Shana Feste

Endless Love

About halfway through Endless Love I made the unnerving revelation that this is, in fact, not a movie about young love, first love, or any kind of love. This is a vile and manipulative film about an abnormally malicious father and his unhealthy relationship with his daughter. That it is being sold as the next The Notebook is unsurprising, as director/co-writer Shana Feste’s trite and sappy sophomore effort contains the necessary components to dupe unassuming customers. The two attractive and compatible teenagers who fall for each other at first sight, Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde) and David Elliot (Alex Pettyfer); the disapproving father (Bruce Greenwood) and the pragmatic mother (Joely Richardson); the rebellious brother (Rhys Wakefield) who constantly disappoints the patriarch of the family; and the limbo-like summer between high school graduation and college where one’s future appears to be infinite. All the necessary pieces for a predictable, but sweet love story are in place. Jade is an exquisite beauty – shy and ambitious – with plans to attend Brown and study pre-med (like her father) in the fall. Conversely David (although smart enough to receive a 2020 on his SAT) has no collegiate aspirations, instead deciding to work at his father’s car shop. The two young lovers soon begin a courtship of sorts. They run and scream and dance in the summer wind, laughing and making love as they please. Happiness and excitement is in air as the two embark on the type of whimsical summer most teenagers’ can only dreams of. […]

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Taking teenage infatuation to the big screen is nothing new (let’s take a minute to consider every incarnation of Romeo & Juliet we’ve ever been subjected to), so the news that Universal is planning on remaking Franco Zeffirelli‘s 1981 schlockfest, Endless Love, is perhaps the least shocking thing we’ll hear about all day. What is a bit surprising, however, is the news of who the studio is planning to tap to direct the project. Variety reports (via Cinema Blend) that Country Strong director Shana Feste is in talks for the project. As Cinema Blend notes, “as Country Strong made little more than its budget back at the box office and was widely panned by critics, it’s surprising Feste is getting a second chance to helm another picture so soon, especially considering how statistics don’t favor female filmmakers rebounding from flops.” Also, Feste is apparently the sort of director who thinks that Gwyneth Paltrow makes for good country croonin’, so who knows what she’ll cook up for her new Endless Love. This new film’s script has been penned by Josh Safran, but it’s currently”not known how faithful the adaptation will be, as Universal is keeping plot details under wraps.” Safran is best known for writing and producing Gossip Girl and producing Smash, so it seems likely that his take on Love will feature a lot of headbands and big musical numbers, which actually sounds sort of amazing, because Endless Love is like, really bad.

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Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White; they’re all fairy tale characters that have recently been mined for darker, more adult re-tellings on the big screen. If Hollywood is good at anything, it’s taking a trend and running with it, so it’s no big surprise that Sony is now looking to do a bleak retelling of The Little Mermaid, especially since Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides recently opened and had a big scene full of angry, killer mermaids. I give it two weeks before we’re reporting on a remake of Splash. “The Little Mermaid” started off as a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, got a very high profile Disney animated adaptation, and eventually inspired Carolyn Turgeon’s book “Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale.” It’s this book that Sony has optioned to turn into a feature. Unlike Disney’s take on the character, this time the story is told not from the perspective of the mermaid, but of a desperate young princess. She needs to marry a prince in order to create a political bond with a rival Kingdom, or her home is pretty much going to be in shambles. So, she makes a long journey to his kingdom in order to try and get the marriage together. Unfortunately, when she gets there she finds out that the prince has already fallen in love with a beautiful young mermaid who has sacrificed her fishy ways in order to spend her life with them. That bitch. The book will be […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr heads into the January movie season with a heavy heart. He checks out Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest award bait flick, Country Strong. Hint, hint… no one is taking the bait. Then he tries like hell to see Season of the Witch, but the lack of regional press screenings and midnight shows keep him and Nicolas Cage’s mullet sadly apart. What else would you expect from the industry coming back from winter break. After all, this is the time of year that the mega-hits Leprechaun, BloodRayne and Bride Wars came out.

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The Greatest

Robert Levin reviews a Sundance 2009 title that stars Aaron Johnson from Kick-Ass and Carey Mulligan, that painfully adorable actress who got nominated for an Oscar for An Education. Interested?

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