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Choose Love review – interactive Netflix rom-com is a gimmick too far

Viewers can take charge of a new romantic comedy, picking the lead’s moves, but the fun of the idea quickly evaporates

In theory, an interactive rom-com in which you choose the suitor, and the confessions or evasions to get to them, sounds like a good idea. Who hasn’t yelled “not him!” or “don’t do that” at the screen when bemoaning a misguided protagonist’s choices? Choose Love, Netflix’s rom-com entry into its nascent interactive oeuvre (following the Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch in 2019), at least tries to makes its choices seem organic to a theoretical audience’s different tastes in romantic interests (stable and sincere, passionate and nostalgic, or flirtatious and spontaneous?). But as proof of a concept that sounds admittedly like a consultant’s pitch to streaming services, it struggles to feel at all like a genuine story.

To be fair to the director Stuart McDonald and the screenwriter Josann McGibbon, who had to conceive of an impressive number of twists and outcomes (one per suitor, plus the option of going solo), there may be no way to overcome my distaste for having to make decisions for Cami (Laura Marano), a twentysomething audio producer with ennui for both her career and long-term relationship with Paul (Greek’s Scott Michael Foster). Then again, there’s nothing much to Cami beyond unwavering perkiness, a wardrobe that feels bizarrely out of time (or, at least, more suited for 2014) and the promise from a tarot reader of three different men to imminently choose from.

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