Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 adaptation of Scott Spencer’s Endless Love was a dark, brooding and manipulative tale of an affair between two teenagers either side of the age of consent.
Though critics didn’t like it much, the film was a box office hit and inspired a song of the same name which, thanks to the vocal talents of Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, spent 9 weeks at Number 1 and won a clutch of awards including an Oscar for best song.
Even if you’ve forgotten the film – understandable given it was released 33 years ago – there’s a good chance you’ll know the song.
Sadly this year’s adaptation of the same novel lacks any memorable music so nothing about it will linger in the mind beyond the end of next week.
Because audiences of 2014 are apparently stupider than those of 1981, David (Alex Pettyfer) and Jade’s (Gabriella Wilde) complicated, layered affair has been boiled down to an empty, fluffy Hollyoaks-style ‘wrong side of the tracks’ romance.
The principal characters’ families are relegated to mere supporting roles when in the original it was they who drove much of the story.
Unlike the original, there’s never any doubt about where things are going, making this a predictable plodfest which retreads the same ground as most other teen romances.
While both leads turn in fine enough performances and share enough chemistry to make the romance plausible, the 23 year old Pettyfer looks far too old for his supposedly just graduated character.
Given how much of the plot has been cut it’s puzzling why the producers bothered to reuse the title and, presumably, pay Spencer’s royalties rather than come up with a title of their own.
Like so many remakes, Endless Love 2014 suffers from the somewhat major failing of being so insipid that, if it was the first time the story was told, no-one would bother remaking it 30 years down the line.