“Endless Love” Movie Review
*REVIEW BY DAN THE MOVIE MAN*
Stupid teenagers. Just study, go to college, get a good job, settle down and shut up!
Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde) is just another ordinary, simple teenager that suffered a tragedy when her older brother died. Since then, Jade has practically been a shut-in, devoting her life to the books, her studies, her family who clearly needs her and a future that she may hold at Brown. Sounds all good for this recent, high-school graduate, but there’s just one big problem: She doesn’t have any friends. Not a single one. That’s why when she begins to lock eyes with the brooding, brutish David Elliot (Alex Pettyfer), she decides to invite him to her grad-party and to also be her “summer fling”, for lack of a better term. Together, the two build a nice romance that’s built upon the summer bliss, however, her over-protective daddy (Bruce Greenwood) doesn’t want someone like David ruining his little girl’s bright future. This is when he starts to take matters into his own hands by not just having a detective look into this kid’s checkered-past, but also let him know that when it comes to his daughter, he’s the one who gets to say “yay”, or “nay”. Not him, dammit!
Apparently this is a remake of a 1981 film starring Brooke Shields, a movie that I not only didn’t even bother checking out, but didn’t even know about until I actually looked up information about what the hell this movie was about. Needless to say, I might just never check it out, all because after watching this, I don’t think I can handle another sappy, melodramatic tearjerker about teenagers falling in love ever again. Not now, not ever!
So yeah, I have a lot of problems with these types of movies, however, being a bit of a youngling myself, I find it somewhat easy to relate to these types of movies where I watch kids, who are a bit older than me, fall through the same steps that a younger-version of myself one went through. There’s the looks, the butterflies in the stomachs, the awkward first-dates, the even more awkward small-talk, the idea of falling in love and ultimately, the act of sex. I have, and I bet most of you out there have been through the same song and dance, and it doesn’t matter how many times you see it, it never seems to get old.
Which is why for the first 20 or so minutes of this movie, I have to say, I wasn’t too pissed-off. Sure, there were plenty of faults in which certain characters said and did dumb things that would never, ever happen in real-life, but I let it all slide-by because I actually enjoyed watching these two get to know another, hang-out and basically fall-in love. A bit contrived, sure, but Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde were at least fine enough together that I didn’t mind the more saccharine of this movie, as well as their performances.
Speaking of which, being that these two are both models, it only makes sense that we get to see plenty of scenes where they run-around, half-naked, smiling, being pretty and swapping plenty of spit. When all that the film is concerned with, is letting them do that, I can’t really rain on either of their parades. Wilde has the face of a woman that the camera can’t help but focus on just about every single second she’s is in a scene; and Pettyfer, though he’s proven to be used better in far more interesting-material, does what he can to show that the dude is not only a hunk that can with this shy, introverted gal over, but every other woman around him. Hell, even the lady who play’s Wilde’s character’s mom, Joely Richardson, looks like she wants to bang him half of the time!
But as soon as the romance between these two starts to get more and more serious, where other threads start to show up, the movie really gets ridiculous, but not in a fun kind of way either. You’d think that a movie where a house burns down, a zoo is broken into, a man is punched, two dads argue, people get arrested and restraining-orders are handed-out, would be the slightest bit of wacky, insane fun, right? Nope, this movie is just dull, uninteresting and plainly put, boring. The romance we began to fell in love with before, starts to get bogged-down by a bunch of people fighting and acting like jackasses over nothing, as well as more melodramatic moments where we see a bunch of characters looking and acting sad, all to the sweet tuneage of hip, cool indie-bands like the Bird and the Bee.
Why they would even bother putting anything from their wonderful discography into utter garbage like this, is totally beyond me. Sure there was a pretty penny to be made for it though, so I’ll give them that.
Mainly though, this movie’s problems just boil down to the fact that Jade’s daddy is a total, and complete dick, throughout the WHOLE, GODDAMN MOVIE. Once or twice would have been fine, but time and time again, the guy just seems like he’s about to break something if people don’t listen to him, or that somebody stole his lunch money. Either way, the guy never seems like he’s in a good-mood, and even when we do think there is the slightest redeeming-quality to him, that all gets shoved right out the door when we realize that maybe he’s not the perfect husband he proclaims to be. You can call that a spoiler if you want, but I don’t care!
This movie sucks and what really ticks me off about it so much is that it probably gave me the first actual, “bad” performance I’ve ever seen from Bruce Greenwood, and he isn’t even really terrible to begin with. It’s just that his character is so thinly-written, so one-note and just so mean to everyone around him, without anybody ever standing-up for themselves and letting him know that they are sick and tired of his shit, you have to wonder just why it is that Greenwood even decided to take this character, work with him as long and as passionately as he seemed to, and just why exactly did he even agree to do this in the first place. Was it money the money? I don’t think so, because I sure as hell think that he’s still making plenty of moolah from not only showing up in the first Star Trek, but the second one as well. Or, was it because he was actually given the chance to work with a class-act like Robert Patrick? I’d like to think so, although the two only share one scene together and it might just be the most memorable, if only because they’re so good in general, that you look forward to seeing them clash heads once and for all. And when it finally does seem like the chance has finally come for them to look at each other square in the eyes, yell-out some insults at the other and just try to decide whose dick is bigger, nothing happens. Greenwood just hands Patrick a note, walks away, with Patrick looking at him in utter disgust/shock. And that’s about it.
What a freakin’ bummer, man!
Consensus: Hopelessly-in-love teenagers who want to spend a romantic night at the movies for Valentine’s Day may find themselves welling-up during and ready to make-out with their significant-other after watching Endless Love, but for those of us who may be single, may have standards when it comes to movies, or who knows a flaming pile of dog shit when they see one, will probably be glad they don’t have anyone to go back to for this special day, except for maybe the latest magazine of GQ or Maxim, depending on what your preferences are.
1 out of 5
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*Review used with permission from “Dan the Movie Man”