Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde, Bruce Greenwood, Robert Patrick, Joely Richardson
Shana Feste, Joshua Safran
"Endless Love" Not Quite Good Enough to be Enjoyably Bad
Privileged girl (Gabrielle Wilde). Boy from the wrong side of the tracks (Alex Pettyfer).
If I were to sum up this second nearly awful feature film based upon Joshua Safran's young adult novel of the same name, the first one being Franco Zeffirelli's 1981 Endless Love, it would likely go like this "Googly-eyed teens make googly eyes at one another."
For nearly two truly endless hours.
Endless love, indeed.
Looking and acting like Nicholas Sparks rejects, Gabrielle Wilde and Alex Pettyfer definitely do look the part as young crushin' loves seriously getting to know one another over the course of a summer before Jade (Wilde) heads off to an important internship designed to push her into a medical career while David (Pettyfer) likely is bucking for head valet at the local country club. Much to the chagrine of her father, a permanently scowling Bruce Greenwood, the two take a mighty fine shine to one another despite his ever increasing attempts to toss obstacles their way while her mom (Joely Richardson) plays the good wife.
At its core, Safran's novel is a young adult-oriented tale of obsession that has now been tremendously softened for the second film in a row. Unfortunately, the film is softened so considerably that it becomes Bruce Greenwood's portrayal of a father's obviously complicated grief that mostly upstages the film's center romance even though Greenwood is over-emoting as much as Wilde and Pettyfer are struggling to discover what an emotional actually feels like.
It has been quite some time since a film centered on the idea of endless have has felt so incredibly lacking in actual love.
Director Shana Feste, whose Country Strong was unexpectedly a modest and deserving hit, can't quite seem to nail the right tone with this film and instead ends up with a film that falls short of even qualifying as a Nicholas Sparks inspired romance.
In case you're wondering, that's not a compliment.
There are films that are so bad they're good, but Endless Love is far too serious to be a campy success and far too campy to ever take seriously. While it certainly doesn't make you long for Zeffirelli's underwhelming adaptation, it does make you wonder "Why was this film even necessary?'
While there may be certain young adults who consider Endless Love to be the perfect date flick, for anyone who has ever actually be in love it'll mostly just feel like a truly endless experience.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic