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BROOKE SHIELDS IN ENDLESS LOVE & ENDLESS LOVE REMAKE

year: 1981 rating: **1/2
The first act of the original ENDLESS LOVE dares to ponder just how far liberalism should be stretched…

Not of the political nature, but parental, since Don Murray’s Hugh Butterfield and his quirky wife Ann are the kind of throwback hippie parents who not only allow their teens Jade and Keith to have a raging party, but they themselves join in, smoking pot and making out in the midst of everyone...

So it should be no shock, providing that kind of free-spirited influence, that their daughter, played by the already iconic Brooke Shields… a beautiful young actress who was, by this time, after PRETTY BABY and THE BLUE LAGOON, an old hat at pushing the exploitation envelope… It's no surprise when Jade hooks up with Keith’s handsome new friend, a middle-class kid brought into the bourgeois family like an orphaned pup…

Her steamy romance with Martin Hewitt’s David Axelrod is anything but subtle. The two have sex in the house after hours, and her parents know all about it – here's where the hook comes in: While mom (a sultry Shirley Knight), who has a noticeable crush on David, thinks the windswept affair is absolutely fine, dad begins questioning his own open-mindedness and thus hands down a strict edict: neither kid can see each other for thirty… long… days...

Brooke Shields in love
Long for David, but not Jade, who hangs around her high society friends and doesn’t seem that heartbroken. It’s during this time the most intriguing scenes take place in a movie far more creepy than romantic…

Highlighted by a famous Lionel Richie/Diana Ross duet, which is even sung by a female character in one scene, the standout track is Blondie’s death-disco shuffle HEART OF GLASS, playing in hypnotic rhythm while David stalks Jade’s party he's not allowed to join... And soon enough, with all his rage he goes legitimately crazy!   

At this point, ENDLESS LOVE morphs into a bizarre psychodrama as David spends time at a mental asylum, and Brooke Shields sporadically turns up in hallucinations. Those are probably her best moments, full of surreal, dreamy passion, surpassing an eventual forced dilemma to avoid David (who's really the main character) or embrace what he, not she, considers endless love but is more of a pathetic obsession... Imagine that title.

Unlike the clichĂ© strictly-romantic remake, reviewed below, poor dad isn’t able to complain too much or for very long. And what a shame... he’s the only character who eventually makes any logical sense.
Years before lecturing Brooke on medicine,  Tom Cruise made a pre-fame cameo in her movie...

year: 2014 rating: **
If there were an Oscar for “Best Jerk Dad,” you could bet easy money on Bruce Greenwood as Hugh Butterfield, a successful surgeon and, most importantly, father of a gorgeous teenage daughter who has fallen in love, and she can’t get up…

Well on the other side of the coin (or tracks) is a muscular, chisel-chinned guy named David who has, in dad’s opinion, extremely little to offer poor rich Jade Butterfield… 

In the lead female role, Gabriella Wilde is the perfect aesthetic match for Alex Pettyfer‘s David… Despite the class issues, both have just graduated from the same high school, and within seconds she’s instantly smitten, even though when her dad’s raking in dough at the hospital, David’s old man gets greasy as a mechanic (then again he owns the garage)... But this isn’t the John Hughes universe so money doesn’t really matter – at least not to the young folks.

ENDLESS LOVE is based on the novel adapted into a 1981 Brooke Shields movie that garnered an even more popular song (and is the third 80’s reboot on the same weekend along with ROBOCOP and ABOUT LAST NIGHT)… But this version holds its very own featherweight, guilty pleasure camp value and doesn't try to be anything more than fluff… With a slight edge...

Fun villain Bruce Greenwood
Which is where dastardly Greenwood comes in, providing a constant, unapologetic bulwark to steamy young desire: From being blunt at the dinner table to Internet stalking to goading fist fights, the doc will do just about anything to get his daughter, who’s supposed to be interning at a hospital, away from this low-rent former valet driver… But the summer romance is hot and sizzling and their connection has gone way too deep… Or you can even all it endless
 
The love story between the two leads is so forced, there's very little mystery and nothing to base the attraction on other than both being perfectly attractive… Imagining David's dreamy aspirations coming out of an ugly guy’s mouth would be like watching an action flick starring a 500 pound crippled blind man – and would a GQ stud waste his time on anyone besides a dainty supermodel? 

ENDLESS LOVE is so packaged for young girls, there’s nothing left for anyone else except how down and dirty “dear old dad” gets… With a forced Ken and Barbie romance; a wasted subplot about a dead older brother (straight out of FOOTLOOSE); a weak side cast including Jade’s dizzy mom and a black comic relief who’s not one bit funny; and several catastrophes tying loose ends together, it takes our desperate antagonist to not only shape things up, but to give this ENDLESS any shape at all…
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