Australian Council on Children and the Media

Choice, The

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Not recommended under 12 (Themes; Sex scene): parental guidance strongly recommended 12 to 14 (Themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Choice, The
  • a review of Choice, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 8 February 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not recommended due to themes and a sex scene

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Choice, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, sex scenes and coarse language
Length 111 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, The Choice is a romantic drama following the story of Travis (Benjamin Walker) and Gabby (Teresa Palmer). Travis is a kind-hearted womaniser from North Carolina, who becomes immediately infatuated when an attractive medical student named Gabby moves into the house next door. Travis frequently throws loud and alcohol-driven parties despite his studious neighbour’s protests so the two initially clash and have many arguments.

Eventually, however, Gabby comes to realise that Travis is indeed a very decent man. He is a veterinarian with a love for animals and, having a dog of her own, Gabby finds herself drawn to him. When Gabby’s current boyfriend leaves town to travel to a medical conference, she and Travis become involved in an affair.

In time the couple marry, but tragedy strikes when a car crash puts Gabby in a coma and Travis has a heart-breaking decision to make.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Love and relationships; injury and death – in particular, switching off a person’s life support; grief and loss

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence and accidental harm in this movie including:

  • A man is punched by another character.
  • A car crash is shown in slow-motion, but there is no blood seen – Gabby falls into a coma as a result.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged under eight, including the following:

  • There are references to a character’s mother dying as a result of cancer when he was a child.
  • A child’s pet lizard dies and a vet replaces the lizard with a living one in order to protect the child from needing to grieve for the loss.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Older children who understand the situation may be disturbed by Gabby's car accident and the decision as to whether to turn off her life support

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by Gabby's car accident and the decision as to whether to turn off her life support

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by the decision about whether to turn off Gabby's life-support.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • There are humorous references to a pregnant dog having had sexual experiences and using ‘protection’.
  • A male character is talked about as having a history of being a womaniser.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Some of the female characters wear revealing clothing such as short dresses and low-cut tops, and nearby male characters notice their appearance.
  • Two characters are seen passionately kissing. The man pushes items off the top of a table, and gently lays his female partner down on it. Only kissing is shown, but the scene implies that the couple intend to have sex. The two are partially undressed during this – the man removes his shirt, and the woman’s shirt is unbuttoned.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Social drinking of alcohol.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • shit; arse

In a nutshell

The Choice is a touching film about love, grief and loss. The movie highlights the complex nature of relationships, and the manner in which relationships can change in unexpected ways. The nature of choice and consequence is also explored as the characters make life-altering decisions that affect not only themselves.

The film’s themes, particularly that of switching off a person’s life support, make it quite intense for a PG-rated film and more suited to older viewers. It is therefore not recommended for children under 12, with parental guidance strongly recommended for 12 to 14 year olds.

Parents may wish to discuss with their children:

  • The complex nature of relationships, romantic or otherwise, and the positive and negative effects which different relationships can have on individuals.
  • Issues regarding infidelity and the consequences of an affair upon the people involved.
  • The very difficult decision to turn off a person’s life support and let them die.

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