There are few things on this planet more obnoxious than young love. By nature, teenagers are pretty unbearable, but when their hormones start going, they become even worse. “It’s true love!” they yell, as they obliterate friendships, argue with their families, and burn bridges. Put simply, watching teens in love is the equivalent of water torture.
So, by that logic, Endless Love is like 105 minutes of water torture, but at least you get to leave.
Director: Shana Feste
Release Date: February 14, 2014
I almost don’t want to recount the plot of Endless Love because I hated every second of this insipid film. To remember what occurred requires looking back on the movie, almost like reliving a car crash. In fact, there was a two-month period where reliving a genuine car crash was just about all I could do. I long for those days.
Anyway, there are some teenagers in this movie — David Elliot (Alex Pettyfer) and Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde) and they fall in love. The girl’s dad, Hugh, (Bruce Greenwood) is against this because he’s a dick. That’s basically his motivation. I mean, there’s a reason for his dickishness, but it’s a dumb reason and there’s absolutely zero nuance to his character.
Maybe ‘character’ is the wrong word. There is not one human being in this film. Nobody changes in an organic way. They don’t even have conversations with each other! I realize screenplays have to be tight; regular conversations must have purpose, be it a revelation about a character, exposition, or just simple character building. But that last one is crucial.
Without real people, there’s no reason for the audience to care. You don’t have a story if you don’t have characters. And Endless Love does not have a single character, aside from the comedy black sidekick (Dayo Okeniyi) who delivers one pretty funny line. The actors on screen exist solely to move the plot and erect roadblocks between David and Jade.
There’s a couple sub-plots, but the movie isn’t really about them. It’s about young love. To be fair, the sub-plots are also love-themed, but they’re agonizingly dull and don’t amount to much. Again, it’s difficult to care when there’s nobody to care about.
“But this is a love story! Surely that must be good, right?” you may ask. Well, considering the fact that by forcing myself to analyze this wretched trainwreck, I am literally giving myself a headache. So no, it’s not good. One might even say it’s bad.
The lack of character extends to the love story, of course! These two cardboard cutouts are just bumping up against each other. At least Jade’s infatuation is somewhat understandable. After the death of her brother, she retreated into a shell during high school, and David is the first person who bothered talking to her.
Which is difficult to sympathize with for a whole host of other reasons. Jade is sad because nobody talks to her, but they don’t actively dislike her. In fact, quite the opposite: once she comes out of her shell, people seem happy to spend time with her. She just doesn’t talk with anybody and then wonders why nobody talks to her.
But David? The film opens with him staring at Jade, musing about how much he’d like to put it up her Butterfield. They talk for a bit, David tricks a gaggle of high schoolers who look like they should be grad students into coming to Jade’s graduation party. And then, the same night their romance begins, they sleep together in a startling display of immaturity on the part of both teens before falling into a deep love that only serves to baffle.
The next hour is the equivalent of a condescending old lady smearing frankly too much butter on a slice of white bread and violently attempting to push it through your eye sockets. There’s a perfunctory action climax, but — I cannot stress this enough — I did not care. There is no reason to care about literally anything that happens in this film. It’s so empty.
Look, I love our Editor-in-Chief Matthew Razak as much as the next Flixist employee (very much). But that bastard tempted fate when he said The Legend of Hercules was going to be the worst movie of 2014, and then left me to bite the bullet. Thanks, Matt!
You don’t need me to tell you that Endless Love is garbage. But it’s not even a funny kind of garbage. It’s a very smug, insulting bad movie. You gain nothing for having watched it, and the world gains even less for its existence.
I do not recommend Endless Love.