Endless Love – Review

 

With Nicolas Sparks adaptations now being flung at cinema screens about every eighteen months, it’s an easy mistake to assume that Endless Love is simply yet another. That it’s not is only minorly surprising. In fact, far more surprising is that Endless Love is so unmitigatedly awful on just about every level that it somehow manages to make the average Nicolas Sparks adaptation look like a testament to the foundation of cinema.

 

Loosely based on the 1979 novel that in turn became a 1981 Brooke Shields movie, Endless Love is the story of a sheltered rich girl who falls in love with the son of a local mechanic. The crux? Daddy doesn’t approve. That’s it. That’s the movie. It’s got a pair of good looking teen actors as the leads, Bruce Greenwood plays the rich dad, Robert Patrick (why?!) plays the poor one. You could assign this plot to a legion of monkeys with typewriters and the results would invariably match the finished film.

 

Drippier than a drainpipe in a monsoon, Endless Love is every bit as saccharine and nauseating as it’s title would suggest. Predictable, devoid of any narrative suspense or intrigue, it’s a paint-by-numbers rom-dram of the lowest calibre. Greenwood and Patrick aside, the cast uniformly put in Hallmark Movie-Of-The-Week performances and leave you spending the film’s entire run time wondering exactly how much you have to pay a Redgrave (Joely Richardson in this case) to sell their soul. There is not a single solitary minute of the film that doesn’t grate on your nerves with the fury of a thousand nails on chalkboards, and that the cast seem (mostly) to be aware of it doesn’t particularly help matters.

 

There’s a rather dark-hearted cynicism at work within Endless Love, a sense that the leads know full well that what they’re doing will only ever be enjoyed by fourteen year-old girls during sleepovers and that being “really really good looking” is all that their roles require. The choice to release the film on Valentine’s Day, in particular, strikes you as the one thing about the whole affair that warranted a second’s thought. It’s beyond dreadful, it’s trite, melodramatic, ham-fisted and staggeringly dull. It undoes in 103 painfully long minutes every shred of effort Alex Pettyfer has ever put into moving beyond Alex Rider: Stormbreaker, it makes a Hollyoaks actress into a genuinely high-point, and finally, when the entire cast and crew are dragged before the World Court to answer for crimes against humanity, the crime at the top of their list of atrocities will be that they somehow actually managed to make Safe Haven, last year’s Nicholas Sparks adaptation, a truly vomit-inducing affair that genuinely included the line “look at the moon tonight, it’s positively transcendent”, look half-decent by comparison.

 

 

Catch Van Connor’s reviews in our Movies section and live on Slam Dunk Cinema every Saturday at 12PM on Sheffield Live! 93.2FM or on the podcast via iTunes.

 

In it
Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde, Bruce Greenwood

Behind it
Shana Feste




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