Title: Endless Love
Director: Shana Feste
Starring: Gabriella Wilde, David Axelrod, Bruce Greenwood, Joely Richardson, Robert Patrick, Rhys Wakefield, Dayo Okeniyi, Emma Rigby.
How can Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 romantic drama ‘Endless Love’ be forgot? The movie starred Brooke Shields, Martin Hewitt, Tom Cruise (in his first motion picture role) and the film’s theme song, by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, became a number one hit, that received an Academy Award as well as Grammy and Golden Globes nominations. The remake by director Shana Feste couldn’t pay worse homage to the first film adaptation of Scott Spencer’s 1979 novel.
Jade Butterfield in this new version is interpreted by Gabriella Wilde, the aristocratic British model who is pursuing a career in acting with charm, smiles, and gawky swinging arms. David Axelrod’s role is also taken by a former English model: Alex Pettyfer, the Young Artist Award and Empire Award nominee. These two lead actors somehow bring back the magic of the former love story, between a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose instant desire sparks a love affair made only more reckless by parents trying to keep them apart. But whilst in Zeffirelli’s version, David had a darker side to his character, Shana Feste seems to sugarcoat his personality, to enhance the external conflict of the star-crossed lovers, that will inevitably spin off into a politically correct happy ending.
The cotton-candy rendition of the Romeo-and-Juliet-type-drama slips into ridicule, since the young actors aren’t young enough to be credible teenagers and the plot takes some overemotional twists that forcefully accentuate Jade’s and David’s puppy love. Consequentially the entire movie drags itself from one corny situation to the next, through a flow of “endless” cheesiness.
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi