Review: ‘Endless Love’ better than the original

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Laurianna Cull

“Endless Love” was originally a film released in 1981 starring Brooke Shields as the leading lady and was based off of the 1979 novel by Scott Spencer.

The book posed the question: If a boy falls in love with a girl, they have a perfect romance, then he isn’t allowed to see her, and he loves her so much that he can’t handle it so he stalks her, burns her house down and gets sent to a mental institution; does all of that add up to an unstable obsession or is that an endless love?

This dark novel was then adapted to a controversial film that placed 15-year-old Brooke Shields (“Blue Lagoon”) in compromising romantic scenarios with 22-year-old co-star, Martin Hewitt (“General Hospital”).

Thankfully, this year’s remake of “Endless Love” did away with the dark themes and stalker status of lead character David, played by Alex Pettyfer (“Magic Mike”).

And although the lead characters are still in some compromising romantic scenarios, both actors are in their 20’s.

In the new version of “Endless Love,” David and Jade, played by Gabriella Wilde (“The Three Musketeers”), come from opposite sides of the tracks. She is a rich girl on her way to medical school and he is a grease monkey with no plans to attend college despite his phenomenal SAT scores.

They have both just graduated high school, Jade with honors and David with a record. On this graduation day, they speak for the first time, share a first kiss, and begin their whirlwind romance.

Rather than staying true to Spencer’s novel, the new “Endless Love” makes the story about that pure young love and the lengths a couple will go to fight for it.

Yes the movie is a “chick flick” in every sense of the phrase, but it surprisingly ended up as an inspirational story about the awakening love can give.

Both lead actors, Pettyfer and Wilde, gave sensational performances playing American teenagers especially since neither one is from America.

However despite the change in hair color and clean shaven face, Alex Pettyfer did look too old to be playing a recently graduated high school student.

Bruce Greenwood (“Star Trek”) also played a very convincing antagonist as Jade’s entitled and overbearing father. He made it so easy for the audience to hate him the entire movie and in a flash, sympathize with him in the last five minutes of the film.

“Endless Love” probably won’t receive any nominations at the Oscars and it won’t go down as one of the greats, but it will make a good date night movie.

It is rare that a remake film is better than the original and even more rare that a film is better than the book, and the fact that critics have argued that 2014’s “Endless Love” has done both speaks volumes.