Movie date: Endless Love

Movie still of Endless Love

STARRING: Gabriella Wilde, Alex Pettyfer, Bruce Greenwood, Joely Richardson, Robert Patrick

DIRECTOR: Shana Feste

THE SKINNY: Teenager Jade Butterfield (Wilde) has grown up under a domineering father (Greenwood) who expects her to follow in his footsteps as a doctor. When she finds love with the handsome David (Pettyfer), her father is livid and tries to destroy their relationship.

RATING: PG13

VENUS

This is not a movie for dads with teenage daughters.

To see your precious, obedient baby giving up her rosy future for a guy from the wrong side of the tracks will be torture indeed. 

But this premise is something we’ve seen so many times in movies like Father Of The Bride, Meet The Parents and The Notebook, making this latest entry downright cliched. For a movie that purports to be all about “endless love”, there’s zero chemistry between the leads, though I can see why David is so smitten by Jade. 

The gazelle-like Wilde is an extremely pretty girl, one who’s obviously not shy about shedding her clothes ever so often — certainly a delight for the men. Pettyfer serves as eye candy for the women. So on paper, you can’t really go wrong with such head-turners. 

But that’s where the problem is. Pettyfer and Wilde are as bland as they are good-looking.

Their acting skills are questionable, but maybe it’s the script’s fault as they’re not required to do much besides run towards each other, make out and gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes. 

Endless Love is nice to look at for sure, but it will only work for the hopeless romantics.

MARS

As a guy, I’m supposed to hate this sort of thing on principle.

I don’t.

It’s so rare to see a real love story in a movie theatre these days, and rarer still to see one that has nothing to do with romance writer Nicholas Sparks.

 I get a feeling watching this film that everyone involved took great care with it. The two leads — both unbelievably beautiful — are loving with their characters and each other. Pettyfer instils his humble mechanic with a real sense of nobility and tenderness. Wilde is the picture of innocence. 

As good as they are, it’s the bad daddy who ends up stealing the show. 

Greenwood manages to take the thankless role and turn it into something truly special. You can see there’s a good man in there somewhere, but his misery over a family tragedy has warped him, as it would anyone. 

Director Feste has made a beautiful-looking film that is at once a great love story and a great melodrama. It digs deep into class and family dynamics. There’s even a bit of humour thrown in. I honestly can’t understand why this wasn’t a hit. 

Am I alone in my love for love?

THE CONSENSUS: Regardless of their gender, hopeless romantics will love it whereas the more practical-minded will loathe it.

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