Fair Use image taken from www.endlesslovemovie.com
If you are a sucker for ridiculous romances and cheesy Valentine’s Day plans, Endless Love is your movie to see Feb. 14. If you don’t, I would suggest a movie with far greater substance, possibly The Lego Movie.
Endless Love, a remake of the 1981 film of the same name, follows the story of high school seniors Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde) and David Elliot (Alex Pettyfer) as they lose their innocence and fight for their first loves.
Director Shana Feste (The Greatest, Country Strong) chose to stray from many of the main story lines in the original film and adapt them to the issues of this generation’s teenagers.
“I think that the original is a lot more sensual. And in that time period, that was quite controversial because David lusts more for Jade in the original film, whereas in ours it’s more about two people falling in love and the experiences of young love and first love which were inspirational to me,” Alex Pettyfer said.
Since her brother’s tragic death, Jade has isolated herself from her classmates, dedicating all of her free time not to friends, but to reading and preparing for her future in medicine. As she prepares for her summer internship, she soon meets David, a working class boy with a dark, dangerous past who has had a secret crush on her for years.
“I admire his hope. Just falling in love, even when he’s shut down a couple of times,” Pettyfer said of his character, David.
Even with a weak script and storyline, Wilde and Pettyfer, both English, had strong chemistry and dedication to their characters.
“[Wilde]’s English, so that’s always a great starting point to connect. And then we had this part beforehand where we really just had to get to know each other, Relationships are built off of trust, and I think that what we had to do is get together and build a friendship. We did that and I think it worked.” Pettyfer said.
When the two connect, Jade’s head and heart are torn about what to do. Should she follow her dreams or fall in love?
Unlike popular romances such as The Notebook and Dear John, Endless Love fails to capture the audience with exciting drama and relatable characters. Plot twists meant to surprise the audience were very predictable and boring. David and Jade’s romantic gestures are cheesy and cliché, making their love seem exaggerated and superficial.
David and Jade’s romance is a case of love at first sight, captured very nicely by a short montage towards the start of the movie. Really though, it’s more like obsession at first sight. David and Jade’s love is all-consuming, and they are so co-dependent that they are not interesting characters outside the context of their love, and are unable to develop independent personalities.
Coupled with their lack of strong personalities, David and Jade’s naïveté makes their characters seem as unbelievable as Jade’s father. David and Jade are so ridiculously obsessed with each other that just a few days into their relationship, they decide to cancel all of their summer plans to spend every moment together, a move that could risk their future careers and education.
While this tumultuous love could send young adults unrealistic messages about relationships and independence, Pettyfer hopes that the target audience, teenage girls, will find hope in the film.
“Find someone that will treat you with respect, is chivalrous, is a gentleman and just loves you for who you are,” he said.
Those who want to have a sappy, romantic date with their sweetheart on Valentine’s Day can catch the film at many local movie theaters, including AMC Rosedale 14, Theaters at Mall of America and AMC Showplace Inver Grove 16.