ENDLESS LOVE is the story of Jade Butterfield and David Elliot. Both are teens attending the same Georgia high school. David has wanted to talk to Jade for the entire four years, but according to him, the right moment never arrived.
Not long after he complains about this state of affairs, luck and movie magic conspire to provide the right moment. David works parking cars at the country club where the Butterfields are members and, at the urging of his friend Mace (Dayo Okeniyi), David steps up and speaks up. Turns out Jade isn’t the snob suggested by her upper class background. She spent most of school hidden in plain sight. She wasn’t part of the social scene and became a little awkward because of it. People left her alone because she was mourning the death of her older brother.
Jade lives with her younger brother Keith (Rhys Whitfield), her mother Anne (Richardson) and her father Hugh (Greenwood). Her father is a high achiever. He is a heart surgeon whom Jade credits with keeping the family together after the oldest son died of cancer. However he has become an over-protective father when it comes to Jade. Hugh always wanted his oldest son to join the medical profession, now this dream and this pressure has been passed on to Jade.
David (Pettyfer) doesn’t have the same high ambitions. His father Harry (Robert Patrick) is an auto mechanic with his own shop. David wants to take over the business some day. Unlike the Butterfields, the Elliots are not a family who go to college. They are blue-collar folks who make money by literally getting their hands dirty.
Eventually, Hugh becomes aware that Jade has her sights fixed on David and he is unimpressed by the mechanic’s son. He sees the boy as a distraction to his daughter’s medical career. Jade on the other hand, is having fun for the first time in years. The rest of her family can see it. The stage is set for a clash between Hugh and David.
ENDLESS LOVE is a slickly made romance sprinkled with a few moments of light comedy. It is aimed squarely at a teen audience who will be right behind Jade and David from the get-go. David’s bid for Jade’s affection is direct and uncomplicated. Jade is transformed by her feelings for David. What’s not to like here, people? Sadly none of the other characters ever call them Javid. But they should have.
Bruce Greenwood plays Dad Butterfield with the right balance of smothering love and menace. Both Alex Pettyfer who plays David and Gabriella Wilde who plays Jade are easy on the eye. In fact, they first met while modeling for Burberry. Pettyfer does a solid job as David and we will definitely see the 23-year-old actor again.
An interesting sidenote is that despite this being an all-American tale set in Georgia, all bar one of the main cast (Patrick) are from places other than the USA. Greenwood is Canadian and Wilde, Pettyfer and Richardson are English. Australian actor Rhys Whitfield is probably best known for his time on HOME AND AWAY and also made an impact in the film THE BLACK BALLOON (2008).
ENDLESS LOVE is a remake of the 1981 movie directed by Franco Zeffirelli and it has a hardcore following of Generation X-ers who were teenagers at the time. These people are currently on the Internet reaffirming their eternal fealty to Brooke Shields’ incarnation of Jade. This new version of the story by director Shana Feste is a very different film with a lighter tone and a quite different plot. This is a date movie for teens that is handily there in the cinema for Valentine’s Day. ENDLESS LOVE is an entertaining movie for young romantics who believe in the ideal of pure love.
ENDLESS LOVE runs for 103 minutes and opens on Australian screens on February 13. My rating is 6/10.