MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

By Mike Wilmington

Wilmington on Movies: Endless Love


ENDLESS LOVE (One and a Half Stars)

U.S. Shana Feste, 2013

Endlessly, undyingly…No, we’ve already done that one.

Still, if your appetite for  a Valentine’s Weekend of unfettered romance and unashamed date movies hasn‘t been satiated by Winter‘s Tale or About Last Night, you can always dive in to the endless malarkey of another Endless Love. Not the unabashed 1981 original about teenagers madly in love, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, with Brooke Shields — which is infamous for being a ludicrous misfire, a waste of a   good novel and  one of the worst movies of its era — but a brand new version by director/co-writer Shana Feste, which is even less faithful to Scott Spencer’s book, even more ludicrous and an even worse movie.

Will this become a trend: redoing old lousy movies and making them even lousier? The possibilities seem endless. And frightening. This time the undyingly-in-lovers are a pair of knockout Atlanta teens impersonated by British twenty-something ex-models and now actors Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde, who look as if their lives were  a perpetual Calvin Klein or Gap assignment. Movie-star-handsome David Elliot is played by Pettyfer, who was the star-is-born  stripper in Magic Mike, and Chanel model-beautiful Jade Butterfield is played by Wilde, who was Sue Snell in the new Carrie.

These are among the last two people in the world you’d expect to have any trouble getting a date. Pettyfer in particular looks almost ideal for sexy rogue movie roles, which is pretty much what he played in Magic Mike. But, in the movie, David  has apparently loved Jade from afar for most of their high school years, too shy to even strike up a conversation in the school hall or the library or by her locker — even, though he looks like a  model, and has, for this role a likable, almost self-effacing  personality. (He was a jerk in Magic Mike.) Jade, meanwhile has no boy or girlfriends and has foregone dating throughout her high school years, the better to mourn the untimely death of her brother and bury herself in books and  deal with a truly bizarre home situation with her father, Hugh (Bruce Greenwood), who is obsessed with getting her into medical school and becomes obsessed with keeping her away from David, who strikes him as too lower-class. (David’s father, played by Robert Patrick, runs a garage, which is not exactly near-poverty.)

But when the two lovers-to-be sight each other across a crowded lawn at the high school graduation reception, sparks fly. Love hits the angelic princess and the bashful hunk, like a ton of Nicholas Sparks DVDs. David can stand the separation no longer. He speaks to her. He gives her killer hunk looks, and she flashes her shy princess smile. They plan a party, at her house, to introduce her to all of the classmates she never talked to and is now leaving behind for medical school.

Dizzy with joy, they leap into a sunlit lake together. They kiss. They swoon with delight. They make love before a roaring fire blazing away in a huge, photogenic fireplace, so desperately in love, or so intent on the scene’s visual symbolism, that neither of them notices that it’s the middle of summer. David makes a hit with Jade’s mother Anne (Joely Richardson), who looks like she wants to gobble him up too. David, Jade and David’s friends — including his scamp of a best bud Mace (Dayo Okeniyi) — break into a zoo, play with the elephant and jump on a merry-go-round. David is arrested. Ah love, sweet love, endless love. Not even a Pepsi ad could have shown it better

But trouble strikes. In the original novel, David was so barmy with desire he burned down the Butterfield home and wound up in the mental hospital and the clink. Here, besides doing stupid things, like driving off in  car that he’s parking (to aggravate the snobbish driver) and breaking into the zoo, David is bedeviled by Jade’s wildly jealous father, Hugh (Bruce Greenwood), who wants his blonde bombshell of a daughter to forget about boys, especially David, and  nd concentrate on medical school — with Greenwood, usually a fine actor, ,giving one of the twitchiest performances this side of Anthony Perkins in Psycho. Hugh is the one who’s really driven mad with love here, but the movie, which is essentially humorless, doesn’t push the point.

How many times can Spencer‘s love story keep  getting debauched?  This is the second botched version of Scott Spencer’s well-regarded 1979 novel of  endless, undying love —  — and by now the new film makes the first one seem like Splendor in the Grass and the novel seem like Anna Karenina. Since the original material is so archetypal, ersatz Romeo and Juliet, set in (or just after) high school, the potential for new travesties seems… endless.


The cinematography (by Andrew Dunn) and the production design (by Clay A. Griffith) are so gleamingly posh and stunningly conspicuous-consumptionish, you keep waiting for spme product placement of, at the very least, BMW. L’Oreal or Absolut Vodka. Director-co-writer Feste (who made the equally pretty but predictable Country Strong), never passes up an opportunity to showcase her stars, or Greenwood’s twitches or the script’s balderdash.  And though both Spencer’s book and Zeffirelli’s picture have unconventional endings, don’t expect this show to dodge any clichés. And also don’t expect to hear the nine-week Number One smash hit Diana RossLionel Richie title song “Endless Love’ that enlivened the first movie and was it‘s single greatest success (other than introducing Tom Cruise and James Spader in the supporting cast) though this movie could have really used it, and them.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.


awesome stuff. OK I would like to contribute as well by sharing this awesome link, that personally helped me get some amazing and easy to modify. check it out at All custom premade files, many of them totally free to get. Also, check out Dow on: Wilmington on DVDs: How to Train Your Dragon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Darjeeling Limited, The Films of Nikita Mikhalkov, The Hangover, The Human Centipede and more ...

cool post. OK I would like to contribute too by sharing this awesome link, that personally helped me get some amazing and easy to customize. check it out at All custom templates, many of them dirt cheap or free to get. Also, check out Downlo on: Wilmington on Movies: I'm Still Here, Soul Kitchen and Bran Nue Dae

awesome post. Now I would like to contribute too by sharing this awesome link, that personally helped me get some beautiful and easy to modify. take a look at All custom premade files, many of them free to get. Also, check out DownloadSoho.c on: MW on Movies: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Paranormal Activity 2, and CIFF Wrap-Up

Carrie Mulligan on: Wilmington on DVDs: The Great Gatsby

isa50 on: Wilmington on DVDs: Gladiator; Hell's Half Acre; The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Rory on: Wilmington on Movies: Snow White and the Huntsman

Andrew Coyle on: Wilmington On Movies: Paterson

tamzap on: Wilmington on DVDs: The Magnificent Seven, Date Night, Little Women, Chicago and more …

rdecker5 on: Wilmington on DVDs: Ivan's Childhood

Ray Pride on: Wilmington on Movies: The Purge: Election Year

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon