Endless Love is the latest teen angst ridden love story just in time for Valentine’s Day. Directed by Shana Feste, Endless Love follows the story of shy Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde) and popular David Axelrod (Alex Pettyfer), two high school graduates who fall in love over the span of one night and thus become inseparable over the summer. Similarly to many a teenage love story, Jade and David’s love must overcome countless obstacles, including but not limited to: their different socio-economic backgrounds, her controlling father, his criminal history, and a house fire.
Endless Love is a textbook teenage drama; put two leads of above average attractiveness together at the expense of acting talent and range, add a rain scene and hope for the best. The two lead actors are so awful it is almost comedic. Alex Pettyfer, in particular, has less acting cred than a brick wall; his monotonous delivery of his lines started to become anxiety provoking – I feared I would never experience vocal expression again. Ken from Toy Story 3 has more onscreen presence and charisma than Pettyfer. On the other hand, I felt Wilde handled herself to a greater degree though relied too heavily on overacting at times, impossible to avoid given who she was acting against.
Perhaps the greatest indicator of Endless Love’s quality is the film’s music and soundtrack. Christophe Beck’s score is excessive and overdramatic, with predictably upbeat melodic piano during light and melancholic violins during shade. He bludgeons the audience over the head with what we are meant to be feeling during any given scene, something I find in poor taste and offensive to the audience’s intelligence. Granted, the acting in Endless Love really does leave much to be desired, so it is fair to assume we may need more than a subtle hint every now and then to set us on the path to emotional understanding. If Beck’s score is too understated for you though and you fear you may miss an emotion of importance, never fear because the lyrics in Feste’s soundtrack choices will be sure to tell you exactly what our star-crossed lovers feel.
Endless Love really is endless. As soon as you begin to rejoice in what should be the film’s natural conclusion, another hyperbolic event is thrown into the picture. This doesn’t happen just once either; there were at least three moments where I mentally prepared myself for release from the shackles, only to be once again faced with no foreseeable end in sight. At only 104 minutes long, Endless Love is by no means a film that requires a big commitment, but I felt every one of those 104 minutes drag by.
Endless Love is the perfect example of all that is wrong with Hollywood; not only are terrible films being produced and distributed to mass audiences, but people are still actually paying to see them thus ensuring films of similar quality continue to be made. This film was terrible. I would rather sit through a second viewing of Justin Bieber’s Believe.
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