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This movie has special meaning for me. I remember being 16 when I took
the "love of my life" (who was 15) to see it. I had not seen it
since...until tonight. For some reason, I had been thinking about this
movie lately and looked on EBay and got it yesterday. I watched it
tonight and cannot believe the memories it brought back. I was
surprised to remember a lot of the scenes and lines throughout. It also
made me terribly sad to remember that my "love" passed away in a car
accident 3 years after we saw it together. The title song gets me every
time. I cannot honestly say whether or not this is a "good" movie as
far as "good" movies go. But I can say without a doubt that after
watching this tonight for the first time in 25 years, this movie takes
my heart to a place it hasn't been to since 1984 and made me remember
an unforgettable night in 1981.
I guess that's what certain movies do, be it "good" or "bad".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film wouldn't seem so awful if the book hadn't been so moving and
extraordinary. Zeffirelli said in an interview that he was changing it
so the love of the two teens was mutual, and not one-sided, and that I
believe was his mistake. The book is not about love at all, it's about
obsession. Readers have complained that we don't meet Jade until
halfway through the book and she hardly seems to merit all that
fixation, but that's the point. It's all in David's head.
In the book, when they reunite, he's trying to make them have sex exactly the way they did years ago. The opening pages show him looking through their window, feeling banished from this "wonderful perfect family," but he ignores all the clues that they are nothing of the kind: when he sets the fire, they can't cope because they are all on acid, in what the mother later describes as a last-ditch effort to bring the family together. The mother watches her daughter have sex in order to live vicariously, because her own marriage is falling apart. The father sneaks stimulants into his daughter's food because he believes in homeopathy. The brother, we later learn, brought David home as he brought other classmates home, mostly to impress them with how cool and hip the family is and then dump them when he gets bored (we learn later from an old classmate David meets on the plane that the brother did the same thing to him). David is obviously emotionally fragile to begin with, but these horrible poseurs are exactly the people he doesn't need to meet. They exploit him as an audience for their Coolness Quotient and then dump him without regard for what they might be doing to him. He's a psycho alright--but if he weren't, he might see through them, which he obviously hasn't done, even by the end of the book.
Little of this was conveyed in the movie, which also did not keep Spencer's late-'60s setting, which would have made the Butterfields' boho weekend-hippie aspirations more understandable. A lot of suburban people were trying to prove how groovy they were back then: look at mainstream magazines like Ladies' Home Journal or Newsweek and you'll see articles on open marriages, the pill, and symbolic meanings of Beatles Album covers. The respective talents (or lack thereof) of Shields and Hewitt have been the subject of much debate and jeering, but I don't think much could be done with a script that jettisoned the essential unreliable narrator aspect of the book (i.e., what David *thinks* he's telling us about the Butterfields and himself is not necessarily what we decide to believe after we've heard some of the details). All we have left is the star-crossed lover thing, and that has been done by Zeffirelli himself in R&J, and modernized in West Side Story. Without Shakespeare's words or Bernstein's music, or any novel element or perspective, it's hard to justify doing it again.
I was just a young teenager when I snuck into the theater to see this one. This was the first "Love Story" I really ever watched, and I was touched. I was snatched away into the world of Jade and David, and seduced by the emotion and feelings. By the end, when the movie reaches it's climax, I was in tears. My heart was breaking for each of the charactors. Yes, I was young and emotional, but this movie made an impression on me and gave me my first lesson in Love. I snuck in two more times, just to feel those tears again. I Loved it!
I just saw this movie again for the first time in almost 20 years. This was the greatest, it really touched me when i was a teenage. I saw it with my first love and still to this day I think of him when I see it or think about it. After reading the other comments on this movie it is hard for me to understand how some people dont love it. I think i love it so much because of when i first saw it, I was a teenage in 1981 and it was like nothing i ever saw before. People who are seeing it for the first time now might not get it the same way. My daughter is a teen now and I would like to watch it with her and see what she thinks. this movie will always have a special place in my heart.
Based on the praised novel of the same name, this film deals with the obessive love between two teenagers during a span of about 5 years. With all the talent behind this, including the director, Brooke Shields, and the source of the material you would think this would be a terrific movie, but don't be fooled. It is awful. The two leads are OK, but the rest of the cast just hams it up in a most embarrasing way, the script is really lumpy, the editing perfectly awful, and the direction nowhere near as good as the directors previous efforts (which include Romeo and Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew). Some people may find it good on a so bad its good level. Others beware. My rating: 3 out of 10. (because the title song is excellent)
David Axelrod (Martin Hewitt) and Jade Butterfield (Brooke Shields) are
two teenage lovers. He is 17, she is only 15.
