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The Choice | 2016 | PG-13 | - 4.4.4

A self-styled North Carolina playboy (Benjamin Walker) falls in love with a medical student (Teresa Palmer) when she becomes his neighbor but after a car crash becomes comatose. He must decide whether to hope and wait or allow her to pass away. Also with Maggie Grace, Alexandria Daddario, Tom Welling and Tom Wilkinson. Directed by Ross Katz. [1:49]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man and a woman kiss passionately, she locks her legs around his waist and he sits her on a kitchen counter where she removes his shirt; he moves her to a table after sweeping the contents onto the floor with one arm, and lies between her legs as he unties her blouse and removes it (we see her bare abdomen, bra and some cleavage) and they kiss in close-up as the screen fades to black (sex is implied).
 A few scenes on a power boat, an island and a cookout show women wearing cleavage-revealing bikini tops and short-shorts. Two women remove their shorts to reveal skimpy bikini bottoms that show partial buttocks. A few short dresses reveal bare legs and cleavage in scoop-neck tops. Two men appear shirtless. A woman caught in a storm wears a drenched, tight white tank top under a shirt; we can see her bra and slight cleavage showing through the material.
 A man lies on top of a woman under bed covers (no sexual activity is shown); the camera cuts to the couple clothed and walking outside. A man and a woman are shown lying asleep, spoon fashion under covers in bed (their shoulders and arms are seen above the blankets). A man and a woman hug and kiss for several seconds in three scenes. A man and a woman walk away from the camera and we hear that they have dated on-and-off since high school. A bride and a groom kiss outside a church, framed by the entrance door.
 Two women in three scenes are pregnant and in later scenes one woman holds a baby and the other woman plays with a two-year-old daughter and baby boy. We see an ultrasound image taped to a refrigerator as a pregnant wife's husband hugs her.
 A man in a café sees his girlfriend sitting with her former fiancé and his parents and becomes angry; he approaches their table, says hello and goodbye solemnly and leaves angrily as the girlfriend follows him to argue (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
 An older man asks a woman on a date and he eventually does so; she agrees and in another scene we see the couple playing board games with his grandchildren. A man tells a woman neighbor who walked over to his house that women come over for just one thing; she asks, "You think I came here for sex?" and he says, "Yes, didn't you? I'm kidding" as another woman walks up to the man and says hello (her top reveals some cleavage), raises her eyebrows and both women walk away. A vet's receptionist kids a woman about her female dog being an unwed mother and the dog owner stares wide-eyed until the receptionist says, "I'm kidding!" A woman tells a man that he is in trouble, because he is sure to have a relationship with another woman. A woman says that her female dog's nipples are swollen and the dog is pregnant and we later see the dog lying beside three newborn puppies. A woman shouts at a man that his dog is the father of her dog's puppies and he replies that he has told his dog to use protection; she walks away. A woman tells a man to swallow his pride and ask the woman he really loves to marry him.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - On a rainy night a woman drives along a street and is broad-sided by another vehicle; the scene changes to slow motion as through the windshield we see her fall over with a grimace into the passenger seat without blood showing and many large chunks of broken window glass drift from right to left across her face and over her head.
 Several scenes show a woman in a hospital bed under covers with a breathing tube taped into her mouth and a sensor taped on a forefinger; a monitor records her blood pressure as we hear that she has been in a coma over 90 days (her eyelids are purplish) and her husband sits by the bedside several times and cries. A husband lies in a hospital bed beside his wife who is in a coma, holding her and crying.
 A man punches another man in the nose, dropping him off-screen; the camera cuts to a pickup truck in which the first man is holding a tissue to his nose, but no blood is shown.
 A hurricane hits the island where a man lives and he will not leave; he boards up his house and waits and we see that the porch is broken away from the house and debris covers his yard the next morning.
 A man runs into a hospital and finds a nurse crying in a hallway where doctors and nurses stand silently; he enters a room and finds a woman is sitting up in bed, smiling and he and she cry and embrace. A man carries a bunch of flowers behind his house to put on his wife's grave; later, their son stands at the headstone, looking down and crying.
 A veterinarian dumps a small dead, green lizard onto his counter and places a new lizard into a plastic habitat; another vet gives the habitat to a little girl and tells her that her lizard recovered from an illness. Several scenes show dogs and a cat in a veterinary waiting room, but none of the animals look injured or ill.
 A man and a woman argue loudly outside a café about whether she will finally break up with her fiancé and the woman cries; he says, "I love you" seven times, she is indecisive and the man storms off. A man argues with a woman insisting that she marry him. A woman and a man go into a church where a gospel choir performs a song and we see the man's father is the pastor, who jokingly calls him an ingrate after the service and his son is silent. A woman tells a man in a letter that her former fiancé shouted at her for dating someone else, calling her names, cursing, telling her to "go to hell" and leaving angry. Two veterinarians and a doctor argue briefly about comas and the frequency with which patients recover from them and one veterinarian refuses to sign a Do Not Resuscitate Order for his comatose wife. A man talks to his sister, cries and says that he cannot unplug his wife from life support. A man says, "The world breaks everyone. Those it doesn't break, it kills." A man and a woman argue mildly about belief; she says he does not believe in God and he says he believes in the love of friends and family. An older man tells a younger woman that his wife suffered breast cancer and bone cancer before dying; he says that afterward, "I fell into the Bible, but he [their son] wanted to burn it." A woman tells a man that her parents were swept out to sea by a hurricane when she was 12. A woman who says that she is hung over tells friends on a boat that if she "pukes," she will save it, put it in bags and put it down their pants while they sleep; the friends had been telling her to clean out a pail of slimy fish guts and maggots, which we never see.
 A woman smashes a chocolate cake into her boyfriend's face and after kissing, she says she has chocolate up her nostrils.


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LANGUAGE 4 - 5 scatological terms, 7 anatomical terms, 18 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, stupid, smug, rich girl, mediocre, ingrate, dork, country boy, knucklehead, walking cautionary tale, Your Highness, Cinderella), exclamations (wow, oh boy, shoot, oh my goodness, hogwash, shut-up), 14 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Good Lord, For God's Sake).


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SUBSTANCE USE - Three men on a power boat drink from beer bottles, men and women drink beer and glasses of wine at a cook out and a picnic, a woman asks a man to have a beer and they walk toward a café, a man asks a woman to have a beer and she refuses, a man and a woman in a café drink bottles of beer, a man at home drinks from a bottle of beer, a woman in a restaurant sits before a large glass of wine while men and other women drink from glasses of wine, a man drinks a gin and tonic on his porch and two gin bottles are seen on a table and a second gin drink sits near a woman, a man takes a bottle of wine to a woman's house and they each drink from glasses of wine, and a bottle of wine wrapped in a towel is shown in an ice bucket.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Relationships, romance, love, marriage, parenting, fathers, faith, belief, commitment, determination, courage, trust, moral strength, not giving up, end of life planning, death, making choices.

MESSAGE - True love is worth the price of difficult choices.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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