Francesca Rudkin is an entertainment reviewer for NZ Herald.

Movie review: Endless Love

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Alex Pettyfer. Photo / Getty Images
Alex Pettyfer. Photo / Getty Images

This is the second time Scott Spencer's 1979 novel has been re-interpreted on the big screen, and once again the move from novel to film has meant a few changes.

Director Shana Feste (Country Strong), with screenwriter Joshua Safran, has moved the location from Chicago to Georgia, altered character backgrounds and changed the order of events. Most noticeably, the darker elements of the novel have been removed and the characters are simpler, nicer and more forgiving.

What remains is a romantic drama that brings to mind any number of Nicholas Sparks' adaptations.

British models-turned-actors Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde are the leads in what is in essence a Romeo and Juliet story. Pettyfer is David, a young man from the wrong side of the tracks with an anger management problem, who falls in love with Wilde's Jade, a beautiful and privileged young woman. The passionate affair of these high school graduates (a stretch for the more mature-looking Pettyfer) infuriates Jade's father Hugh (Bruce Greenwood), whose ambitious plans for his daughter do not include the fist-throwing son of the local mechanic.

This story of obsessive teen love is predictable, but at least Wilde and Pettyfer have genuine on-screen chemistry. Endless Love may well resonate with young women who dream of falling in love with a sexy bad boy, the rest of us will view it as forgettable romantic escapism.

Stars: 2.5/5
Cast: Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde and Joely Richardson
Director: Shana Feste
Running time: 105 mins
Rating: M
Verdict: A steamy and instantly forgettable teen love story

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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