DIRECTOR: Shana Feste
CAST: Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde, Robert Patrick, Bruce Greenwood, Rhys Wakefield, Dayo Okeniyi, Emma Rigby and Joely Richardson
CLASSIFICATION: 10-12 PG
RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes
THIS insipid story about star-crossed teens from opposite sides of the track is endless all right, even if it doesn’t say much about love.
Supposedly a remake of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 film of the same name – which theoretically dealt with obsessive love and gave us the ultimate Lionel Richie/Diana Ross karaoke song – it strays even further from the original novel source material than the first film.
Ostensibly we get poor, happy-go-lucky, but smart, teenager David Elliot (Pettyfer), who falls in love with rich, extremely privileged ice-queen teenager Jade Butterfield (Wilde).
That is what she gets painted as – rich and privileged, and she is very pretty. So, apparently, that is what attracts this otherwise very smart boy, but – whatever. Nuances, like the lengths people in love will go to be together, or how first love can be intense to the point of obsession, are not at issue here. And adults with even the slightest discerning bone in their body, are not the audience.
Like the Zeffirelli film, this one goes for the pop romance feel, using contemporary popular stars, and basically laying on the melodrama, though this time complete with SMSes and Spring Breakers-type parties around the pool.
The gaggle of teenagers who snuck into the media screening were the perfect audience – oohing and aahing over how gorgeous Alex Pettyfer is and swooning over Jade’s perfect hair. And isn’t that just an awesome party she just threw?
Strangely enough, the one almost interesting character is played by Bruce Greenwood as Jade’s doctor father, who manages to display a bit of underhanded menace as the one trying to keep the teenagers apart.
But, this is not a film about a father who becomes so obsessed with saving his remaining children he becomes an emotional tyrant after his eldest son dies.
He is the only one actively trying to keep Jade and David from seeing each other, but he doesn’t exactly do a stellar job. So what was the point again?
There is no point here. This is a film about beautiful, rich, white, privileged teenagers falling in love because – oh, look – I’m so beautiful and the only thing more amazing than me is me falling in love.
If you liked The Lucky One or Beautiful Creatures you will like this.