Alison is young and pregnant and she has no idea what to do. Her boyfriend Rick is pressuring her to ‘take care of it’, so she drives herself to the abortion clinic and tries to go through with it, even though she is not sure. As she continues to go back and forth in her decision, she meets a mysterious janitor who seems to know everything about her. He tries to convince her not to end her baby’s life, but Alison is still torn. As the clock ticks down, will she be able to make the right decision before time runs out?
Production Quality (2.5 points)
The good thing about Alison’s Choice is that the production quality is nearly flawless. Video quality, camera work, and audio quality are all very professional. However, the soundtrack is somewhat typical. Though the film is limited to basically one set and location, it is utilized well and the props therein are realistic and appropriate. Really the only production problems to point out pertain to editing, as there are too many wasted scenes and sequences included and too many long scenes. But despite this fact, it is very clear that great care was taken to make this production excellent. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the rest of this film.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
We went into Alison’s Choice with an open mind—we really did. We still really love the idea behind this film, which keeps this portion from being zero or worse. Yet this is one of the most horribly wasted ideas on the face of the earth. Much like David A. R. White and Kirk Cameron, Bruce Marchiano’s movie making style has no respect for subtlety, as everything must be plainly spelled out in black and white without trusting the audience to figure things out on their own. The Jesus character must be obviously highlighted through dialogue, and other dialogue elements are also extremely forceful. There is nothing to do in this story except have characters talk (there’s nothing inherently wrong with this if it’s done correctly), but the conversations in this film contain some of the most bizarre insinuations and comments that make for an extremely unusual experience. There are overt racial stereotypes and borderline racist jokes, not to mention weird comments about biology. The portrayal of pro-abortion characters is largely strawman and downright embarrassing. As the conversations meander on and weird things continue happening, Alison’s Choice really just boils down to a cringeworthy portrayal of the pro-life argument combined with a wasted idea. It’s such a disappointment.
Acting Quality (0 points)
Some of these cast members could be good actors and actresses if they had coaching. As it is, most of the cast members act like they have been instructed to ad-lib and ramble on in order to fill time. It’s very hard to believe that some of the sequences of dialogue were actually written as the actors and actresses appear to strain for something to say. Most of them are either extremely awkward or very over the top, including some laughable racial stereotypes. In short, there is nothing in this film done subtly or tastefully.
It feels like Alison’s Choice is the Twilight Zone. There are so many out of place and unnecessary commentaries, besides the ramblings of Bruce Marchiano and other cast members. This film is essentially another version of The Encounter, just more disappointing. Marchiano and his team get high marks for production effort, but they completely lost out on the rest of the movie. This story needed a total rewrite before it was allowed to film, to ensure that this idea was not wasted. The cast members also needed coaching and refinement. Though we have been accused of personal attacks in the past and though some lives have been changed as a result of this film, we cannot help but feel that Marchiano’s ego is the thing that keeps Alison’s Choice from being all that it can be. This is unfortunate, for there was an opportunity for a blockbuster film here.
Final Rating: 3 out of 10 points