“Endless Love” is one of this year’s obligatory Valentine’s Day film releases. As a rule, I don’t have a problem with holiday-inspired or holiday-appropriate films. However, such a film shouldn’t have to rely on the the holiday’s proximity as part of its emotional outreach. The experience should be able to stand on its own and be enhanced by the expected mood in which a patron enters the theater.
“Endless Love” absolutely excels at fitting into a generic mold. This movie is Jell-O. It has very few variations in ingredients and wide variety of shapes — even though only four or five are commonly used. Jell-O, by its nature, is very ordinary unless it includes wildcard ingredients or a strong deviation in the shape it takes.
As far as ingredients go, “Endless Love” is pretty standard-fare. It has a naive young girl who somehow manages to fall in love at Romeo & Juliet speed. It has a good-looking guy with glaring personality holes. It has an overprotective father, and it has a scorned woman with all the fury that hell hath.
To tell a good story it is essential to either have interesting characters or an interesting plot, preferably both. “Endless Love” has very little of either. The narrative is as cookie-cutter as it gets.
The biggest fault of “Endless Love” is its lack of ambition. There was nothing about this film that reached for anything above ordinary, above easy. The execution is passable but very forgettable. If there was anything endless about “Endless Love” it would certainly be its mediocrity.
3 of 6 stars
James Gerstner works at Fort Hays State University Foundation.