Endless Love

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Endless Love

First, the bad news: this reworking on the 1981 classic does not take the same approach as that film and depicts quasi-underage love (he was 17; she was 15) as some kind of dangerous mental affliction that will burn down both homes and lives with its unstoppable passion.
For starters, both our endless lovers here – small town mechanic and country club valet David (Alex Pettyfer) and rich girl Jade (Gabriella Wilde), who’s spent the last few years in a social isolation chamber after the death of her brother Chris – are firmly of age, with the film’s opening scene showing the pair of them graduating from high school. He’s had a crush on her forever but never had the guts to speak to her; she sees him at the local country club and decides there’s never been a better time to hold a party. So of course they end up getting it on in a closet, which doesn’t impress her dad (Bruce Greenwood).
Having already lost one son, and with his other something of a disappointment, dad has Jade’s future all mapped out – and it doesn’t involve spending summer having sex with her boyfriend every chance she gets. Despite David’s best efforts – fixing the dead son’s car, always showing respect, getting on well with Jade’s mum (Joely Richardson) – it’s increasingly clear that Jade’s father is never going to warm to him. But when you’re that deeply in love, who cares? Oh look, here come the cops with a restraining order…
It’s kind of refreshing to see a big screen love story that’s just a love story – no supernatural elements, no high stakes drama, just two crazy kids in love and the grumpy dad trying to keep them apart. Though the reason why most love stories have those things now is because a): showing anyone under 18 getting it on is a no-no and b): having anyone over 18 being told what to do by their parents is kind of lame, which means that even though this mostly manages to get away with it there are a few point where it’s tempting to yell at the screen “just move out of home already”.
Pettyfer has a slightly wider range of anguished expressions, so he wins on the acting front, but everyone here is on the same, somewhat bland, level – not an insult, by the way, as even the slightest trace of ham from anyone would upset the low-key but finely-balanced tone – so it all evens out.
This has nothing wider to say about love, romance, being young, having kids, or anything else: it’s just a small-scale, generally efficient, totally unspectacular love story.
Written by Anthony Morris