This remake of the 1981 classic film has many different aspects to it. The ages between the two protagonists have been raised higher to 17 and 18 respectively; David’s background is different; there’s an ex-girlfriend of David’s in the picture; a brother that Jade hangs around with excessively; marital discord between Jade’s parents and a somewhat happy, if ambiguous ending. Class structure, peer pressure, post-secondary school, sexual love and family relationships are all prevalent themes throughout.
Jade Butterfield is a beautiful, but socially awkward 17 year old high school graduate. She has no friends and spends a lot of time with her older brother and his girlfriend, Sabine. It is revealed that she had another brother, Chris, who passed away from cancer. This has had a heavy emotional impact on all the family members, especially Hugh Butterfield. She is something of a bookworm and it has paid off in one sense: she has a high grade point average and is off to attend Brown University, in order to follow in her father’s footsteps (in order to become a cardiologist). In another sense, she is awkward and has never really had opportunities to socialize with her peers. Of course, this also means that she has never been around guys, have had no sexual experiences and no chance encounters with developing a crush or a first love. High school is often a time of turmoil: the competition is fierce, you want to please your parents, be cool in the eyes of your friends, have all the latest gadgets, maintain your popularity, all the while trying to keep up grades, in order to go on to the next step of life (which is often college or university).
Jade has a graduation party (her father arranges it and it’s a complete epic failure, until David shows up and pulls some strings). David gets a large group of high school seniors to come to her house, thus allowing her to socialize with her peers and making the night a (somewhat) success. A romance begins between David and Jade, which leads to the two of them becoming sexually intimate. Over the summer, the fall in love, much to the chagrin of Hugh. The fact that David knows their time is limited means that they spend every waking moment together. The relationship becomes intense – and they declare feelings of love for each other.
David Elliot is everything that a 17 year old teenage girl would find attractive: he’s tall; works hard; has a high grade point average; is good looking; has a nice athletic physique and is down to earth. This is something that Jade’s father is scared of and highly disapproves of – his daughter should not be cavorting around, especially before she is going off to Brown University and gasp! She shouldn’t be experimenting with some young man….who is not from the same class as them. Hugh is quite a stiff man – snobbish and arrogant. He is preoccupied with his daughter achieving glory for the family, while treating his son, Keith, like garbage (because his university studies aren’t as good as Jade’s impending course of study) and alienating his wife, Anne. It is revealed that David has plans to attend university and has a surprisingly high score on his SATs. (Put that in your pipe, Hugh, and shut up)
It’s here that you see the stark contrast between Jade and David’s relationship against Hugh and Anne’s fractured one. The younger couple is clearly in love and just beginning to start their lives; the older couple is barely on speaking terms. It is soon revealed that Hugh is having an affair, something that David accidentally finds out about but never reveals to Jade. Hugh is something of a control freak and this is something that both his kids are resentful of. Unfortunately for David, he gets caught some of his friends, enjoying some teenage pranks. Hugh turns this to his advantage in getting David to break up with Jade. Like all romantic movies, a terrible misunderstanding occurs, tempers flare, fisticuffs take place and Jade is involved in a car accident. Several hurtful things are revealed about David’s past, things that he wished to keep quiet about, but Hugh used ruthlessly to his advantage
Hugh uses this scenario to obtain a restraining order against David, in order to drive a permanent wedge between the two. Jade and David break up and are both equally miserable. Jade attempts to see David, but Harry, David’s father, cautions her and only wants to protect his son. Jade goes off to Brown. David continues to work at his father’s garage and seeks counselling, in order to heal and move on.
An encounter months down the road between Anne and David brings up old feelings. Anne arranges for Jade to meet up with David. The two make plans to leave together, vowing to never part. Hugh shows his true colours at the house when he completely loses his composure, making a mess of all his relationships. Anne, Keith, Sabine and Jade all walk out. A fire engulfs the family home and who goes in to save the day? David, of all people. Hugh realizes what a complete ass he has been to everyone since his son died. However, the relationship between him and his wife is fractured beyond repair.
Jade leaves with David and flies out to California, only to discover that Keith and Sabine have eloped. David and Jade lie quietly in each other’s arms at the end, with Jade reminiscing about how some loves carry you away and that her first love was everything to her.
And just for fun here is the theme song from the original 1981 movie. Here is “Endless Love” by Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross. Oh, come on, indulge us!