- Rob Carnevale
- 11 February 2014
A by-the-numbers love story starring Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde
Franco Zeffirelli's original 1981 film Endless Love (itself based on Scott Spencer's 1979 novel) was notable for featuring a very young Tom Cruise in a minor role as an arsonist. Shana Feste's remake, however, struggles to be notable for anything at all. This by-the-numbers love story follows a privileged but emotionally damaged girl (Gabriella Wilde) and a charismatic but angry young man (Alex Pettyfer) whose relationship is greeted with dismay by the former's father (Bruce Greenwood).
Feste's film isn't a carbon copy of the original, which in itself doesn't scream out for a makeover, and it's a more hopeful experience. But an absence of chemistry between the young leads and a lack of risk-taking in the storytelling leaves even veteran character actors such as Greenwood and Robert Patrick (as Pettyfer's father) floundering. There are some interesting thematic undercurrents, in particular touching on the effect the loss of a child has on a family, but by slavishly pandering to movie conventions (the disapproving father stereotype is massively overdone and employs a wholly predictable story arc) it pales in comparison to better examples of the genre such as In The Bedroom or Rabbit Hole.
Neither Pettyfer (who already has bad form for choosing romantic roles in films like Wild Child and Beastly) nor Wilde (who fared much better in last year's Carrie remake) offer anything interesting in the portrayal of their characters. Perhaps aware of its own emotional shortcomings, Endless Love is the type of film that resorts to big soundtrack moments to let viewers know how they should be feeling, which has the effect of highlighting the movie's failings even more.
General release from Fri 14 Feb.