It appears that Hollywood has run out of Nicholas Sparks novels to make, so this Valentines day we were treated to a remake of a forgettable 1981’s movie, Endless Love.
The original movie was somewhat of a flop both critically and financially so remaking it never really seemed an overly wise move in the first place.
So what have we got to deal with here? Alex Pettyfer takes on the role of David, a rebellious troubled teen who falls in love with Jade, a socially uncomfortable book worm who was in his year at school. Sound familiar? Well that’s because it is, however there is something not quite right here; David really doesn’t seem that rebellious, I mean yeah he punches a few people but on the whole he seems a pretty normal guy, whilst Jade isn’t all that socially inept either, in fact she’s stunning to look at and appears to be perfectly adapt at handling herself after just one incredibly sober and boring party.
So what we are presented with is not two star crossed lovers, no, we have two perfectly normal teenagers who just happen to be a lot more beautiful than everyone around them and also happen to fall in love.
Matthew McConaughey has stepped his game up in recent years and it would appear that he needs an heir to his rubbish romance/rom-com throne, in a some what brilliant twist of fate it would look as though as he found one in his Magic Mike apprentice Alex Pettyfer. Pettyfer manages to take his top of on at least 10 different occasions during the movie, a feat that Mr McConaughey himself would have been proud of. Gabriella Wilde on the other hand is gorgeous but that’s about as far as it goes, her character and her performance are about as interesting as watching cardboard exist and the two lack any real chemistry despite the movies best efforts.
Of course by efforts I mean every contrived situation they manage to find themselves in. Candle lit room for their first kiss? Check, taking her virginity in front of an open fire? Check, conveniently dropping her books in-front of him for their first encounter? Check. You get the idea.
By all accounts Scott Spencer’s original novel on which both the original and this version are based is a genuinely in depth look into the angst of teenage love and the problems that it brings with it, which just emphasises what a missed opportunity this movie is. There are some genuinely challenging ideas to be looked at in this movie, notably the relationship between fathers and their daughters/sons but this movie does nothing but cheapen them with cheap clichés and over sentiment.
Verdict: A more apt title for this movie would have been Endless Suffering. With a run time of just over 100 minutes Endless Love feels like a slow walk down a lane that you’ve visited millions of times before. Romance may not be dead just yet, but movies like this certainly have the grim reaper licking his lips.