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Title: Endless Love

Movie: :2.5stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :2.5stars:

HTS Overall Score:74.5

Fathers always know best, especially when it comes to their daughters. This is certainly the case for Hugh Butterfield (Bruce Greenwood), a man with perfectly crafted future plans for his daughter named Jade (Gabriella Wilde). They include a post-high school summer internship, enrollment at Brown, graduation from medical school, and marriage to a sophisticated man. But with any plans, there are always unexpected bumps in the road, and it just so happens that a young man named Alex (a fellow graduating senior played by David Elliot) is one big pothole.

Following the untimely death of her brother, Jade spent her high school years in isolation, hiding out with her parents and barely getting to know her classmates. This, however, didn’t stop Alex from admiring her from afar. Now that the pair have graduated he’s finally gotten the nerve to introduce himself. It’s a classic case of opposites attract...she’s a wealthy privileged country clubber and he was raised on the other side of the tracks...ignoring, of course, the fact that they are both attractively matched. Nevertheless, it’s a perfect storm of forbidden puppy love, and the couple doesn’t shy away from embracing instantaneous passion.


Hugh Butterfield isn’t impressed by Alex. He sees right through the young man’s dedication to true love and wants to put a stop to the budding relationship. Unfortunately for Hugh, his initial attempts to redirect Jade’s attention are like plugging a hole in a dam with chewing gum. With only ten days until Jade leaves for her internship, the couple embarks on a tour of affection...making out in public water fountains, amongst the books of the local library, in the back of moving pickup trucks, and in the Butterfield’s backyard. They romance on the rug by the Butterfield’s fireplace, frolic through meadows, and even run down a dock and jump in the water holding hands. You get the picture. The game is on, and Hugh realizes he’s watching his daughter’s planned future slip away.

Much to Hugh’s chagrin, Alex is a hit with more than just Jade. The entire Butterfield clan is smitten by his charming ways. Jade’s brother (Rhys Wakefield) and mother (Joely Richardson) both experience emotional renewals as they watch Jade and Alex fall in love and are inspired by Alex’s romantic musings. This causes Hugh to resort to drastic love-quashing tactics.

At one point in the film, Jade proclaims: “Let’s just be young and dumb for one night.” This perhaps, best summarizes the film...”young and dumb.” Endless Love is a rather empty film bubbling with young-love cliches, melowdrama, and predictable plot elements. It features two stunningly good looking former models – both obviously twenty somethings – playing the roles of seventeen year olds. It has the doubting wealthy father, a romantic mother, friends that enjoy sharing insightful love advice, and a featured couple that’s out to prove that love can conquer all.

This isn’t the first spin-off of the 1979 Scott Spencer novel “Endless Love.” Many of you may remember Brooke Shields starring in a sappy 1981 film that featured a particularly famous Lionel Richie and Diana Ross duet. This latest reboot of the tale is simply tired and uninspired with more than its fair share of eye rolling cringe worth moments – quite a few of which have a made-for-tv feel. Perhaps its target audience (teen girls hoping for prince charming to unexpectedly arrive) will find all of its fluff inspiring, but the majority will likely find themselves hoping for the end.

PG-13 for sexual content, brief partial nudity, some language and teen partying.

Video :4.5stars:
Universal Studios delivers Endless Love with an excellent high definition AVC encode in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. With an extremely even color palate, the film’s image simply sparkles. Reds are luscious and vibrant and blues are crisp and snappy. Blacks levels near perfection, with a thickness that is extremely pleasing to the eye. Shadow detail falls in line, with impeccable clarity in the darkest of scenes. The film is literally loaded with fine details, right down to the pours on and whiskers on Alex Pettyfer’s face. The image has a fine grain that appears natural; the grain isn’t intrusive during low-light scenes.

Audio :4stars:
Endless Love’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio is hit or miss with more hits than misses. Surprisingly, the film is peppered with dynamic moments...not something you typically find woven into romantic dramas. There are numerous moments that take advantage of the surrounds, which pump-out crowd chatter, clinking glasses, the crackling of thunder, and the patter of rain. In addition, the mix pays attention to fine details such as the lowly warm rumble of Hugh Butterfield’s BMW. Directionality of sounds is also finely tuned with sounds that accurately follow action on the screen. Low Frequency Effects come to play during several scenes, with bass being most prominent during party scenes with loud pop and rock music. Dialog is the biggest disappointment of Endless Love’s audio presence. While it generally remains intelligible for the duration of the film, there are few scenes where it comes across a tad nasally and flat which can make it difficult to understand.

Extras: :2.5stars:
• Extended Ending
• Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes
• The making of Endless Love

Overall: :3stars:
Endless Love is a recommended skip for all but the most romantically blind. While there are a few redeeming elements to the story, the vast majority of the 'high schoolers falling hopeless in love' plot is simply a painful watch. The Blu-ray release includes a relatively decent accompaniment extras, including a plethora of deleted/extra scenes and an informative "Making Of" section. For those of you drawn to the film, these prove to be a good value-add to the release. While the video qualities of the film are solid, I did take issue with a few audio hiccups that hurt the presentation. Nevertheless, this particular film should find its place in the "only watch if you have to" queue...perhaps a notch above Jersey Girl and Gigli.

Additional Information:
Starring: Gabriella Wilde, Alex Pettyfer, Bruce Greenwood
Directed by: Shana Feste[/I]
Written by: Shana Feste, Joshua Safran, Scott Spencer (novel)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: DTS 5.1, Spanish: DTS 5.1
Studio: Universal Studios
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 116 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: May 27, 2014

Buy Endless Love on Blu-ray at Amazon

Recommendation: Skip

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