Why Netflix’s Interactive Rom-Com May Change the Subgenre Forever


Netflix is expanding its interactive content with Choose Lovea romantic comedy starring Laura Marano. Marano has previously worked with Netflix on The Royal Treatment and The Perfect Date, but this rom-com isn’t like the others she’s done with the platform.

Choose Love will follow Cami Conway, Laura Marano’s character, as she looks back on her goals and relationships as she struggles with her future. While she seemingly has it all, a job she loves as a recording engineer and her great boyfriend Paul (Scott Michael Foster), she questions if there is another career out there for her and if a past, or possible, relationship may be the better choice. Avan Jogia (Resident Evil) plays Rex Galier, a rockstar Cami works with and a potential love interest, while Jordi Webber portrays Jack Menna, Cami’s first love. Who will Cami choose? It’s up to you. The film is written by Josann McGibbonknown for writing the Descendants trilogy, and directed by Stuart McDonald.

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While this is not the first, and will not be the last, interactive film from the streaming giant, it is a first of its kind. While fans can write their own (unofficial) endings, this will be the first time they can see their choices play out on screen in real-time. No waiting for the next installation is required. Here’s why Choose Love will change the way audiences watch rom-coms forever.

A Silent Observer No More

Part of the fun of watching a romantic comedy is seeing if the lead character ends up with whom you want them to. Often they do because movies are written to make you like one choice over another, but sometimes that is not the case. Sometimes there may even be multiple possibilities, making it even harder for the viewer to guess where the story will go. Rather than watch the main character make choices and potentially end up with a choice you do not like, you can control the narrative.

Related: Best Rom-Com Sidekicks, Ranked

That means the main character can end up with whom you want them to, and you can see the story you want to see play out on the screen. Did your choices give you an ending you’re not happy with? You can watch again, change your choices, create a new narrative, and find the ending you like the best. The movie can be whatever you want it to be.

The Rewatch Potential

Rom-coms can be comfort movies because the viewer knows what happens, and there’s usually a happy ending. However, it may get old watching someone constantly make the wrong choice or end up with the same person over and over again. With an interactive element, each viewing has the potential to be an entirely new experience, with new scenes and alternate endings to unlock, making each rewatch unique.

With three different men in Cami’s life, that means there are at least three different endings, one for each of them. Chances are there are multiple endings per character; maybe there’s even an ending where Cami chooses herself. You can rewatch with the goal of following a different path or seeing the same story again. This means the film could reflect exactly what you want (or need) to see at that point in your life. Want to relive your own first love? You can choose Cami’s. Want to live out your fantasy of being with a rockstar? You can do that through this movie, too (probably).

The Need for Sequels

If the viewer can pick who Cami ends up with, there is not necessarily a need for a sequel. If audiences want to see how Cami’s life is with a different choice, they can just replay the same film and select different options, creating a new movie. Instead of waiting for the next installment for a year or two, you can make it yourself, right after you finished the first. All you have to do is refresh your popcorn.

The downside of being able to create the sequels yourself is unless Netflix makes another movie, the rest of Cami’s life will be a mystery. It could be like Groundhog Day, reliving the same events over and over again, never seeing Cami and her chosen suitor move forward. While it could be fun for a while, it may also get old. But, if Netflix makes another, they would have to include Paul, Rex, and Jack again to not exclude any of the endings of the first movie.

Related: These Are the Best Meet-Cute Moments in Rom-Com History

Choose Love could take interactive films to a new level, elevating this evolving form of media. While you wait for it to hit screens, you can view one of Netflix’s many other interactive features like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch or Trivia Crack. You can also view the director’s newest film, A Perfect Pairingcoming out later this month.



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