Taglines: Say goodbye to innocence.
In suburban Chicago, teenagers Jade Butterfield and David Axelrod fall in love after they are introduced by Jade’s brother Keith. Jade’s family is known in their community for a bohemian lifestyle, allowing them to develop an all-consuming and passionate relationship; including allowing the two to make love in Jade’s bedroom. In contrast to the openness of her family, David’s home life is dull; his parents are wealthy political activists who are not actively involved in his life.
One night Jade’s mother Ann sneaks downstairs, and upon seeing Jade and David make love in her living room, starts living through them vicariously. Jade’s father, Hugh, watches the couple with increasing unease. Soon Jade realizes her regular sexual encounters with David are depriving her of sleep and adversely affecting her grades at school. Eventually, she tries to steal a sleeping pill in order to get some sleep, but her father catches her in the act. Subsequently, he insists David stop seeing Jade until the end of the school term in 30 days. Although David is heavily opposed to this idea, Ann gently coaxes him into agreeing, telling him not to let Hugh “do something he’ll regret.”
One of David’s friends jokingly suggests kidnapping Jade to get her back or burning down the Butterfield house in revenge. Another friend Billy, then tells David that when he was 8-years-old he tried burning a pile of newspapers and after he became scared, put the fire out, only to find his parents think he was a hero for saving the house from burning. Inspired by this story, David starts a fire on the Butterfields’ front porch and walks away briefly to be seen returning to the flame. By the time he returns, the flame has spread too far and he rushes to warn the family but he is too late, the entire house is lost.
Following the trial for arson, David is sent to a mental hospital for the next two years and is forbidden from ever going near Jade or her family again. Nevertheless, he continues to write daily, but his letters are held and never mailed. He receives them upon his exit, learning for the first time why Jade never wrote back, thus renewing his spark to pursue her.
When David is released on probation, he goes to look for Jade and remains in love with her. In the meantime, following the loss of their home, the Butterfield family has moved from Chicago to Manhattan, and Ann and Hugh divorce. In Manhattan, Ann tries to seduce David, but he refuses and tells her he can make love only with Jade. In a chance meeting, Hugh sees David on the streets of Manhattan and while chasing David, Hugh is hit by a car and killed. Hugh’s new girlfriend Ingrid Orchester, catches up to the scene and cannot put together what just happened, but later recognizes David as having been present at the accident.
Later, Jade goes to see David to say goodbye but he pulls her back as she tries to leave, throwing her on the bed and begging for her to admit she still loves him. Jade does, and resumes her relationship with him. When Keith tells the couple to come downstairs, he tells Jade that David is at fault for their father’s death. Jade refuses to believe this and turns to David for the truth. He tries to explain it was an accident, but Keith fights with David until the police arrive and arrest David.
Sent to prison, David seems doomed never to see Jade again. Jade tells her mother that no one will ever love her the way David does. The final scene shows Jade walking toward the prison where David is being held.
About the Production
The first trailer was released on December 23, 2013. On January 28, 2014, the film was given a PG-13 rating for “sexual content, brief partial nudity, some language, and teen partying.”
Like the original, Endless Love has received negative reviews from film critics. Criticism was mainly made towards the many liberties taken with the original source material. The film currently holds a 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 84 reviews with the consensus: “Blander than the original Endless Love and even less faithful to the source material, this remake is cliched and unintentionally silly.”
In 2013, after reading the screenplay for the film, Scott Spencer, the author of the novel on which the film was based, wrote that “It’s about one hundred pages, and the only ones that were not dreary were sciatica inducing”. In 2014 he wrote that his novel “has been even more egregiously and ridiculously misunderstood” in making the remake than in the 1981 film.
End title track “Don’t Find Another Love” was sung by Tegan and Sara and written by Golden Globe award-winning composer Julie Frost. Singer / songwriter Skylar Grey’s cover of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” was used for the trailer of the film. In addition, the song “Explosions” by Ellie Goulding was used in trailers adapted as television commercials. Another song which was taken is the track “Pumpin Blood” by the Swedish dance-pop trio NONONO. Director Shana Feste had considered using the original film’s iconic theme song in one scene but eventually decided against it.
Directed by: Shana Feste
Starring: Emma Rigby, Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde, Rhys Wakefield, Robert Patrick, Joely Richardson, Anna Enger, Dayo Okeniyi, Fabianne Therese, Paisley Scott Dickey
Screenplay by: Shana Feste, Joshua Safran
Production Design by: Clay A. Griffith
Cinematography by: Andrew Dunn
Film Editing by: Maryann Brandon
Costume Design by: Stacey Battat
Set Decoration by: Wayne Shepherd
Music by: Christophe Beck
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, brief partial nudity, some language and teen partying.
Studio: Universal Pictures
Release Date: February 14, 2014