for her future.

Related Story. Your Place Or Mine: Love On Opposite Sides of the Country. light