Endless Love (2014) Blu-ray Review
We’ve all seen or heard the story dozens if not hundreds of times. The beautiful, smart but withdrawn girl and the troubled, ‘from the wrong side of the tracks’ boy finally connect and fall head-over-heals in love with each other. Her family objects so she rebels for the first time in her life and suddenly the family’s world, which was hanging together by a thread, starts to fall apart. Basic. Cliché. Unoriginal. Boring. All of these words fit new film ENDLESS LOVE to a tee.
ENDLESS LOVE is actually an adaptation of a novel by the same name from 1979. Incidentally, the book was already adapted to film (in the early ‘90s) but if you remember that flick chances are this one wouldn’t be at all recognizable. This version of ENDLESS LOVE (2014) is notably watered-down and formulaic to the extreme, which was probably intentional given the original works were actually kind of glorified stalker/misogyny fairy-tales. Instead of keeping with that vein (which was actually somewhat before it’s time) this time the filmmakers decided to keep the loss of innocence without making the lead characters despicable. That’s all well and good but when you spend too much time filing off the rough edges you could easily end up with a finished product indistinguishable from every other movie of the genre like it.
ENDLESS LOVE stars Alex Pettyfer (from MAGIC MIKE, 2012 and I AM NUMBER FOUR, 2011) as the young and troubled (but also saccharine sweet) David Elliot. Pettyfer displays the emotional range of a stovetop but he does really try to look sad – but it comes off like this – ‘I’m really sad! Can’t you see my pouty lip? Can’t you tell I’m so happy and look at my pouty lip?’ The center of David’s affections for a long time, though he has only admired from afar, is the waif-like Jade Butterfield (played by Gabriella Wilde). Jade is a young woman who was very popular until one of her older brothers died of cancer, throwing her family into turmoil and causes her to withdraw from everything and everyone.
When they finally talk to each other, they supposedly have immediate chemistry though it’s hard to tell with the acting. Soon they are dating in a whirlwind montage that lasts about 5 minutes where we see them laughing and smiling, doing things together over a 7-10 day period. From here on out we apparently are supposed to believe this short time together and created an immutable bond between them. All the while, Jade’s father is getting more and more upset at the changes in his daughter. Jade’s father Hugh Butterfield is played by Bruce Greenwood, the only actor who really, believably inhabits his role. Unfortunately for anyone who has seen his prior work the role is pretty much the same one he’s played in everything.
As I started to say above, the plot for ENDLESS LOVE is so clichéd it’s almost offensive. There isn’t an original character in the entire film and most of the time we’re left wondering what, why, how these folks even came to be involved in this train wreck. I supposed if someone had pitched it to me, as an actor, that I would get to work on a movie that shares (albeit on a terribly superficial way) the beats from Cameron Crowe’s 1989 masterpiece SAY ANYTHING. But where SAY ANYTHING is a classic ENDLESS LOVE misses the mark in just about every way.
Even the pacing is bad, a 90 minute film that feels like a 4 hour miniseries… this thing is just plain broken. I understand wanting to see a movie about love, I even like the tagline ‘A love worth fighting for,’ but if we never connect with the story, with the actors, it is a moot point. In the end, ENDLESS LOVE isn’t just forgettable, it is flat-out awful. If you’re in the mood for a film like this, I strongly suggest either the aforementioned SAY ANYTHING. If for some reason that one is too old for you, then you should check in definitely check out Spike Jonze’s more recent HER, which accomplishes with only 1 actor on the screen to tell a more authentic relationship.
ENDLESS LOVE BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2.35:1) The video presentation of ENDLESS LOVE is immersive despite the lackluster story and wooden performances.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The audio is also competently produced and mixed on ENDLESS LOVE but technical achievement cannot substitute for the lack of authenticity in this already struggling feature.
*Extended Ending (02:36) A very slight extension of the theatrical ending for ENDLESS LOVE, this special feature is barely worth the two and a half minutes.
*Deleted, Alternate, and Extended Scenes (29:45) A whopping (and unnecessary) 19 scenes are included on the ENDLESS LOVE Blu-ray. The film is so tedious, however, you may find yourself wondering how much worse it could have been like if they had kept all of this in the movie. The only positive here is the fact that ENDLESS LOVE would really have benefited from a few more scenes establishing the relationship between David and Jade as the whole thing feels a bit forced.
The Making of ENDLESS LOVE (17:59) A decent enough ‘making of’ special feature appears on both the Blu-ray and DVD release of ENDLESS LOVE. Only for the hardcore fans of this film (if you’re out there).
The ENDLESS LOVE Blu-ray also comes with the DVD copy of ENDLESS LOVE, an UltraViolet DigitalHD Digital Copy and an iTunes Digital Copy, as well as previews for other upcoming Universal Pictures films.
*Special features beginning with an asterisk are only available on the Blu-ray of ENDLESS LOVE.