One night the two, after a party held at the Butterfield house, have sex by the living room fire, witnessed by Jade's mom (Shirley Knight). What follows is a story of strong love and separation that follows David's life as he is banned from seeing the one that he so badly loves.
This film is no way a fantastic film, but it also isn't terrible. Brooke Shields is absolutely stunning in this film (her acting on the other hand...) and her co-star Hewitt does a reasonable job as the lead. Although the film does have its faults and flaws, it is also a tender tale some can relate to... to some point.
Shirley Knight is touching as the mother and Ian Zeiring and James Spader also star as Jade's brothers. Look out for a nerdy and quite irritating Tom Cruise (with a high pitched voice) in a small scene.
I only rated it 10, because it doesn't deserve its 3.9 rating. I would give it a 6 or 7.
I am a big fan of movies that were released in the 80's. I can't believe that this movie has not been released in the United States on DVD as of yet??? I have been searching for it and found out it has been released in other countries, but not here yet. I really enjoyed this movie when I was younger and know that even this generation would really enjoy it. I think it would be a great seller and rental. This movie was aired on television several times after it's release at the movie theaters and I know it was a big hit. I hope the production company considers releasing this great movie. I hope that maybe if enough people request it they will listen. This movie was a great coming of age movie that shows a great love story of two young people who have to fight to stay together. It reminds me of a modern Romeo & Juliet. I know it was released on VHS, but never on DVD. It you come across it I recommend you watch it.
It's not a terrible movie, despite the wooden performances of the two lead
actors. But this story of obsessive love and tragedy never becomes
or interesting, and feels like it's much too long despite the relatively
short running time.
The film does have two redeeming factors: beautiful cinematography and the legendary title song.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Endless Love is one of those movies I can watch over and over; it really is that good - that's my opinion, of course. David is someone I can identify with; he's an only child and that makes him selfish and needy. Evidently, David stands out as a student both academically and as a risk taker. He is very clever yet very foolish. As an only child myself, I sympathize with and understand (but not encourage or condone)his wacky misguided behavior. Some people think that Martin Hewitt was miscast; I strongly disagree. By most peoples' standards, Hewitt is a handsome guy; he'd have to be to attract Brook Shields. No problem there! The relationship is based on physical attraction; from Jade's viewpoint this is doubly true. No miscast. James Spader made his start here, and his portrayal of Keith no doubt is what propelled him to higher success. In my mind Sex, Lies and Video Tape was his best but this was a close second. Keith is all too real; he's the stud who leads David on and betrays him; his agenda is as speculative as Mrs. Robinson's! Nevertheless, Keith goes on doggedly to rectify what he personally sees as a huge mistake. Spader brilliantly imparts a sense of honor and responsibility to, in the hands of a lesser actor, what would seem like mindless cruelty. "Just because you're xing my sister ..." What a great line! When David finally fights back in the Vermont hotel, I was cheering! There are loose ends. How did the police determine David's guilt about the fire? Did David admit it? The movie should have made it clear because a) Keith shows guilt for knocking David unconscious and b)Hugh saves David (and no doubt he regrets it later). And then there's the unclear ending. If any movie needed a clear happy ending, it was Endless Love.
This movie is quite possibly the single most passionate, intense, thrilling film I've ever seen. Even the most badly love-burned person can start to believe in love again after seeing it. Martin Hewitt and Brooke Shields are definately candidates for the cinema's most memorable lovers, at least I think so. Anyone who likes drama and/or romance, will definately love this movie. Some people say the acting in this movie is bad. It is NOT bad at all unless you're looking for Shakespeare or something. The storyline is very original, away from the old cliche that is used over and over again in romance films. How many other romantic films feature the leading man attempting to set fire to his love's house, just because he loves her so much?? What a film. That is all I can say: what an amazing film. I'm waiting patiently for the DVD. I was lucky enough to get a copy of the VHS, which is a prized possession. To everyone, ignore ALL of the bad reviews. See this movie no matter what it takes.
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