Are Interactive Movies The Next Big Thing? Looking Into The “Choose Love” Netflix Movie
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Celeste MacMurray. Find her on Instagram at @clsmsanchezx. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at email@example.com.
In the past six years, Netflix has been releasing more and more interactive films on their platform. These films offer just what you think: an interactive experience that gives you the opportunity to make your own choices within a story. If you’ve ever watched a movie and yelled at the screen in frustration because of the main character’s choices, you can now avoid that situation with Netflix’s interactive films. Some of the films they’ve released have been children shows within franchises such as Boss Baby, Jurassic World and Puss In Boots, for example. Only a select few have been aimed towards older or more adult audiences.
I first became aware of Netflix’s interactive films shortly after the release of Bandersnatch in 2018. I really enjoyed the film due to the fact it was a psychological horror film and because of the countless possible endings you could achieve. I probably rewatched the film about two to three times in an attempt to get different outcomes. The mystery and the constant sense of foreboding throughout the film really helped keep you intrigued as you tried to solve the puzzle behind Stefan, his behavior and the weird events occurring around him.
Netflix’s newest film, Choose Love, was released recently as an interactive rom-com starring Laura Marano. The story follows a young woman who works as a recording engineer torn between the three men in her life as she tries to navigate her own path. She feels conflicted if she should choose the career she wants, or marriage and a family, or maybe the old flame she never got over. If you like rom-coms, you may be all too familiar with how often you facepalm over a character’s decision, but you won’t have to do that here when you’re the one in charge and controlling the movie’s outcome.
I was very curious about how an interactive, rom-com film would turn out and how it would create an immersive experience for its audience. In order to incorporate the audience within the story, Marano’s character, Cami, breaks the fourth wall often to talk to the audience. Sometimes she makes little side comments, or she will ask the audience for advice, which will then provide you with two choices to choose between. The movie does provide you the option to undo choices you made that you weren’t happy with in order to get a redo. The ending of the movie also provides you with an opportunity to choose between one of two key events to go back and redo if you want to see how the other choices would turn out.
An interactive film like this is great for a movie night amongst friends or family as you can discuss which choices to make and even joke about the film together. However, Choose Love is like many rom-coms you’ve seen before and solely focuses on getting you to choose between the three men. There isn’t much conflict outside of Cami’s love life, except for her dissatisfaction with her job, but even this conflict is tied in with her romantic pursuits. If you’re a fan of rom-coms and just want a fun film to watch, then this might be what you’re looking for. However, if you crave something that isn’t as straight-forward and will provide you with more action and adventure, a film like Bandersnatch might be more your style.
Seeing as there isn’t that wide of a variety of interactive films to choose from, but you’re still very interested in the concept, maybe you should explore more choice based video games. Some of the two most popular games are Life Is Strange, Until Dawn, Telltale’s The Walking Dead, Beyond: Two Souls and Doki Doki Literature Club. However, do check for trigger warnings and such before deciding to play any of these games.
What makes the choice based nature of these games work is the fact that they have mystery and unpredictability. With rom-coms there is a sense of familiarity within them as we are accustomed to their formulas, but the goal of a horror and mystery game is to keep us on our toes. The game should maintain an element of surprise at all times so we are unable to guess what’ll happen next in any circumstance. While an interactive film like Choose Love is great for some fun, perhaps maybe the genres best for interactive films would be ones like mystery and horror as they provide the most modes for experimentation.
What did you think of Choose Love? Do you think rom-coms are suitable for interactive films? Let us know what you think!