Endless Love actually isn’t a terrible film (not exactly the highest praise, I know) where the two leads at least have some good chemistry and Bruce Greenwood is a lot of fun even if his character becomes a caricature by the end. It’s the typical love story seen numerous time (Footloose also has the same basic premise) but it’s not all bad and at least watchable if not also safe and forgettable.
Genre(s): Romance, Drama
Universal | PG13 – 105 min. – $34.98 | May 27, 2014
THE MOVIE – 2.75/5
Another year and another remake but in this case, from what I’ve sampled of the 1981 version (via The Cinema Snob) starring Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt, Endless Love isn’t going to trample on a classic or anything and this version at least somewhat marks an improvements, so it at least has that going for it.
Jade Butterfield (GABRIELLA WILDE) is a reclusive yet gorgeous teen just graduating from high school. She spent most of the past formidable years either buried in a book or hanging out with her parents. But there’s one young man who has had his eye on her. David Elliot (ALEX PETTYFUR) has had a crush on Jade for years yet never worked up the courage to ask her out (teen cliché #20) but the pair manage to talk and sparks apparently fly (teen cliché #122).
David’s fortunes further change while at working as a valet when she – along with dad Hugh (BRUCE GREENWOOD), mom Anne (JOELY RICHARDSON) and brother Keith (RHYS WAKEFIELD) – go to the restaurant for a post-graduation brunch. The Butterfield family is tight-knit and the father controlling but they also have a tragic past with the death of a son and brother who died from cancer a couple years earlier. David and Jade strike up a conversation and against her better judgment joins David and his best friend Mace (DAYO OKENLYL) on a joy ride in the car of a rich douche bag. David takes the full brunt of the blame and gets fired, content with working in the auto garage owned and run by his father (ROBERT PATRICK).
Having felt alive for the first time in a long while, Jade is quickly falling for David, and vice versa, much to the chagrin of her father but David charms his way into the heart of Anne and soon enough is invited to dinner and gets the third degree from Jade’s dad. But the love might be short lived as Jade is set to attend Brown University where she’s studying to become a doctor, like her father, and David and Jade are determined to make the most of the time they have left. Jade’s father doesn’t like the direction his daughter is taking believing she might jeopardize her future for some fledgling love while the rest of his family apparently have changed for the better with Anne wanting to write again and Keith finding inspiration and proposing to his longtime girlfriend.
This is really your typical romantic-drama. As the trailers have advertised, it’s from the producer of The Vow and has the same amount of sap that will resonate with women, and many men as well, that no doubt gives an unrealistic view of relationships and love, yet even I have to admit, it kind of works even if it’s unbelievably predictable at every turn from beginning to end.
One thing that did really irk me had to with the characters and in particular, Mace. As I mentioned, David takes the blame for the joy ride but later in the movie when David, Mace, Jade and other friends go into a zoo, with the help of one of Mace’s friends who works there, the cops are called (by David’s jealous ex), David once again volunteers, offering to throw the police off the trail allowing Jade and the rest to escape. Ok, so here’s the thing: this was Mace’s idea which David was resistant to, so why didn’t Mace interject and help his friend escape? I realize plotwise it would then lead to an altercation with Jade’s father, one that would further make him look like an ass, but it doesn’t make Mace look very good… It’s a minor quibble, but one that did annoy me.
Aside from that, the performances are fine with Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde having enough on-screen chemistry to keep the predictable and overwrought screenplay together. Their characters are a bit too whimsy in nature but I enjoyed seeing them with Wilde playing up the pretty girl next door and Pettyfer and his superhero chiseled chin is picture perfect for the genre.
As for the rest, Bruce Greenwood unfortunately gets the thankless job of being the d-bag; at first his concerns are reasonable but the writers needed to makine him a bigger ass and ratchet up his antagonism toward David thus giving the audience even better reason to root for David and Jade. Joely Richardson works well opposite Greenwood as you feel her heartache as their characters’ marriage has gone loveless and she gets invigorated seeing Jade and David’s relationship flourish. It’s probably one of the better elements to an otherwise routine story.
Helmed by Shana Feste, marking her third feature following The Greatest and Country Strong (a movie I loathed), Endless Love is a perfectly safe romantic drama that doesn’t break new ground nor does is especially memorable, but thanks to at least the decent chemistry between the two leads, it’s at least watchable.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.25/5
This release comes with a semi-glossy, title-embossed, slip cover. Inside contains the standard DVD Copy and a code for the Digital Copy (both UV and iTunes).
Extended Ending (2:36; HD) – Nothing major was added with this and I assume they cut it down for the sake of, what else, pacing. I actually prefer the original one as it flows better.
Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes (29:45; HD) – 19 scenes are collected here; nothing astounding or major but there are a couple good scenes and performances. I can see why some were cut as they would’ve dragged the movie out and made it unnecessarily longer.
The Making of Endless Love (17:59; HD) is your usual puff/EPK piece providing interviews with the cast and crew and some behind-the-scenes footage. It’s actually not terrible but you only learn some of the more basic info and it doesn’t exactly provide a whole lot of deep insight.
VIDEO – 5.0/5
Endless Love makes a connection on Blu-ray presented with a 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer (AVC codec). This is a great looking video with excellent detail levels throughout, colors are bright and have a certain pop to them, and blacks and darker areas don’t show any compressions issues or pixilation, artifacts, etc. There’s a certain amount of natural noise which doesn’t detract from the picture quality.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The movie received a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and although I don’t think it’s anything amazing, the vast majority of the audio takes place through the center channel for dialogue and on-screen action. The track does pick up some pace for a fire scene as well as the dramatic score by Christophe Beck (The Hangover Trilogy, Frozen, Edge of Tomorrow).
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Endless Love actually isn’t a terrible film (not exactly the highest praise, I know) where the two leads at least have some good chemistry and Bruce Greenwood is a lot of fun even if his character becomes a caricature by the end. It’s the typical love story seen numerous time (Footloose also has the same basic premise) but it’s not all bad and at least watchable if not also safe and forgettable. The Blu-ray released by Universal offers up incredible video, above average audio and a throwaway selection of features.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.