A look at the seedy and sometimes geeky underworld of cinema
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
It wasn't until I was 16, that I discovered that Endless Love was more than just a cheesy pop ballad. It was a cheestastic '80s film based on a rather disturbing novel by Scott Spencer. Anyone who is planning on reading this book be warned, some scenes especially the love scenes are rather detailed.
For such a bad film, it boasts a surprising case of stars. Brooke Shields, James Spader, Tom Cruise, Ian Zeiring, and Jami Gertz. It is directed by Franco Zeffrelli who directed 1967's Romeo and Juliet.
The film opens with young lovers Jade and David walking inside a human heart. Well, actually a replica of a human heart inside a museum. We later see them cuddling in the planetarium, Jade asks David what he would do if she died. He'd die too is his answer.
A teacher spots David and tells him to get lost, it turns out David crashed a school field trip in order to be with Jade. That evening, David clad in his father's tuxedo shows up for dinner at Jade's house. While David's socialist parents ignore him, Jade's family welcomes him with open arms.
Jade's parents are your typical laid back '80s parents, they allow the kids to do whatever they want. Some friends of Jade's older brother Keith (Spader) show up unannounced with booze and musical instruments. They are welcomed with open arms.
This is Ian Ziering who would later play Steve Saunders on 90210.
David and Jade are fooling around upstairs and are caught by Keith who is less than happy with his sister. David is touched when Jade refers to him as family. Meanwhile the college kids are lighting up and having a grand old time. Jade's parents jam and smoke weed right along with them.
Things quiet down as Keith's girlfriend sings (what else) Endless Love. David makes eyes at Jade while she sits on her father's lap. Eventually Jade remembers that she's supposed to be dating David and slowly, insufferably slowly, goes to him.
David pretends to leave after the party, but sneaks back in. Meanwhile Jade's mom passes up sex with her drunken husband in order to read Russian literature. (Are there any scenes in this film that have a point?)
Jade slinks on down to David while an even more insipid instrumental version of Endless Love plays. (Twenty minutes into the film and this is third time we've heard this song.) Jade and David proceed to make sweet love down by the fire.....place. Jade's mother actually stands there and watches them go at it. (Ewwww!)
David goes duck hunting with Keith and Jade's father, Hugh. David tries to buddy up with Keith who then delivers on of the best lines in the film "Just because you're f***ing my sister doesn't make you family." Back at the house Hugh catches David naked in Jade's bedroom. Jade is totally nonchalant about it, but David freaks out.
Hugh is also freaking out but Ann, Jade's mother, tells that it's his fault for being so open and permissive. He wants to know how she manages to sleep or study with David around all the time. Jade begins to fall asleep in class.
We rehash the same old scenes, Keith hates David, Jade and David make love, Endless Love plays for the fourth and fifth time. After an extremely awkward love scene, Jade begs David to let her sleep but he can't leave her.
Jade is caught stealing her Hugh's sleeping pills and becomes hysterical, crying about not getting any sleep. Hugh tells David that he doesn't want him seeing Jade for a month. David refuses to go and demands to talk to Jade. Ann convinces him to agree to Hugh's demands.
David overhears Keith say that Jade broke up with him. One of his friends (Tom Cruise) suggests setting a small fire outside their house and then put it out thus becoming a hero. David sits in his room blaring Kiss' I Was Made For Lovin' You and staring at Jade's photo.
To the strains of Blondie's Heart of Glass, David stalks down the street to Jade's house. (Why did this film torture us with Endless Love when it could have been rocking the disco the whole time?) There is a party going on at Jade's house and a devastated David sees her talking to another guy. He tries to call Jade from a pay phone but no one will answer.
Of course the only way to get your girlfriend's parent to accept you is to set a small fire outside their house. The fire of course quickly burns out of control and David is unable to put it out. He manages to wake up everyone and get them out (In the book the whole family was high on LSD when the fire started.) Keith knocks out David and Hugh is forced to carry him from the burning building. Inappropriately during the fire scenes another instrumental version of Endless Love plays.
David is convicted of arson, he is sent to a psychiatric hospital and banned from ever contacting Jade or her family. David is haunted by visions of Jade and sends multiple letters to her, never receiving an answer. He doesn't know that the letters are being confiscated by his doctor.
David begs his parents to get him released and they stupidly agree. He's free but still not allowed to contact Jade or even leave town. Jade and her family have moved to New York and David's dad encourages him to forget her. He then drops the bomb that he is in love with another woman and has left David's mom.
Hugh learns that David has been released and is furious. He threatens to kill David if he ever comes near him and his family. David promptly leaves for New York and tracks down Ann. Ann is less than enthused to see him. She and Hugh have divorced in the two years after the fire.
They go out to dinner and then back to her place. She recounts the time that she saw Jade and David making love. Apparently it was a life changing event for her. She admits that she made love to her husband that night and imagined it was him (Double ewwwww). She comes on to him but he pushes her away. He can't make love to anyone but Jade.
He finds out that Jade is now in Vermont and decides to board a bus later that afternoon. As he walks down the street, he is spotted by Hugh. He chases after him but is struck by a taxi cab. David is too upset to catch the bus and goes back to Ann's apartment. Keith is there and he tells David that Jade hates him. Ann begs them to stop fighting.
Ann offers to arrange a meeting for him and Jade but he refuses. He hands her a stack of letters he never got to mail. He spies Jade getting on the elevator but doesn't go after her. David's parents worry when he doesn't return home.
Jade meets David at a hotel room and you'll never guess in a million years what song starts playing. She admits to reading all the letters and worries that she ruined his life. She begs David to let her go. She tries to leave, he throws her on the bed, and then she admits that she still loves him. Sorry, that is not love that is dysfunction. They indulge in yet another awkward love scene.
The next morning, Keith calls the room and asks them to come down to the lobby. Apparently Hugh's girlfriend thinks she remembers him being at the scene of the accident. David admits the truth to a horrified Jade. The guy burnt down her house, she should know that sanity has nothing to do with her love for her. Keith beats him up and the cops take him away.
The movie ends with Jade visiting David in the mental hospital and the song Endless Love rears it's ugly head one last time.
Next Up: How can Mariah Carey screw up a movie about Mariah Carey. You'll find out in Glitter.