Endless Love (PG-13)

Drama 103 February 14th, 2014
By Heather Baysa
The endless love in question unfolds in that universe where shy, bookish teenage girls are always catalog-model beautiful, not a pimple in sight or a pound overweight, not a garment from Hot Topic darkening their closets. The movie tells us that 17-year-old Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde) is "awkward" and has no friends, but all expository evidence stops right there. She has just graduated from high school -- you know, the one with exactly two black students who date each other -- and is bound for the Ivy Leagues when lowly but popular son-of-an-auto-mechanic David Elliot (Alex Pettyfer, who would need to be five years younger and drastically beefed down to pass as a teenager) begins pursuing her with the immediate, freaky prowess of a guy who would intentionally poke holes in a condom. Granted, raw intensity is the point here, as it was in the 1981 Brooke Shields original. But at least the old one aimed to illustrate the destructive nature of untempered passion -- with an ultra-metaphorical house fire, no less. This film is a sunny, overlong pastiche of tropes, the kind that suggest love involves nothing more than holding hands or having slow, teary-eyed sex in front of a fireplace, inexplicably blazing in mid-June. We never hear the central couple have a conversation that's not centered on their unwarranted, histrionic love. And therein lies the kicker. They actually do make a good couple. Both Jade and David are searching for the blankest of all possible slates: a human void unmarred by personality onto which they can each project their weird possessive fantasies. They certainly find it in each other.
Shana Feste Alex Pettyfer, Robert Patrick, Gabriella Wilde, Dayo Okeniyi, Anna Enger, Sharon Conley, Jesse Malinowski, Matthew Withers Shana Feste, Joshua Safran Scott Stuber, Pamela Abdy, Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage Universal Pictures