Endless Love is 2014’s answer to The Notebook. Teenagers David Elliot (Alex Pettyfer) and Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde) fall in love over summer, in a fling that cannot seem to survive past the idealist in-between phase after school and before the rest of their lives begin.
It is the classic “opposite sides of the track” story, with David content to take over his dad’s mechanic shop and Jade following in the footsteps of her father with a medical career.
At first, Jade is aloof. Background characters pass her by. She is referred to as the “ice queen” who has held herself apart from others since her older brother died years before. But it soon becomes apparent that Jade is, in fact, warm, loving and insightful. She takes action, not satisfied with waiting for life – or David – to drift by. Her character development over the course of the film is beautiful to watch.
Pettyfer’s character also evolves and tugs at the heartstrings with his charisma. More surprisingly, so do Jade’s mother and father, the main antagonist of the film.
Unlike directors of many similar works, Shana Feste avoids the pitfalls of two-dimensional characters or motivations, fleshing out the entire cast – except the brother’s girlfriend, who was perhaps there only to support his inspired act of love and defiance at the end.
The twists and threats to the lovers are balanced and cultivated by both external and internal pressures. David and Jade seem to progress to sexual intimacy too quickly, but after this scene the relationship continues as one would expect from two young lovers and their connection remains innocent and carefree. Subplots involving the relationships between Jade’s parents, the brother and father, and David and his father, are essential to layering the film and creating a beautiful love story.
If you’re after a film in the vein of a Nicholas Sparks novel, this one is for you.
More InDaily film reviews:
Dallas Buyers Club
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
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