Cami has a good life. She’s got a great boyfriend, she enjoys her job, and she’s paid off her college loans and car. But, if she’s being honest with herself, she still feels like something is missing.
She’s also being honest with the psychic reader across the table from her, who’s been busy laying down Tarot cards that allegedly relate to Cami’s near future. In particular, the reader lays down three cards: the Knight of Swords, the Magician and the Fool. And according to the reader, they’re three romantic suitors who will soon vie for Cami’s affections.
“Could you just tell me where I land?” Cami asks.
But this fortune teller isn’t that good at telling fortunes. “You will have to choose,” she says.
“And do not make the choices lightly, as the ramifications will be lasting.”
And in this customizable rom-com, viewers, too, are invited to make narrative decisions about the path Cami ultimately takes.
[Note: Because of this movie’s innovative narrative structure, viewers won’t necessarily see all the content listed below. But all of the potential issues from all possible choices are described in the sections below.]
Cami’s suitors are all friendly guys. Paul, her current boyfriend and the “Magician,” is good with children and continuously tries to repair their relationship when Cami begins to develop her wandering eye. He’s also got a perspective on love that values self-sacrifice. “That’s what love is,” he tells Cami. “Paying attention and putting each other first.”
As for the “Knight of Swords,” that’s Jack, a high school sweetheart whom Cami claims is the one who got away. And Jack feels the same about Cami. He left to Guatemala to “save the world,” and he spends his days volunteering at charities and raising money for child refugees.
The “Fool,” meanwhile, is a rockstar named Rex Galier. If Cami pursues him, he encourages her to reignite her passion for singing, helping her to overcome her stage fright. And it should be noted that if Cami decides to marry Paul, Rex still attends the wedding as a friend.
Though this is largely something of a “choose your own adventure” story, something that you cannot skip is the Tarot reading at the start. And based on the events that later occur in the movie, there’s enough evidence to say that the psychic’s reading was accurate. Throughout the film, Cami will relate her current circumstances back to the various cards the psychic used.
If Cami attends a protest in Las Vegas with Jack, she’ll convince a man to donate half of his funds to their cause in the hope that he’ll get enough “good karma” to get a good return with the rest of his money. Rex compliments Cami, calling her a “goddess.”
At about the halfway point, Cami has a dream where she’s in bed while of all three men attempt to convince her to choose them. Whoever she chooses will climb onto the bed with her and begin passionately kissing her before they duck out of the scene for implied sex. I’ve divided the rest of the sexual content below based on the man it’s associated with.
If the viewer continuously goes with Paul, audiences will see the couple kissing on a couple occasions. One of these moments occurs regardless of any choices, and it is quite passionate. Cami and Paul can also have a wedding ceremony in which Paul and Cami will share a deep kiss at the altar. Early in the movie, Cami asks Paul if he’d like to stay the night.
If the viewer chooses Jack, audiences have a few chances to tell Jack about Cami’s current relationship. If the viewer hides it, Cami can go so far as to kiss Jack on a number of occasions. And if the viewer doesn’t hide it, there are still chances for her to leave her current boyfriend. Jack can tell Cami about how they used to “make out for hours and hours” when they were in high school. And while on a road trip, Jack will have Cami pose for a photo, in which the viewer can make her strike a “sexy, serious or silly pose.”
And as for Rex, Cami makes it clear that she had a desire to kiss Rex after meeting him—and depending on your choices, Rex may say that he felt the same. The two can share a few passionate kisses that can last a long time. If Cami flies with Rex to San Francisco, the two will play truth or dare, and she’ll have the opportunity to dare Rex to show off his most embarrassing tattoo, causing him to reveal his bare chest and pretend to take off his pants. When the two of them sing together, Rex says that he feels like they just made love. And if Cami tells Rex that she cannot record a music track with him, he says that her other plans sound “intriguing … and a wee bit naughty.”
If Cami upsets Paul and then later goes to his home at night to rekindle the relationship, he will jump out with a bat, thinking she’s an intruder, though he’ll quickly realize it’s Cami.
After a bully taunts Cami’s niece, Cami can tell her niece to defend herself. In that case, her niece will punch the boy in the stomach.
God’s name is abused at least 30 times. We also hear “a–,” “d–n,” “h—,” “p-ss,” “crap” and “bollocks.”
People drink in many scenes.
Obviously, a huge negative is that Cami is willing to cheat on her boyfriend. In fact, even if the viewer plays the narrative game by turning down every advance of Jack and Rex, the movie will still force Cami into a conflict in which she admits that she’s attracted to the two.
Cami faces no consequences for her actions. She can refuse to tell any of them men about the others, and even if they find out about their competition, they still beg Cami to be with them rather than feeling betrayed.
A boy mocks Cami’s niece, saying she smells like poop. If Cami chooses to be with no one, she instead goes to gamble inside the casino.
Some viewers may encounter a pivotal moment in Choose Love, in which Paul and Jack argue with Cami about which one of them she should choose. In that scene, Paul reminds Cami that the two of them have been together for three years … and she’s only reconnected with Jack last Thursday.
And that’s the crux of Choose Love, in which you must ultimately decide whether Cami mercilessly breaks her boyfriend’s heart by cheating on him with one of two different men. Because when you realize that that is truly what’s going on here, it makes it a bit difficult to root for a protagonist who is just deciding which man she’ll choose, and which man she’s just been leading on.
And in case you wanted to feel even more conflicted, Cami’s current boyfriend frequently drops vaguely spiritual, family-focused quotes about how true love is sacrificial; how he can’t wait to be good parents to their future children; and how they, despite their imperfections, should fight for their relationship.
Perhaps what’s most ironic here is a scene in which Cami is briefly offended when she stumbles upon Rex on the phone saying he loves someone, until she realizes that it’s his mother. Yes, you read that correctly. For a split second, Cami gets mad when she thinks that a man whom she isn’t in a relationship with has been hiding another love interest from her—despite the fact that she’s been doing the exact same thing with two other men.
The movie will eventually force you to choose one of the men—or none of them. But at that point, Cami will have, at best, emotionally cheated on Paul and, at worst, physically cheated on him, depending on your choices.
I did my best to choose every option in order to view all the content in Choose Love to which a viewer might be subjected. And by the end, I felt a bit gross. Because while the content here might not be the worst thing you’ve seen on Netflix this year, the underlying message is pretty blech. And forcing viewers to be an active participant in Cami’s deception and potential cheating feels even worse.
Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He doesn’t think the ending of Lost was “that bad.”