After the somewhat mixed success of the interactive Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch, Netflix has decided to continue the experiment – but this time, entering the world of rom-coms. Netflix already do interactive programming for kids fairly extensively – with the likes of Bear Grylls, Captain Underpants, The Last Kids on Earth, Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous, and Puss in Boots all having Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style specials.
It was Minecraft Story Mode that kicked off the trend all the way back in 2018, and still remains maybe the best example. But, now Netflix is bringing the concept to the rom-com with Choose Love. The synopsis reads; “Laura Marano (The Royal Treatment, The Perfect Date) returns with a unique take on the rom-com in this interactive special. She plays Cami Conway, a recording engineer with a steady boyfriend heading towards an engagement until she comes face to face with tempting choices.”
“In this choose-your-own romance adventure, the viewer will navigate through Cami’s romances and ultimately choose her love.” Romance movie and novel fans – who have spent decades complaining about which guy the protagonist ends up with – are finally going to get to choose for themselves.
One rom-com that has previously had fun with this concept is 2012’s This Means War, in which Reese Witherspoon is in a love triangle with Chris Pine and Tom Hardy. That’s right, Tom Hardy did a rom-com. Although Witherspoon makes a definitive choice at the end of the movie, two alternate endings were shot – including one where Chris Pine and Tom Hardy end up together. They were included as extras on the DVD release.
Choose Love comes to Netflix on August 31, 2023. It co-stars Scott Michael Foster (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Jordi Webber (Home and Away), and Avan Jogia (Resident Evil series, Zombieland: Double Tap) as the three potential love interests that Cami (Marano) must choose between. Director Stuart McDonald also worked on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, as well as wine-based Netflix romance movie A Perfect Pairing. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was one of the best TV series of the last decade, so that certainly raises our expectations.