Do you remember "Safe Haven"? Yeah, that soppy romantic drama last year
that ended with (SPOILER ALERT if anyone cares) Robin Scherbatsky's
character being a ghost that wanted her former husband to find true
Safe Haven is several times better than Endless Love, and I hated Safe Haven.
Endless Love is a movie so mind-bogglingly inept, so blissfully unaware, so morally empty, and so raucously confident that if it (God forbid) took the form of a human being, you would alternately want to weep for her, educate her, and bash in her skull with a bowling ball. This movie takes place in a world that is structurally unsound and is populated with aggressively stupid characters whose actions are unjustifiably opposed to sound logic and good morals.
Yes, Endless Love is a film aimed at a very particular target audience with a very specific goal in mind, and therefore its flaws mean little to the filmmakers or to the numerous squealing 13-15 year old girls at my showing. However, that does not excuse it from following film rules that, when broken, force a viewer out of the entertainment experience and instead force them to put their head in their hands in disgust.
1. You need a strong lead character. Jade Butterfield is the opposite of a strong lead character. She is a selfish, spoiled, and ignorant 17-year-old who falls head-over-heals for a stranger and then proceeds to give up everything (from body to future) to this reckless young man whose first impression on her is taking a client's car for a joyride and then assaulting the man. She treats her father awfully even before he turns into a dominating jerk and she says stupid things like, "Let's be young and dumb" and "I want to go sneak into a zoo and get high with people I don't know and I demand you go with me!" Okay, maybe I stretched that last one. Also, don't even try to consider the boyfriend as the main character: he is two-dimensional, un-complex, artificially constructed and a poor excuse for a human being, whose purpose is to make the target audience swoon and be severely disappointed with real men.
2. You need convincing conflict. Jade's father is not convincing conflict. He seems like a genuinely good father whose good character traits seem to reflect his inner love nature and his negative traits are unconvincing and contrived in every sense. This is especially displayed in his affair, the provocation scene against Jade's lover, and the scene where he almost beats said lover with a baseball bat. These scenes are in direct contrast to scenes that describe a man who left his job to support his dying son, who constantly wants to help his daughter succeed, and is wary of a violent young man who hides with his daughter in closets during parties. To any logical viewer, it is much easier to side with a hurt father figure who only wants a bright future for his children (as opposed to a mother who only wants her children to find "true love" and to get "good at getting their hearts broken") and not a mindless 17-year-old caught up in a week-old infatuation and who is insisting that she found the love of her life. And don't even get me started on the living son and his girlfriend, whose characters are entirely irrelevant and whose sole purpose seems to be to force the audience to believe the dad is the bad guy.
3. In a romance aimed at tweens and teens, you need some underlying morality or a subtle message to "do what is right". This movie knows what is right and what is smart, identifies it, and then promptly laughs in its face and grinds it into the dirt. It is NOT okay for a young girl to ignore the violent tendencies of her boyfriend before intending to give up her life for him. It is NOT okay for a mother to be jealous of the "love" between 2 teenagers that just met and be upset with the father when attempts to break it off. It is NOT okay to steal people's cars because they are jerks towards you. It is NOT okay to sneak into people's houses that don't like you and have sex with someone you hardly know. It is NOT okay to say "screw you" to internships and opportunities you have committed to when teenage love shows up: that's not how life works. It is NOT okay to say it is more important to seek out a lover before deciding what to do with your life. It is NOT okay to smoke weed in the elephant's exhibit. It is NOT okay to make out with an old boyfriend while you are in a relationship and then promise to run away to the other side of the world in the middle of college, with no money or plans or future. None of what this movies says is okay, is okay.
There was so much wrong with Endless Love, but my space is quite limited so I touched upon my biggest gripes. As a college student soon to be engaged, this type of movie should appeal to my inner romantic at least on some primal level and instead, both my girlfriend and I left this movie embarrassed to have spent money in this film and laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the film's messages and characters. As my girlfriend said, "I have never enjoyed the trailers before the movie more than I enjoyed the movie until I saw Endless Love".
As a postscript: dear filmmakers, teenagers coming from a party that just got busted by the cops aren't going to go to a new party with adults and then play games that involve choreography and a boombox and then go home nicely when told to by the adults. Nice try.
Action / Drama / Romance
Action / Drama / Romance
David has had a crush on Jade since the first time he saw her in the tenth grade. With high school coming to an end, David has never spoken to her until her family pulls up to The Inn, where David works as a valet. She and David fall madly in love, a love that only grows stronger as parents try to tear them apart. David knows Jade's past, but as his secrets are slowly revealed, Jade's trust is tested and leaves them wondering if they are truly meant to be together.
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May 16, 2014 at 03:09 PM