The third film to come out this weekend that’s a remake of an 80’s film, (see About Last Night and Robocop) Endless Love also joins Winter’s Tale, which feels like an 80’s film, to round out this year’s Valentine’s Day selections.
As over-achieving and withdrawn Jade, Gabreilla Wilde is graduating high school without having made any real friends or memories. This is due to the fact that after her perfect brother died somehow, she spent most of her time preparing to be pre-med, or hanging around with her rich and boring parents. As she is ignored at graduation, however, it’s as if she has an epiphany – she wishes she had friends! The solution to that problem? Have her parents throw a big party that she can invite everyone to. Instant friends! Too bad for her, the only person her age that feels like showing up is David (Alex Pettyfer looking far too old to be 18) who has had a secret crush on her forever but only just got to know her when he invited her to join him in “borrowing” a sports car he was valeting a few days before. If you can’t figure out by now that they two fall hopelessly in love and have to deal with such obstacles as a disapproving father and coming from vastly different backgrounds, then there’s not much hope for you.
A high school romance, Endless Love exemplifies all that is wrong with Hollywood’s portrayal of love. Romanticizing and celebrating promiscuity, illegal and illogical behavior, and rash decisions, it embraces the devote your life to someone you just met, because, love. It also villainizes responsibility, caution, and logic. At the risk of sounding as stodgy as Jade’s protective father (Bruce Greenwood) is made out to be, the two heroes of this story are complete idiots.
The story and situations are so tremendously cliched and predictable, glossed over with the sheen of teenaged romance novels, that I expected Pettyfer to break out in song, a la High School Musical. This film is more risque than any Disney production though, which makes it seem all the sillier. Keeping to a PG-13 rating it shows enough thigh to titillate its teenage audience while keeping things mostly Kosher. The carefully calculated sensuality comes off as laughable at best and either embarrassing or disturbing at worst.
The film’s story plows through itself, not bothering to address or resolve issue ridden characters that are introduced, or to really bother thinking about whether what’s happening makes any sort of real sense. In the manner almost entirely exclusive to the world of film, people’s feelings and character change at the drop of a hat, swinging from one mood to another like bi-polar chimpanzees.
The acting is passable when the stars are given anything to do other than suck each other’s faces around every corner or spout out cliched lines that could have been recycled from any number of other sappy stories. The blame for this one rests almost entirely on the screenwriters.
The one bright spot in this all is Dayo Okeniyi, best know as Thresh from The Hunger Games, who has surprisingly good comedic timing in his small role as David’s freewheeling friend.
If you want to see a film where individual dreams and passion are thrown the wayside in the name of “love,” and fighting for said feelings mean breaking laws, trust, and reason go see this film. If you want to see mounds of sentimental nonsense oozing all over characters as vapid as a cardboard cutout of a sparkling vampire, see this movie. If you want anything even closely resembling something you should watch, don’t see this movie.
Mrs. Hamster says:
“I usually like sappy romance, but this is even too sappy for me. If you like Nicholas Sparks, you’ll probably like it.”
My rating: One out of five hats
Endless Love steams up 2,893 theaters February 14