Nicholas Sparks movies are bananas. There, now it’s out in the open.

The films based on the works of the weepie-romance meganovelist have a reputation for shameless sentimentality, steamy forbidden love, and hankie-dampening tragedy, but anyone who’s actually sat down and watched them knows that the defining characteristic of any film de Sparks is dizzyingly convoluted plotting. 2014’s The Best of Me shoehorned drug dealing, child abuse, child mortality, patricide (almost), accidental murder, and an insultingly coincidental heart transplant into just under two hours. This spring’s The Longest Ride piled on ludicrous plot twists like Dagwood stacks ingredients atop his trademark sandwich, and the results are equally unwieldy.

So when the trailer for 2016’s obligatory Sparks check-in The Choice surfaced this morning, the world couldn’t wait to see what the master of manipulation would throw at us this time around. He did not disappoint. Most of the usual Sparksian tropes are in place — impossibly idyllic North Carolina setting, a love triangle separating our two leads from one another, the presence of an esteemed actor with the expression of someone trying to navigate the subway system of an unfamiliar city (in this case, Brit thespian Tom Wilkinson) — but of course the man’s got a few tricks up his sleeve. The trailer alone takes the audience on a wild ride, veering from twist to twist with reckless abandon. Romantic lead Gabby (Teresa Palmer) is in the hospital! Except no, she left already, and now the doctor’s smacking our leading man Travis (Benjamin Walker) in the face for some reason! But now she’s gotten in a car crash and she’s been taken to a different hospital! 

We can safely assume that this is but a small taste of the seven-course feast of narrative contrivances to come. As much as the trailer gives away, we still have no idea what the titular choice actually is, or whether our leads’ love will be too pure for this compromised world. What we do know is that this upcoming film, set for a February 5 release next year, will be a smash with fans of three-tissue melodrama and harebrained script structure alike.

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