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'Endless Love' review: Dense with romantic cliche and melodrama

Star of "Endless Love," Alex Pettyfer attends a premiere for "The Butler."
Star of "Endless Love," Alex Pettyfer attends a premiere for "The Butler."
Photo by Charley Gallay

Endless Love


Every year, lame romances are released for Valentine’s Day, and this year’s highlight, released Feb. 14, is “Endless Love,” a teen drama about a boy from the wrong side of the tracks falling in love with a rich, smart, innocent girl. Like a romantic film checklist, “Endless Love” contains every cliché to summarize what a soap opera covers each year instead of sticking to its own source material.

The day of graduation from high school, valet and part-time mechanic David (Alex Pettyfer) decides to finally talk to his crush, Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde). Jade has devoted the last four years of her life to being a perfect daughter for her parents (Bruce Greenwood and Joely Richardson) to replace her brother that died. Jade is awkward and exceptionally naïve. She feels obligated to live up to the expectations her father had for her dead brother, which has shut her off from making friends or finding love. She immediately becomes smitten with David and recklessly puts her new love first over all plans of the future. Her father lists numerous reasons to dismiss David, but his plans to separate the pair are only actualized when extreme events occur.

“Endless Love” goes through the gauntlet of events typical of romance films; there is domestic abuse, jealous exes, loss of virginity, first love, cancer, affairs, a car accident, fire, an arrest, a restraining order, etc. Mostly, though, it borrows from the classic “Say Anything” in its main plot of a young, brainy girl separated from her peers that falls for a guy with no future. However, it barely resembles the novel or 80s film it is based upon.

Besides being unoriginal and too dense with cliché, “Endless Love” features a few really bad moments and details. The ending is just plain awful with a false attempt at redemption and an abrupt, silly Hollywood-style ending. If you think of what will happen in their future, though, it is clear they will not live happily ever after. But the role of David’s token African American friend is just offensive; Mace (Dayo Okeniyi) is portrayed as a bad influence, convincing David and Jade into illegal activity and partying but also being unsupportive of his friend’s goals.

There is really nothing positive to say for the film except it has an enjoyable soundtrack.

Rating for “Endless Love:” D

For more information on this film or to watch its ill-fitting trailer, click here.

“Endless Love” is playing at most theatres in Columbus, including Movie Tavern. For showtimes, click here.