Endless Love Review

Endless Love

Valentines shmalentines.

I know how I’m going to be spending February the 14th: with a takeaway pizza and The Evil Dead boxset.

So woe betide any vaguely romantic film that crosses my path this time of year, unless it’s something extremely original.

And Valentines Day release Endless Love is most certainly not something extremely original.

I can honestly say I had more fun the last time I went to the dentist.

The film is based on a novel by Scott Spencer, the plot of which sounds a hell of a lot better than its celluloid adaptations.

And by adaptations, I’m including the 1981 effort with Brooke Shields which garnered a healthy total of six Golden Raspberry Award nominations.

The story is standard; a rich and beautiful but deep and naturally misunderstood girl meets wrong-side-of-the-tracks boy, who’s also deep and misunderstood.

Cue a by the numbers plot which involves boy meeting girl, boy losing girl, predictable conflict with her overprotective father before boy wins girl back just in time for the end credits.

As you can probably tell, this Endless Love isn’t exactly going to make into my desert island list.

But a friend of mine once said, you should a film by genre standards. So if it’s a rom-dram, is it a good rom-dram?

And my answer is still no.

For starters, the whole film suffers from a gargantuan lack of edge and innovation which makes it impossible to muster up a modicum of emotion for the cardboard characters.

The kids here are your standard, Americans-who-look-ten-years-older-than-their-British-counterparts types, who engage in just the appropriate level of adolescent rebellion. Imagine an late-teen version of the Disney Club.

Sure there’s sex, but the nicely-lit, epic, fireside-background type. Not awkward quickies behind the bike shed, like normal teenagers.

Alex Pettyfer as David and Gabriella Wilde as Jade make a remarkably uncharismatic pair of leads: she frustratingly fawn-like, him boringly brooding.

Neither try to rise above the one-note archetypes they portray and as a result, you really couldn’t give a fiddlers if they end up together or not.

The script doesn’t help either.

Sample dialogue, being shouted dramatically down the street: “You won’t fight for love, you’re terrified of it!”

Sample scene: him cycling along with her sitting on the crossbar, during a musical montage.

That’s right, a musical montage.

Pity the supporting cast, because I know I did. Robert Patrick doesn’t get a lot to do, though I did enjoy spending the majority of the film wishing he’d turn into liquid metal at any moment and skewer someone.

Anyone.

And Joely Richardson gets one good scene in a bookshop, but that’s about it.

Rhys Wakefield does the best with the role he has, and Dayo Okeniyi as David’s BFF is funny but vastly underused. Emma Rigby pops up every now and again looking extremely pretty.

Which is nice.

And last but not least there’s Bruce Greenwood. What happened? This film has drained all my respect for the man.

There’s an outside chance Endless Love might just appeal to early teens with low expectations, who don’t get out much.

But they’ll probably dislike it too.

Conor Brennan

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February 2014
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