Endless Love (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner14/02/2014

One out of Five stars
Running time: 103 mins

Painfully clichéd and utterly predictable, this is a truly dismal romantic drama that's scuppered by flat direction, dreadful dialogue and chemistry-free performances from the two leads. Come back Nicholas Sparks, all is forgiven.

What's it all about?
Directed by Shana Feste, Endless Love is a remake of Franco Zeffirelli's 1981 romance, a film that's chiefly notable for its best-selling theme song and the fact that it featured an early appearance by Tom Cruise. Alex Pettyfer stars as working-class teenager David, who waits until graduation to make his move on beautiful Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde), a privileged rich kid who somehow doesn't have any actual friends other than her brother Kevin (Rhys Wakefield).

Jade and David immediately fall for each other, but their romance quickly hits an obstacle in the shape of Jade's controlling, over-protective father Hugh (Bruce Greenwood), who uses every trick in the book to destroy their relationship. Meanwhile, Jade's mother Anne (Joely Richardson) tries to smooth things over as best she can, while Kevin has his own father-son issues to deal with.

The Bad
Alex Pettyfer is spectacularly bland as David, failing to spark any chemistry at all with Wilde; worse still, he somehow manages to look ten years older than her, despite them only being one year apart in real life (they are 24/23, but playing 17). Similarly, Wilde is a simpering, insipid presence on screen, whose one distinctive quality appears to be that she has a nice line in scampering, while Greenwood struggles with his ridiculously over-the-top, excruciatingly one-note character and Dayo Okeniyi is embarrassingly over-enthusiastic as David's best friend, Mace.

The simplistic script is packed to the gills with tired clichés, rendering the film entirely predictable from start to finish. To be fair, there is nothing inherently wrong with clichés if marshalled correctly, but all the supposedly emotional moments fall completely flat here, due to a combination of dreadful dialogue, flat direction and blank-faced performances.

The Worse
The film's biggest problem is that Pettyfer is so fundamentally unlikeable that you end up sympathising with Bruce Greenwood's character - when he says "If you stay with him instead of going off to medical school you'll RUIN YOUR LIFE," it's hard not to nod along in sympathy. Say what you like about the Nicholas Sparks movies (even the rubbish ones) - at least they get the chemistry and character development right.

On top of that, the film is so utterly generic that it's a surprise that they even bothered referencing the original film, especially as he remake doesn't even feature a cover of the hit song.

Worth seeing?
Endless Love is a poorly directed, atrociously written romantic drama that lacks both romance and drama. Track down the 1981 version instead – at least that's got Tom Cruise in it.

Film Trailer

Endless Love (12A)
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Content updated: 14/12/2017 09:47

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