Endless Love

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

Gabriella Wilde, Alex Pettyfer, Bruce Greenwood, Joely Richardson. Teen drama/romance. Written by Shana Feste, Joshua Safran. Directed by Shana Feste.

FILM SYNOPSIS: This remake, and the original 1981 version with Brook Shields, is taken from a novel by Scott Spencer. The story concerns a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose instant desire sparks a love affair made only more reckless by her fatherís determination to make his daughter in his mold. Having lost a son to cancer, the father is having trouble letting his little girl leave the next. He much prefers that she go off to doctor college and marry a blue-blood. This is the obstacle the young lovers struggle with throughout the film.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I suppose no dad is crazy about the first boyfriend of his only daughter. But Bruce Greenwood was evidently instructed to play him over-the-top mean and dirty. The aggressive antagonism that makes up the core of this movie was a little overdone for my tastes. Still, the film has some nice moments as we see young love bloom. My one hesitation with recommending it is the free sex that takes place. Though we only see one sexual encounter, it is implied that these two are behaving like grownup newlyweds. I realize we are living in a more sexually permissive era, but I think these two 17-year-olds are rushing it a bit.

It may appeal to teens, but there are other films that have more stylishly and profoundly addressed young love. Here are a couple of examples now on DVD:

A WALK TO REMEMBER (2002). Shane West, Mandy Moore. A smart drama aimed at the teen market, whose central figure is Ė are you ready for this Ė a committed Christian! Based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks, about a high school bad boy who finds love and a reason for life when he falls for the Baptist preacherís daughter. Youth leaders may occasionally blush during the first third of the film, but parents donít have to worry that their children will be subjected to the profane use of Godís name or see explicit sexual activity. The ďSĒ word is used several times, but no other harsh expletives. And there is no irreverence to God or Christ. The sexual references, I admit, border on the objectionable, but these moments are utilized to set the stage, to show the difference between the spiritual and the non-spiritual. PG (ten obscenities, but no misuse of Godís name; one character utters crude sexual remarks, but I found these infractions used to depict the moods and feelings of many high schoolers; it shows the difference between secular society and people who have been instructed by Godís Word concerning how to conduct themselves).

WEST SIDE STORY (1961). I am not a fan of musicals, let alone ones featuring dancing gang members, but WEST SIDE STORY transcends the typical Hollywood musical. Based on Shakespeare's tragic ROMEO AND JULIET, now set in early-1960s New York barrios, not only is every scene filled with artistry, but every frame.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1946 French version with Jean Cocteau). In order to save her father, a beautiful girl agrees to live with a feared wolf-like beast. But after time passes, they learn to love one another. This moody, atmospheric B&W rendition of the classic tale is a masterpiece. In French, with subtitles, it is both beguiling and fanciful.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: We hear the s-word, the new ďDarn itĒ four or five times, the f-word once.

Profanity: One misuse of Jesus name by the female leadís upset brother.

Violence: A jolting car crash; the male protagonist hits the girlís father.

Sex: One sexual situation, partial nudity; it is implied that the father is having an adulterous affair.

Nudity: Partial nudity in one scene.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Some drinking, but not by the young leads; the teens break into a zoo after hours, with talk of getting high.

Other: None

Running Time: 103 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens on Up

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