Endless Love is a 2014 American romantic drama film directed by Shana Feste and co-written by Feste and Joshua Safran. Shana is other-wise known for directing The Greatest and Country Strong, neither of which have I heard of.
The film is a remake of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 film of the same name as well as the second adaptation of Scott Spencer’s novel. Starring Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde, Bruce Greenwood, Joely Richardson, and Robert Patrick, the film was a modest box-office success.
Unfortunately, the small fortune didn’t keep the film from receiving negative reviews from audience-members and critics alike.
I didn’t really care about this film whenever I started to watch it. The fact is, one of my family-members rented it and I have this rule about watching every film that is put in-front of me. I didn’t expect anything from it in the same way that I don’t expect anything from most romantic dramas, but I was at least hoping for a charming cast of characters.
The film follows a shy but attractive female named Jade Butterfield that is just graduating from high-school and will be attending Brown University in the fall. She doesn’t have any friends, … for some reason, I mean, the film flat-out says that nobody talked to her throughout the entire four years she was there, which, uh, well, how the fuck did that happen? Still, observing her from afar, David Elliot has had a crush on her for the longest time although has never had the courage to speak to her.
Seconds later after graduating, she is suddenly no longer shy and is ready to throw a party. Likewise, David has his courage and flirts with her like there is no tomorrow. Completely disproportionate and unrealistic portrayal of what would actually happen, and frankly, an underdeveloped and stupid start, but I digress. As the film progresses, it becomes more and more about the relationship between Jade and David, as well as her father’s inability to accept him.
I don’t mean to sound too negative, but that’s exactly what I will do. I was annoyed with the beginning because there seemed to be absolutely no development to it. Four years where Jade’s character didn’t socialize at all whatsoever, and they offer little understanding of why that is. They shrug it off as it being that she is dedicated to her education, but that feel more lazily woven together than anything else.
The rest of the film becomes very cookie-cutter before it ends.
Everyone has likely seen parodies about soap-operas where they make fun of how serious they take themselves. Or how unrealistically and suffocatingly romantic they can try to be. This film represents that to a high-amount. They love each-other for the sake of loving each-other and don’t really seem to have much chemistry on-screen. Meanwhile, there is a bizarrely contrived conflict with the father that completely consumes everything else about the film. He is mad about his son’s death and takes it out on everyone around him. While it could have been accomplished well with different means and different tactics, it came off as unrealistic and unintentionally comedic.
The minute that you laugh at the biggest emotional-element that a drama has to offer is the same minute that the film collapses in on itself. Absent of all sense of humor and completely dreary, Endless Love seems to be an endless ride of boredom, convention, and cliche.
The actors fail at bringing anything out of their characters. It’s a prime example of the cast not having much to work with, and henceforth, not doing very much with it.
I feel like everything is a matter of heading through the motions, this isn’t an adaptation of a highly-acclaimed novel, this is a made-for-TV film on the Hallmark Channel. Not only that, but it would be amongst the worst made-for-TV films on the Hallmark Channel.