As high school ends and college looms, David and Jade (Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde) embark on a fiery romance. But love's never as simple as it seems, and Jade's father (Bruce Greenwood) takes arms against the sea of romance, believing David to be a bad influence. Like Romeo and Juliet before them, David and Jade find themselves at odds with their families, and fighting to stay together. Glossy remake of Franco Zeffirelli's 1981 tearjerker starring Brooke Shields.
There's a case to be made for films that do precisely what they say on the tin. Endless Love promises a sweeping melodrama about impetuous teenagers whose undeniable love defies their parents' comparative prudence, and it delivers just that.
David Elliot (Alex Pettyfer) has been going to the same high school as Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde) for four years but he's never summoned the courage to speak to her.
Having suffered the loss of a brother two years previously, Jade has withdrawn from the other kids, and the other kids have all but forgotten her. All except David, who's been yearning from afar, and is now determined to speak, sparking an electric love story that flies in the face of Jade's fathers' ideals.
It's not an original story (and it bears little resemblance to the source novel), and sadly it's not one that's aged well.
The fact that David comes from a blue collar family and Jade lives in a ludicrous mansion just doesn't seem like the uncrossable barrier it used to, and the many and varied escalations of their differences are simply too contrived to be believable.
While the script may be wanting, the cast do go someways to make up for it. Wilde is as winsome and sweet a faux-Juliet as you could wish for, and fellow Brit Pettyfer is a convincing idealistic (and American) young lover.
The parental trio of Joely Richardson and Bruce Greenwood as the wealthy, bereaved Butterfields, and Robert Patrick as David's mechanic father all do a fine job of showing how much they deserve better material.
It would be easy to unpick the film's flaws; the way it sells it all at once, establishing the entire plot within the first five minutes over sweeping violins, or tries to convince the audience of the depth of central pair's love with a handy montage.
But essentially that's beside the point. The film's raison d'etre is to pull you into a whirlwind of overblown emotion, to wring tears by any means necessary, and for a certain audience it will do just that.
There will always be teenagers ready to swoon, there will always be Davids and Jades to help them do it.