Endless Love is one of those “That looks terrible! We have to see it” type of movies. Trust me, I did not go into this expecting to be swept off my feet. Instead, I was looking to see a cheesy, clichéd movie that I could make fun of for the rest of the night. Luckily, director Shana Feste had my back.
Alex Pettyfer plays the male lead, David Elliot. He is handsome enough to pull off the brooding hopeless romantic who spends his days pining after “the one,” but he is unfortunately given such boring lines that his character doesn’t hold much interest. In other words, I did not fall in love with him, which basically defeats the entire purpose of going to see a rom-com or love story. Yawn.
The most frustrating part of the whole movie is the female lead, Jade Butterfield, played by Gabriella Wilde. Jade’s entire life is dictated by either her annoyingly over-invested father or her new boyfriend of approximately two weeks. Essentially, the writers failed to give Jade any backbone and instead decided to define her only through her relationships with the men in her life. The audience is only introduced to Jade through David’s eyes, and we only see her when she is with David or her father, never on her own. Because of this, Jade becomes nothing more than a damsel who is apparently in distress, but doesn’t really get much say in the matter. Again, yawn.
My personal favorite character is unquestionably Mace (Dayo Okeniyi) who, aside from being the only speaking person of color (seriously?), is also the funniest. His dance to Salt-n-Pepa’s “Push-It” is memorable, entertaining and my favorite part of the movie. Unfortunately, he plays only a small supporting role and usually ends up getting the main characters into trouble. Disappointing, but I would totally go see a movie about his life.
A close runner up to Okeniyi is Rhys Wakefield as Jade’s brother Keith (if anyone is wondering why his face looks so familiar and so creepy, it’s because he played that murderer in The Purge). Keith also gets to throw in some entertaining one-liners, but his main role in the movie is as a disappointment to his father.
Though they are unintentional, Endless Love does have some hilarious scenes. The one sex scene in the film feels vaguely Notebook-esque, but also includes winners such as a note delivered on a paper airplane with the line “I want to feel this with you.” I mean, come on. The entire theater was laughing. Not exactly the sexual awakening Feste was clearly envisioning. There are also genuinely cute moments, like David and Jade’s first kiss, which is very spur-of-the moment and avoids being as contrived and calculated as most of their other interactions.
Sure, Endless Love has some successful moments and funny scenes, but the overall film failed to exceed my expectations. In other words, if you’re looking for an okay movie that will make you feel great about your love life and your life choices, you should definitely go see Endless Love sometime soon.