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She was a late bloomer.

Endless Love Plot Details: This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Plot Overview

High school graduation comes and people go their separate ways. David Elliot (Alex Pettyfer) is a well-adjusted kid whose ambition is to work in his father's garage—he stands to inherit it one day—(“I like cars”) and to settle down with the right woman. Ever since the tenth grade he's wanted to kiss gorgeous Jade Butter­field (Gabriella Wilde) whose social life got stunted after the death of Christopher her older brother, so “That moment never came.” Through an unlikely encounter when she is out celebrating with her folks, they two set up a date in the guise of a party, and they click together. They only have ten days before she leaves for her intern­ship, so he wants to make them the “best ten days of your life.” He is so enamored of her, he wonders, “What if Jade's the one and I let her go. I'll regret it for the rest of my life.”

David's friends want him to enjoy life, and Jade's parents want the best for her. His friend Mace (Dayo Okeniyi) is—I don't know how else to put this—an uppity Negro who joy­rides in the Maserati he's supposed to valet park, and he opens up the zoo he guards at night for an unauthorized event, involving David (and Jade) in both. David already has a record of violence on account of his way­ward mom and the guy he caught her with. These incidents result in minor blemishes on David's police record. Jade's father has some­how trans­ferred all his ambition for Chris now onto Jade, so he's not going to let her get off track; he'll do what he needs to to see that her education comes first.

The action moves to the lake house Jade's parents own. They “bought the place in '96.” Let's see. Jade's 17, and it's 2014. That means she was likely conceived there. Maybe she will get a new start there, too (“Jade just became a woman.”) Christopher's room at Jade's family's city home is a verit­able “museum” to his memory. That needs to become part of the past for every­one to move on. The police get called a lot, the TSA at the air­port, and maybe the fire depart­ment, too.

Production Values

You know, a lot of biblical themes show up in movies; I don't know if it's deliberate, or from a writer's inter­nal­ized Sunday school lesson from long ago, or per­haps through osmosis from a Chris­tian­ized culture; the trick is to be familiar enough with the Bible to catch them. From the Apocrypha they're even harder to spot on account of people being less familiar with books that never made it into the canon, but the plot of “Endless Love” bears an uncanny resemblance to a pared down passage from The Book of Wisdom: (Wisdom 14:15, 22a, 24–27, 30)

For a father afflicted with untimely mourning, when he hath made an image of his child soon taken away, now honoured him as a god, which was then a dead man, and delivered to those that were under him ceremonies and sacrifices. … Moreover this was not enough for them, that they erred in the knowledge of God; … They kept neither lives nor marriages any longer undefiled: but … one … grieved him by adultery. So that there reigned in all men without exception … theft, and dis­simu­lation, corruption, unfaith­ful­ness, tumults, perjury, disquieting of good men, forget­ful­ness of good turns, defiling of souls, changing of kind, disorder in marriages, adultery, and shame­less unclean­ness. For the wor­ship­ping of idols not to be named is the beginning, the cause, and the end, of all evil. … How­beit for both causes shall they be justly punished: both because they thought not well of God, giving heed unto idols, and also unjustly swore in deceit, despising holiness.

This same theme is repeated by the apostle Paul, that idolatry has caused: (Romans 1:26–31)

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And like­wise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in them­selves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their know­ledge, God gave them over to a repro­bate mind, to do those things which are not con­ven­ient; Being filled with all unrighteous­ness, forni­cation, wicked­ness, covetous­ness, malicious­ness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, back­biters, haters of God, despite­ful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, dis­obedient to parents, With­out under­standing, covenant­breakers, with­out natural affec­tion, implac­able, unmerciful.

Jades's father Hugh Butterfield (Bruce Greenwood) kept a picture of his dead son Chris on his wall, which became a graven image for the power he let it have over him. He was obsessively concerned with the main­ten­ance of Chris's things in the shrine of his room. Hugh “did not like to retain God in [his] know­ledge,” i.e. we don't see his family going to church on the Sunday before they leave for the lake house. On the other hand, we do spot his middle son Keith (Rhys Wakefield) and his girl Sebrina in a chapel after they go their own way. Hugh becomes a real bastard in the way he relates to others (“You don't know what he's like.”) There is “disorder in [his] marriage, adultery” with a woman he knows from work. He's every bit as much in denial (“There's nothing to tell”) and rationalizing (“You don't know what it's like”) as is the homo­sexual in his “vile affections” that Paul wrote about.

Pray for ATL We can contrast him with David's dad Harry Elliot (Robert Patrick). Harry does “like to retain God in [his] know­ledge.” There's a plaque on his shop wall reading: “Pray for ATL.” While Hugh had suffered the loss of a son, Harry suffered the loss of his wife (who ran away.) Hugh is not of a mind to say God took his son or it was his time to go, but rather, “I couldn't save him. I tried.” Harry admits that it was at least partly his fault that his wife left him, because he'd been too busy at work. Hugh is fanatical about pre­serving Chris's vinyl records from normal playing wear, but Harry is not overly attached to his wedding suit saying it looks better on David who wanted to wear it to the party. In the end Harry is merci­ful to the youth­ful mis­takes of his son while Hugh obses­sively per­se­cutes him. God Himself is merciful giving us lots of chances, and we hope Hugh will come to his senses before he alienates his family still further.

Production Values

“Endless Love” (2014) was directed by Shana Feste. She and Joshua Safran wrote the screen­play based on Scott Spencer's novel, Endless Love. It was a remake of 1981 “Endless Love” directed by Franco Zelffirelli. The difference between the two movies, aside from lead actress, is that the 1981 “Endless Love” was rated R for sex, nudity, profanity, alcohol, drugs, and smoking, but the 2014 “Endless Love” was rated PG-13 for sexual content, brief partial nudity, some language and teen partying. You can see the newer version when you're a young consumer and the older version when you're older.

It stars Gabriella Wilde, Alex Pettyfer, and Bruce Greenwood, who put in good if not memor­able per­for­mances. It does not have a hit record associated with it as did the earlier version. The music was supposed to tug at our heart­strings but only succeeded in annoying me until I learned to ignore it. The sets were pretty good: at a rich man's digs, a scenic lake house, a zoo cum amuse­ment park, and a graduation ceremony, not to mention the Village Garage, county court­house, and inter­national air­port. The plot was at the level of a Valentine's Day card: cute but predict­able. It was a brief 105 min. long.

Review Conclusion w/ Consumer Recommendation

“Endless Love” works and is enjoyable as long as your expectations are not too high. We've got high-school–type infighting, dads who have learned from life or who are learning, a decent kid who can slip into foolishness, a late bloomer of a young lady, and some young pro­voca­teurs. What more could you ask for? If there's nothing else playing, knock your­self out.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes.

Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years.

Special effects: Average special effects.

Video Occasion: Good Date Movie.

Overall product rating: three stars out of five.

Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Apocryphal scripture taken from The Septuagint with Apoc­rypha: Greek and English. U.S.A.: Hendrick­son Pub. Originally published by Samuel Bagster & Sons, Ltd., London, 1851. Print, WEB.