Posted February 12, 2014 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Movies/TV

MOVIE REVIEW: A lack of depth in “Endless Love”

(Our go-to girl for films that touch the heart, Shayne Zalameda, was invited to the special screening of the film adaptation of Endless Love. Read on to find out how she felt about the movie. Take it away, Shayne!)


Bluegrass Films, Fake Empire, Universal Pictures
Starring Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde, Robert Patrick, Bruce Greenwood, Rhys Wakefield, Dayo Okeniyi, Emma Rigby, and Joely Richardson
Directed by Shana Feste

Philippine Release Date: February 12, 2014
Runtime: 103 minutes (1 hour 43 minutes)
MTRCB Rating: R-13

Watch the trailer here:


There is a relatively high regard for books turned into movie adaptations. Now, whether such an effort remains entirely truthful to its literary counterpart or runs an extremely different plot overall depends entirely on how the filmmakers showcase it. And of course, these productions are usually either a hit or a miss.

Unfortunately, Endless Love’s narrative fails tremendously.

Endless Love is the second movie adaptation of Scott Spencer’s novel of the same name. It opens with an establishing shot of a high school graduation, focusing on a girl – blue eyes, thick eyelashes, blond hair loosely worn down with a half-braid on its crown, a seemingly reserved and refined wallflower – one who survived high school without any friends. A guy narrates his unrequited love for this girl from years dating way, way back. Then it takes a turn when these two — Jade (Gabriella Wilde), a privileged seventeen year old girl, and David (Alex Pettyfer), a charismatic and intelligent guy with small dreams — fall in love. The members of Jade’s family become spectators, with her father as a detractor in the pair’s game of love, courage, and awakening, in this modern tale reminiscent of Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook.

While the film has hints of a fresh take on romantic drama, it is stitched with numerous clichés of the genre: wayward souls, disapproving parents, and the belief that first love lasts forever. Pettyfer and Wilde’s chemistry shines despite the material. However, it’s the treatment of the characters that becomes a major disappointment. Endless Love lacks emotional depth, character development, and a compelling plot. It has one major climax involving the supposed arson in the novel, but in the film, it was reduced to a candle tipping over accidentally, and it was inadequate in getting the viewers’ nod.

The only character here that brought the entire material to a new height was Jade’s father, Hugh Butterfield (Bruce Greenwood), a class-conscious surgeon doing his best to put an end into Jade and David’s relationship. His motivation and intentions had been drawn with conviction right from the beginning, and he ended up being the most credible actor among them all.

What we respond to in Endless Love are the visual appeal, the lively pace, and the exuberance of youthful independence. Sadly, none of these seem to provide cohesiveness to the conflicts that surface, like David’s discovery of a secret – one that has a relatively good chance of turning events upside down, but unfortunately ends up with little to no significance.

To those familiar with the book, one might question the relevance of this second movie adaptation. It finds comfort in the notion of passionate, relentless, and hopelessly eternal first love, but falls short of delivering the engaging characteristics of the persons that breathed life in the book: what makes them endearing (and at times, dislikable). Furthermore, it lacks one significant element that made the novel a classic: The obsession innate to David’s character, and how his burning desire for Jade and her family led to their destruction in the book.

In the end, the filmmakers were unable to clearly demonstrate how the film attempts to outdo or at least measure up to the 1981 Brooke Shields movie; instead, it caters to a greatly reduced, “social class difference”-driven plot meant to please the public.

It’s entertaining, even funny at times, but it’s nowhere near satisfying.



A big “thank you” goes to our friends from Solar-UIP (Like their page here!) and Ayala Cinemas (Like their page here, too!) for the special screening of Endless Love.


Read Shayne’s observations about movies, music, dining, and life in general on her personal blog, she said (http://misstache.wordpress.com).

Mikael Angelo Francisco