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Endless Love

14-year-old girls will love Endless Love. Maybe some of their moms will like it, too. Guys may appreciate it because of its potential to put their ladies in a romantic mood. But Endless Love is not a good movie.

David (Alex Pettyfer) and Jade (Gabriella Wilde) exchange glances at their high school graduation. Throughout 4 years of school, he’s never spoken to her! Coincidence of coincidences: David valet parks Jade’s family’s car when they go out to dinner that day. He takes her for a joyride in another guy’s cool car. Voila! Instant attraction!

Jade has a graduation party. David is there. They flirt. They kiss. They fall in love.

In short order, they consummate in front of a roaring fire. (The movie is set in Atlanta where it is hot right after graduation. Not exactly the best time to build a fire in the fireplace.) From that night on, they can’t get enough of each other.

The movie shifts its focus a bit to Jade’s father Hugh (Bruce Greenwood). His efforts to protect his daughter are not due merely to his knowing what teenage boys like to do to teenage girls. The death of Jade’s older brother two years earlier has caused her dad major grief and Jade is now the family’s shining star. Jade’s mother Anne (Joely Richardson) supports her daughter’s romance and has a bit of a mom-crush on David herself.

When Jade turns down her summer internship to stay home and party with David, the lovers have fun but dad is not happy. There’s a good bit of Hallmark Channel level melodrama that leads up to the film’s climax. Spoiler alert: Unlike Shakespeare’s precocious lovers Romeo and Juliet, neither David nor Jade die at the end.

Endless Love may click with teens because its sexual content is mild. The language is tame. Even when the kids get stoned, we don’t see them smoking onscreen. The rating is PG-13. (The 1981 Endless Love starring Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt was rated R.)

Endless Love caters to those who are in love with the idea of being in love. The two stars, Pettyfer (age 23) and Wilde (age 24), are attractive but their acting chops need to be honed a bit. You can send your teenage daughter to see Endless Love, but if you are over 17, you should view at your own risk.

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