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Endless Love (2014)


Endless Love

In our 21st century pursuit of the constant string of movie after movie at the box office, this film is one that fell prey to the sometimes dreaded remake syndrome. Based off a book originally, then an 80’s film of the same name – one many may consider a “classic,” this melodrama has its moments, though mostly isn’t anything beyond the cinematic normalcy.

High school is over for Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde) and with it all the bad memories of her brother’s death and missing out on normal teenage behavior. Through four years of high school, she focused on one thing – getting the right kind of grades and being the good girl, something that earned her a not-so-nice reputation among her peers. One guy noticed her. His name is David (Alex Pettyfer). He never spoke to her or befriended Jade, but he always saw her.

In answer to her parent’s question of what Jade wants in celebration of her graduation, Jade’s wish is for a normal party, which she invites David to, and thus begins, the two of them forming the start of something more… something Jade’s stern father (Bruce Greenwood) isn’t keen on, and something that could destroy their family and alter Jade’s promising future.

Ah, the allure of a pretty poster art. It will get you every time, and yet despite all that pretty

promise, this angst-y teen drama is nothing special. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely. Why? Mainly because I wasn’t expecting anything beyond what it suggested it was, which is a typical boy-meets-girl with some teenage in-love-for-all-time and parental drama thrown in, and that’s just what I got. How the story is set up and what it’s set against is lovely – I liked all of the locations, everything from the grand Butterfield family home to the quieter, more “organic” beach house scenery which produces some lovely scenes involving swimming and sparklers, a sequence that I thought was beautifully filmed. This is something that really weaves through the entire film – sitting here typing this is making me realize that the filming was pretty in most everything it does, whether it’s in good or bad times.

Endless Love

As characters, these are interesting enough to hold our attention, and if that isn’t good enough, maybe it’s the romance that keeps us watching or more simply, it could be one of the stars that entice a viewer. For me, this cast was a good one since I have liked everything I’ve seen Pettyfer in and seeing Joely Richardson in something again was great – plus, I found her character to be an interesting one, not to mention the young actress who played Jade actually passes for her characters age even though she is older than her counterpart. In some respects I suppose you could term this a contemporary version of Romeo and Juliet because it has that star-crossed lovers vibe going for it – complete with the privileged teen with a bright future and a middle class boy who happens to capture her attention. There is plenty of objection to David and Jade being together and a tragedy (of a different kind) that leaves lives in tatters.

If there is one “big” thing I credit this story with, it’s that its lovers are “older.” I realize that just graduating high school doesn’t carry the same weight as the normal romantic drama (like The Notebook, and by the way, I have seen this film compared to), which is a story about adults acting foolish in love, but considering I’ve seen so many scripts put young teens in similar positions, anytime there is more maturity between characters, I do applaud that. When all is said and done, will I watch this again… probably, nevertheless I don’t think it will be added to my DVD shelf. It earned cred with me for not going in the direction I expected plus I’m always up for some sort of romance film, which is why though not my favorite, I didn’t mind Endless Love. The saddest thing about it is how it turns something meant to be beautiful into something much thornier.  

Content: there is one sex scene complete with some side nudity; the camera lingers on the couple as they lay in front of a fireplace and also in the typical morning after scene. Later, there is brief instance of Jade teasing David by tugging on her underwear, and plenty of kissing. A married man is having an affair and we catch him kissing his mistress. There is some profanity, including sh*t, etc. Tense moments involve a fire and a car accident; there are lots of family arguments and lies to cover that up, and some may be bothered by the disrespectful behavior of the kids and their parents. The film is rated PG13.
 
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Rissi
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6 comments:

  1. I've been on the hold list at my library for quite a while for this one. Sounds OK, and those scenes you mentioned (minus the affair) are pretty common in YA and even middle school books. I mean look at If I Stay and The Fault in Our Stars. A lot of books have innuendo scenes written in that reading level group. My oldest (13) doesn't want to see the movie, if she did I would watch it first and then I'd fast forward skip that scene while watching it with her.

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    1. Oh, I agree, Shannon - it's VERY common. (Was this a YA book...? I am unaware of its genre in terms of the novel... all I know is it's an older title.) It's just sad how much of this is pushed on teens today because some of it is anything but healthy. Haven't read If I Stay or The Fault in our Stars but I plan on getting to both! :)

      Hope you enjoy if/when you finally get a copy.

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  2. I've been looking for some new movies I might like, and this one sounds cute! I love sweet romances, especially with obstacles holding the characters back. But holy cow, that's Alex Pettyfer?! He looks so different from his other movies that I hardly would have recognized him :D I love his acting though, so there's another reason for me to watch this.

    Rissi, have you read the original book or seen the 80's movie? I'm curious to hear how those compare to this version.

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    1. It is cute, Jillian, although I will admit it has more "drama" to it than say something like Letters to Juliet or Monte Carlo. If you see this one, let me know what you think. :)

      Right?? Alex does look different. Throughout the whole movie, I kept thinking, "Okay, I know I have seen this actor in other stuff... but what??"

      I haven't read the book or seen the 80's film. But, I do know that the 80's movie is far less "sweet." The writer's tamed this one down to get that more popular PG13 rating from what I understand.

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  3. I've seen this movie Rissi, at someone's suggestion. While it is definitely a sweet easy watch and 'feel good' movie, I couldn't really watch it in one go. I think what bothered me with the plot was the fact that since the movie is called "endless love" I expected more of that. I felt as if the relationship between the characters was rushed too quickly so much that I found it hard to believe (well, until towards the end of the movie) that what they had was the 'real thing' and not a teenage on-the-moment thing (if that makes sense). While Jade's dad was a big hypocrite and the movie's 'bad guy', his concerns were understandable earlier on in the story (before he completely turns bad guy). But I feel a lot of movies nowadays make parents out to be the villain even when their concerns are genuine. I'm not even a parent yet and was still a teen 3 years ago but certain parts didn't sit right with me. I'm not saying it's not a good movie, I believe it was OK but I found it very far from reality. But I don't watch much YA so the elements that bothered me might totally normal for the genre.

    Tell the World

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    1. I completely understand and do agree with what you're saying, Funto. I think the point of the film (from the parent's perspective) was that what Jade had wasn't "real" love - it was merely rebellion and a "summer fling," but that's where what you're saying comes in that film's today make the parent to be the bad guy (*high five* to you comments about this) and so many of them want to be their teens "friend" rather than a parent. Right or wrong (and yes, he was a hypocrite - put him in an even worse position when we learned HIS secret), Jade's father was trying to parent and instead of doing it differently, he took an approach that drove her further away.

      Sadly, this film is the "norm" for teen movies today. Only usually, the characters are younger.

      Wonderful thoughts, Funto. Thank you for sharing them. :)

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