“Endless” entertainment with no real depth

New movie has great eye candy, but is too shallow for its ambitions

“Endless Love” isn’t quite sure what kind of movie it wants to be. It’s an adaptation of the book written by Scott Spencer and a remake of the 1981 soapy classic starring a very young Brooke Shields. Advertised as a romance movie between two teenagers in opposing financial classes, Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde) is the beautiful loner who just wants to have friends. David Elliot (Alex Pettyfer) is the hunky grease monkey who has always had a crush on her. This movie is full of stereotypical character tropes like these, including the African-American best friend who elicits the only intentional laughs from the audience. Jade’s father (Bruce Greenwood) has become even more protective over her after the death of his oldest son. The background storyline of Jade’s brother dying is interesting, and sets up exciting dynamics within the Butterfield family. But the movie never delves deeper than the shallow end.

Any interesting storyline or character development is scrapped for scenes after scenes of longing looks between David and Jade. Inconsistent directing adds focus to the mess of plot holes. The problem with “Endless Love” is its too ambitious. It has a relatively talented and good looking cast. The scenery is beautiful, including Jade’s monstrous mansion. While watching this movie, one can visualize what director Shana Feste (“Country Strong”) wanted her end product to be: a new and interesting romantic drama, not to be overshadowed by the original. While trying too hard to be different, it becomes the same corny romance seen every other week at the movie theatre.

That’s not saying it wasn’t entertaining. Looking past any depth this movie could have had, it is still the textbook sappy romance that teenagers flock to see, if only to live vicariously through the beautiful actors on the big screen. And that is what “Endless  Love” was made for.

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