Gabriella Wilde and Alex Pettyfer in Endless Love
Gabriella Wilde and Alex Pettyfer in Endless Love

Young love is so loud.

It is in the movies, anyway. Teenage girls wail for their beloved boy-toys, who are off somewhere connecting a thunderous punch to some jerk's face. Every party is bumping and every open candle leads to a fire. All this happens over a blaring indie-pop soundtrack featuring wistful acts like The Tallest Man on Earth and Tegan & Sara, who supplement scenes that don't so much tug on our heartstrings as suffocate them.

Endless Love, the remake of the 1981 Brooke Shields film of the same name, is one of those movies, the kind that gets a standing ovation from the 12-year-old crowd in the back row of the theater and a chorus of groans from everyone else. Also, prepare for a "Yeah, that whole movie felt endless"-type joke as you walk out of the theater. People can't resist.

I suppose this story of an uptight overachiever named Jade (Gabriella Wilde) and charming underachiever named David (Alex Pettyfer) falling for each other could have been unwatchable, but some solid chemistry between the two and intriguing performances by a few supporting characters (Robert Patrick as David's father, Dayo Okeniyi as his best friend, and Joely Richardson as Jade's mother) make you not want to pull out all your hair just yet.

Can't say the same for Bruce Greenwood though. As Jade's overbearing father Hugh, Greenwood knows how to play the role of a villain. But he's too bad. Everything out of his smarmy mouth is condescending and mean, and his cruelty grows as the film goes on. Compounding the problem is David's Christ-figure status, as he's perfectly charming and wonderful and even his transgressions are easily explained away. Neither character is a tragic hero, because their personal tragedies are so obvious.


Judging from its Wikipedia synopsis, the original film had much darker twists and turns than the new version, which is telegraphed almost to a fault. It's not horrible, but if you want to see a better, realer and more romantic take on this type of story, see The Spectacular Now.

Grade: C-

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, brief partial nudity, some language and teen partying.

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