Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Endless Love (PG-13/103 Minutes)



I took my friend Mack with me last night to the pre-screening of the movie Endless Love. When it was over, I asked Mack what she thought.

“I liked it against my will.”

That’s not what I expected to hear but I completely understand. I wanted to see this film but the timing, for me, was not the best. Not having a Valentine of my own (I know. Boo hoo.) I wasn’t sure how I’d respond to this kind of movie this week. It was fine. It was more than fine. I really liked it. I will tell you right now that you need to take your special schnookums to see Endless Love this weekend. Actually, I encourage all you couples out there to go see this on Friday. Because it’s just that good and, if you are all at the theater, traffic shouldn’t be bad while I’m out running errands. See? Win-win!

Endless Love is the story of Jade and David. She’s a doctor’s daughter and he’s a mechanic’s son. I know. I know. You think you can already see where this is headed. Don’t jump to conclusions! You never know. I have to admit to expecting a cheese fest. Let me assure you, the cheese was kept to a minimum. Despite growing up in a well-to-do household, Jade has not had an easy last few years and it has affected her socially. David helps her come out of her shell, much to her dad’s chagrin. David’s past hasn’t been all that great either but he’s holding on to an ideal of love that I wish more people – myself included – carried. The only thing I had trouble with during this movie was picturing them as fresh out of high school. Twenty-somethings can only look so young. Other than that…

Alex Pettyfer is David Elliot. I own it. He’s the main reason I wanted to see this movie. I didn’t even care what it was about as long as he was in it. I first saw him in Beastly (or was it I Am Number Four?) and have liked him ever since. It’s got to be the eyes. Sigh. Anyway, I think he was a good choice for this role. I understood his anger though I wish he’d reeled it in when others egged him on. I liked that he tried to get on Jade’s dad’s good side after making a bad first AND second impression. I liked that he protected his friends and girlfriend. I loved that he fought for her. Take note people. If someone’s not worth fighting for you should probably move on. I’m just saying.

Gabriella Wilde is Jade. She has been over-protected for years and her innocence shows. Gabriella was also a good choice for this film. Well done casting people. I can’t imagine anyone else as Jade. She kept her look of innocence long after it had gone by the wayside. But! Where is Jade when the going gets tough? You really need to go and see. I do feel that she was a touch na├»ve but, considering her life, it’s really not surprising. And it works for her.

Bruce Greenwood is Hugh Butterfield, Jade’s dad. I wanted to understand him. I really did. But then he went and did the things he did and I couldn’t be bothered to try anymore. He’s built a shrine to one of his children, stuck Jade on a pedestal and left the third sibling blowing in the wind. And he treats his wife as if she is an afterthought. Gives you all kinds of warm fuzzies, doesn’t it? Hugh is very predictable. For the most part. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

Joely Richardson is Anne Butterfield, Jade’s mom. I saw Joely years ago in the movie Shining Through and have disliked her, based on that one role, ever since. It’s just like my dad’s feelings towards Louise Fletcher because of her role as Nurse Ratched. If you have no idea who that is…why not? Back to Joely. This role made me absolutely love her. Even though she’s been through the same ordeal as the rest of her family, Anne maintains almost the same sense of innocence that Jade does. When Jade is finally happy again Anne soaks it up. She revels in her children’s joy. In one scene her kids and their girlfriend/boyfriend are lighting fireworks and having a grand old time. She’s right in the middle of it all and looks like she’s having the time of her life. And on several occasions she throws some good life truths in Hugh’s face and I loved her for those too. She is a good good person and her almost instant bond with David was heart-warming.

Finally, I want to mention three more people and I’ll get on with the breakdown. Rhys Wakefield, Robert Patrick and Anna Enger were in several scenes but were, sadly, secondary characters. Well, someone had to be. I still loved all three in their own special way. Robert Patrick is Harry Elliot, David’s dad. Talk about a supportive/protective dad! Wow! Everyone should have parents like him. Rhys Wakefield is Keith Butterfield, Jade’s brother. He’s the brother every person should have. Watch his face when Jade and David are talking during the trip in the Jeep. He loves his sister and it shows. And last, but not least, is Anna Enger, Keith’s girlfriend Sabine. She loves Keith, loves his mom and tolerates his dad. She didn’t get to talk much but she didn’t need to. She knows the value of words and when best to use them. I could learn a thing or twenty from her.

I don’t think younger kids would enjoy this movie but I’m going to break it down anyway so you’ll have some idea of why it earned its PG-13 rating.

Sex/Nudity – Yes. Jade strips down to her unders but her hair covers up the important parts. She also stands in front of a fire in a very flimsy nightgown but, once again, the important parts are covered. The sex scene is not graphic and not shown for long. You basically know what they’re doing but may have to explain to curious youngsters. Just so you know.

Drinking/Drugs/Smoking – Yes to the drinking at a couple parties. I don’t recall seeing any drugs or smoking.

Cussing/Swearing – There was some cussing but I only caught about seven or eight words and those were limited to S and AH. If you don’t know what those letters stand for, yea for you! I only heard one JC so they kept the swearing to a minimum too.

Violence – 2 different people get punched and they both deserved it.

I would recommend Endless Love to pretty much anyone other than young children. They won’t enjoy it. If you’re part (well, both parts) of a couple, go see this. If you’re part of a new couple, definitely go see this. You’re already in hyper-mush mode anyway. If you’re single, give it a shot. It’s nice to hope. As mentioned at the beginning I was not in a romance movie kind of mood but I was quickly sucked in to this one. So, apparently, was the guy behind me. Once the movie really got going, he stopped fidgeting and kicking me. That, in and of itself, would encourage me to go see a movie. Make this part of your Valentine’s weekend plans. You’ll be glad you did.

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