Kids, this is not your parents Endless Love.
Scott Spencers novel of a romantic obsession so strong that it flirts with mental illness has had its sharp edges rubbed off, its dramatic weight lifted and its focus shifted in this adaptation from the director of Country Strong.
Theres nothing dangerous about this teen love on steroids. Theres no showcase sex scene, the selling point of the infamous 1981 Brooke Shields/Franco Zeffirelli adaptation. The kids here come off as perfectly reasonable; the adults are the problem but even their efforts to separate the lovebirds are watered down.
Still, even without that tragic Romeo/Juliet edge or the hit theme song by Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross, it does have a stellar cast who keep things real even if the lighter touches turn this into a conventional teen romance.
Alex Pettyfer is David, the car mechanics son who falls hard for the gorgeous Jade, played by the supermodel-skinny Carrie co-star Gabriella Wilde.
They graduate from high school together, never having spoken. But David, hes seen the possibility of us. And Jade, shut-off from her peers, smothered by her family, is simply swept off her feet.
He rescues her ill-planned graduation party, and when he gets off on the wrong foot with her stern surgeon dad (Bruce Greenwood, terrific), mechanic boy David finds an automotive way to make it up to the doctor, fixing up the familys ancient MGB.
Jades mom (Joely Richardson) is touched. Jades brother (Rhys Wakefield) is charmed.
Only Dr. Hugh (Greenwood) is seeing red. Hes got his daughters future planned, and the boy is interfering.
The way this story is supposed to work is that Dads threats and efforts to keep the kids apart works on Davids fragile, lovesick mind and makes him desperate.
Pettyfer (Magic Mike) doesnt suggest that, as this David is written as all lovesick and moon-eyed. Hes harmless. Jade is in love for the first time, but Wilde doesnt get across the breathless yearning that raises the stakes of their affair when Daddy pulls more than a few tricks out of his bag to try to split them up.