In recent years, Netflix has become a bit of a powerhouse when it comes to the romantic comedy genre. YA rom-coms like To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Kissing Booth revitalized the subgenre, big-name actors like Reese Witherspoon have lent their talents to the rom-com fight, and the streaming service even has a steady stream of holiday rom-coms that compete with the best from Hallmark and Lifetime. Now Netflix is trying to change the rom-com game again with the release of Choose Love, an interactive romantic comedy.
Netflix previously tested out its interactive feature with the release of a children’s show called Puss In Book: Trapped In An Epic Tale and the feature-length thriller Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, but Choose Love marks a first for the romantic comedy genre. As an avid romantic comedy fan, I was thrilled with the possibility of living out my own fictional romantic comedy through Cami’s journey. Unfortunately for me, I did not get the ending I expected. As it turns out, just like in real life, Choose Love has an ending where the romantic happily ever after does not exist.
The movie stars Laura Marano as Cami Conway, an audio engineer, who begins to question her three-year-long relationship with her boyfriend when she crosses paths with “the one that got away” and later a legit rockstar. As Cami navigates the complicated love journey, she regularly breaks the fourth wall (like fellow Netflix character Enola Holmes) to ask viewers to help her decide what to do.
In the beginning, the choices were low stakes — did I want Cami to hear good or bad news from a tarot reader, how should she respond to her sassy niece feeling embarrassed by her presence, etc. But as the movie progresses, I became the puppet master in helping Cami decide between her three suitors.
Despite spending most of the movie torn between Jack, the one that got away, and Rex, the rock star (sorry, Paul, but you were too safe and too boring), my decisions somehow led Cami to walk away from all three of her suitors in order to work on herself. The final scene, for me, showed Cami sitting down at a slot machine in Las Vegas, where it looked like she was about to win a major jackpot. It’s not a totally hopeless ending considering I also made Cami quit her job (it was for the best!), but still, I couldn’t help but laugh that I managed to ruin the quintessential romantic happily ever after I’ve come to love and expect in romantic comedies.
On the one hand, I’m glad the creators of Choose Love included an ending where Cami realized that love isn’t the answer and that her best bet at a happy future involved her working on herself. On the other hand, I was extremely disappointed because romantic comedies are supposed to be escapist! They’re not supposed to end with the girl not getting a romantic love interest!
Luckily for other viewers, there are five more endings where Cami does end up with one of her suitors. Netflix makes it easy to go back through and see how her love story ends with each of them — a feature I definitely checked out after realizing my loveless fate.
Regardless of my disappointing ending, Choose Love will definitely be one of my most memorable 2023 Netflix movie releases. With an active Netflix subscription, you can help Cami navigate her complicated love life and see which of the six endings you get. And if you’re not satisfied with it, the undo button is right there... if only we had one of those in real life.