It's a tale as old as time; young love, disapproving parents and generational discord. These timeless themes are given a psychotic twist in "Endless Love", a messy but nevertheless enjoyable film that is not nearly as romantic as it thinks it is.
In the beginning, the relationship between creepy Martin Hewitt and the radiant Brooke Shields is kind of sweet, as the two-year age difference isn't as scandalous as the screenwriter would like us to believe. The second half of the film turns darker and it becomes a lot of fun to watch but for all the wrong reasons.
All of the credibility goes right out the window and any sympathy you had for the Hewitt character goes right along with it, as his endless love disintegrates into obsession. There's a jarring shift in tone as the story picks up after Hewitt has been found guilty or arson and includes several ludicrous moments including an attempted seduction scene involving Shield's on-screen mother. It's all campy fun indeed, but surely not the tone director Franco Zifferelli wanted for his very serious love story.
The Oscar nominated title song by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross is clearly the best thing in the picture , but Zifferelli has a habit of using it at the most inopportune times such as when Hewitt is lighting Shield's house on fire or holding her down against her will. Like much of the film, it's laughable.
"Endless Love" was quite controversial upon its initial release, but a lot of people won't understand why. This alleged romance will do little to lift your spirits. It may have worked better as a thriller.