Michelle Flanagan & Madi Endicott
This Valentine’s Day, the romantic films Endless Love and Winter’s Tale were expected to reach the top of the box office as the love stories each of them advertised were just the thing every couple wanted to see on their special evening together. Unfortunately neither of the movies even made the top ten and embarrassingly enough The LEGO Movie beat them both out as it is number one in the box office with a whopping $142,781,396 total gross. Endless Love just barely beat out Winter’s Tale as it took the number 13 spot on the chart over Winter’s Tale’s number 15, but even their combined opening night gross of just over $20,000,000 couldn’t hold a candle to the $69,050,279 that The LEGO Movie brought in its opening night two weeks ago. Despite the disappointing rankings, both Endless Love and Winter’s Tale still delivered entertaining and enjoyable plots.
While the mere title was enough to make males everywhere groan with bitter anticipation, and make females smile with giddy excitement, Endless Love was undeniably a standard Valentine’s Day flick.
The tale starts out on graduation day, when David (Alex Pettyfer) tries to find the courage to talk to Jade (Gabriella Wilde), the girl he has been madly in love with for four years. Time slips between the cracks and David believes that he missed his very last chance. Fate steps in when Jade stays in the hotel that David is a valet for, and the two begin a whirlwind romance even though she is leaving in a mere two weeks.
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In typical movie-conflict fashion, Jade’s father becomes outraged at the change he sees in his daughter as she transforms from complacent girl to independent woman. While the audience cheers for Jade as she becomes her own person, they will also cringe at the verbal abuse she takes from her father.
Overall, the movie was enjoyable but not original. The plot became fragmented at times, with little ideas that seemed to detract from the main point instead of adding a sense of depth or reality. A romance between an unlikely couple is not something that’s new to the screens of Hollywood. The ending, while predictable, still left me smiling as I left the theater, and I felt no shame in enjoying this cheesy romance. Seeing Jade become empowered was a definite plus in the movie, even if it was through the hands of a boy. The comic relief provided by David’s best friend, Mace, (Dayo Okeniyi, who also played Thresh in Hunger Games) acts as the person we all have in our lives who says the wrong thing at the right time and prevents the movie from becoming too serious.
While I wouldn’t pay $9.25 to go see this movie a second time, I would definitely consider going during the matinee, or renting it when the DVD is released. I give Endless Love 3.5 out of 5 stars, and would recommend it only when you’re in the mood for a major chick flick!
Based off of the book (because what in Hollywood isn’t these days) by Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale did not deliver what was expected. Where many viewers were looking for a 1900’s love story, Warner Brothers conveyed an inspiring and insightful take on the value of human life.
The mystery that was present right from the beginning, as the setting flashed from present day to the early 1900s about five times within the first twenty minutes and left a lot of holes in the story for the viewer to fill with their interpretation and imagination, was captivating. The strange, magical creatures that accompanied the love story plot only added a bit of unnecessary confusion, but provided clues for the viewers who were paying close attention.
The romance portrayed in the trailer (that was probably what drew many couples to the theater on Valentine’s Day) was a basic bad-boy-falls-for-innocent-dying-girl-who-changes-his-life. However much the trailer promised this to be the main focus of the movie, it wasn’t. While the quick yet passionate love story (which Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay presented incredibly well) portrayed the immense power and great passion in love at first sight, the moral I took away was something different.
The movie ends with what was present in the entire movie: magic. Unfortunately it was not used in the way I was hoping for, but the surprising conclusion (and resolution to the mystery) left me pondering the importance of human life.
Though it didn’t reach number one in the box office, the surprising plot and inspiring message of Winter’s Tale was refreshing and enjoyable. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars and suggest it to anyone interested in fantasy or just a Sunday afternoon movie.