Romance Film Endlessly Bland

Jaime Brown, Staff Writer

Shana Feste’s Endless Love, starring Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde, premiered Valentine’s Day. It is loosely based off of the 1979 novel and 1981 film of the same name.

Endless Love tells the story of shy, privileged Jade Butterfield and poor yet optimistic David Elliot. After Jade’s brother Chris dies of cancer during her early high school years, she dedicates herself entirely to schoolwork and secludes herself in the safe cocoon of her family, never making friends or branching out.

David watches from afar throughout high school, intrigued and perplexed by her mysteriousness. The two see each other after graduation, and fall in love, despite Jade’s father’s attempts to keep David away from his daughter.

While I am a hopeless romantic, the predictability of the plot disappointed me. It was embarrassingly cliche: a rich girl with an overprotective father falls in love with a poor boy.

Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers said, “Endless Love is a photo shoot, not a movie. It’d play better as a slideshow of jpgs. Even nine-year-old girls ought to cry foul on this movie’s endless blandless.”

I was further disappointed by the characters’ lack of depth. Jade is selfish and spoiled, not to mention mindless enough to give up her college experience as a pre-med student at Brown University, and essentially her entire future, for a virtual stranger. David practically stalked Jade in school, and 4 years later, finally has the guts to talk to her.

Endless Love was cheesy and ridiculous. The lesson seems to be that it’s okay to ignore your boyfriend’s violent past, it’s okay break into a zoo in the middle of the night, and it’s okay to rebel against your parents. 

Stars Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde portrayed their perfect, cookie-cutter characters by reciting lines from a bland script. On the rare occasion that any emotion was allowed, it was unconvincing. “Their characters might as well be called Ken and Barbie for all the depth they bring to this wish-fulfillment fantasy of social mobility,” Time Out London’s Trevor Johnston said.

One upside to the movie was the supporting characters. Bruce Greenwood portrayed Jade’s father well, and showed more raw emotion than the two leads combined. Also, Jade’s brother Keith was funny and entertaining, and I preferred the love story of him and his girlfriend Sabine to Jade and David’s romance.