Canadian actress Jennifer Finnigan used her shining face, clear blue eyes and cupid bow lips to charm American audiences and catapult onto the A-list in her breakout role as the lawyer and mother on J...
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Endless Love has awakened something in me. Not a long dormant passion for an introverted high school classmate, or a sudden desire to break into the zoo after dark. A question about movies — more accurately, about movie criticism. The same question you would ask yourself if you fell drowsy in the middle of Citizen Kane, or welled up during the emotional climax of Just Friends. The question I ask myself now, as I recount the 103 straight minutes of asphyxiating laughter that I endured during a screening of Shana Feste’s would-be romantic drama: What makes a good movie?
We assign deference to some films, disgust to others — a lucky few of us make a living this way. But what, precisely, are we reviewing? A film’s mission or its execution? The product onscreen or the experience of watching it? All factors come into play when considering whether or not a movie “works.” But on rare occasions you’ll get a film that offers no common ground in its meeting of these standards. You’ll get Endless Love, which strives for dramatic sincerity, winds up with underwritten idiocy, and provokes in its viewers an unrestrained, absurdist revelry — the kind of joy you’d otherwise be forced to seek in a third viewing of The Lego Movie. Laughter at the ill-conceived antics and befuddling dialectical patterns of our central teen couple — a Mars native Gabrielle Wilde and her gaping mouthed beau Alex Pettyfer. Elated bemusement at the younger generation’s propensity for chaotic disrobing and didactically organized dance parties. Unprecedented ecstasy at the Mafia movie intimidation tactics of an overprotective dad (Bruce Greenwood) and the brain-dead disregard of a supportive one (Robert Patrick). As a comedy, Endless Love is unstoppable.
I can only hypothesize that it was not Feste’s intention to roll us in the aisles. I have no cold proof that her resolution in paving every nook in her Georgia-set remake with another farcical stone — Wilde’s instantaneous evolution from wordless ingénue to sexually aggressive spirit walker, Patrick’s loving caution-to-the-wind attitude regarding any situation that has to do with a girl, Rhys Wakefield’s “black sheep” character forming an odd amalgamation of Pauly Shore and Charlie St. Cloud — was not one of Wolf of Wall Street-like satire, or reappropriation in the vein of Spring Breakers. Here are two movies that earned scorn from viewers who read them literally, and in turn vehement defense from those who peered through the exaltation of cocaine and firearms into the filmmakers’ ironic intentions.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
To the latter community, one to which I subscribe, I ask: if we’re readily willing to dive deeper for Martin Scorsese and Harmony Korine, shouldn’t we grant Feste this benefit? If we’d defend the authenticity of the splendor we recognized in their movies, why am I inclined to write off the very same when present in this year’s Valentine’s Day cannonball? Why do I eagerly laud the merit in Leonardo DiCaprio directing Quaalude-charged tribal chants and relinquishing subhuman treatment upon anyone short a Y-chromosome, while instinctively shafting the invaluable merriment in Pettyfer’s goofily deliberate declaration that he likes to read into the category of happy accident?
But an even more precise question (one I was challenged to entertain by a friend and film critic far wiser than I am), and this time to the former community: does it matter? Did it matter to all those offended by gunplay and intrusive nudity that Korine set out to demonize youth culture and its omnipresent hedonism? Did considering his intentions make the endgame any less a visceral nightmare? If not, does it matter if Feste poured her soul into the machination of a timeless love story, only to produce a riotous cinematic episode that treads genre parody as expertly as anything from the golden age of the Zucker brothers? Does it matter that she didn’t intend for Wilde and Pettyfer’s sex scene to come off as super-hoke, for every mention of cancer to feel like soap opera send-up, or for Robert Patrick’s vindication of his son’s passion for menagerie trespassing to elicit the biggest laugh of a movie yet in 2014?
So long as I consider the power of cinema, I’ll never be sure if it matters. I’ll never be sure of the answers to any of these questions. But no matter where I find myself standing on this issue down the line, I had far too much fun at Endless Love — and entertained far too many questions on the nature of cinema and the way we react to it — to call it a movie that people shouldn’t see.
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"We met at a barbecue... Matthew Perry introduced us, so we'll always be grateful to him for that." Emmy-winning actress JENNIFER FINNIGAN owes her marriage to actor JONATHAN SILVERMAN to the former Friends star.
Weekend at Bernie's star Jonathan Silverman has wed TV actress Jennifer Finnigan after the couple eloped to Greece last month.
The couple quietly wed on June 7 in a cliff-side villa on the island of Mykonos.
They plan to host a reception for family and friends in Malibu, California, on July 28, according to In Touch Weekly magazine.
The pair met at a barbecue and became engaged in 2004. Silverman has recently appeared opposite his new bride in TV drama Close to Home.
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The View finally gets its Emmy.
As the awards were handed out at the 30th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Friday, ABC's The View, which has been nominated for five straight seasons, walked away with its first Emmy for best talk show, sharing the prize with The Wayne Brady Show. Wayne Brady, who hosted the ceremony presented by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, also took home the award for best talk show host.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, The View co-host and executive producer Barbara Walters seemed surprised that her show finally broke through. "I didn't write anything," she told the audience. "We never win."
In accepting his award, Brady said, "We are the little show that could."
Other winners included CBS' As the World Turns for best daytime drama, Susan Flannery of CBS' The Bold and the Beautiful for best drama actress--her fourth Emmy--and Maurice Benard of ABC's General Hospital for best drama actor, his first award. Jeopardy! won for best game show, while PBS' Reading Rain bow won for best children's series. Executive producer and host Levar Burton urged the audience to keep funding PBS so his show could remain on the air.
NATAS gave 90-year-old Art Linkletter a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in daytime television, including 19 years (on radio and TV) as host of NBC's People Are Funny and 25 years on CBS' House Party. But Linkletter perhaps is best known for his book Kids Say the Darndest Things.
According to The Reporter, accepting his award, the still-active Linkletter displayed his trademark humor, relating to the audience what an elderly woman recently told him was the best thing about being 100 years old: "There's so little peer pressure."
The award show also honored the late Fred Rogers, host of long-running children's series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood with the Muppet cast of PBS' Sesame Street singing a tribute to him.
Outstanding Drama Series
As the World Turns (CBS)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Susan Flannery, The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Maurice Benard, General Hospital (ABC)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Vanessa Marcil, General Hospital (ABC)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Benjamin Hendrickson, As the World Turns (CBS)
Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series
Jennifer Finnigan, The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series
Jordi Vilasuso, Guiding Light (CBS)
Outstanding Talk Show*
The View (ABC)
The Wayne Brady Show (Syndicated)
Outstanding Talk Show Host
Wayne Brady, The Wayne Brady Show (Syndicated)
Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series
Shia Labeouf, Even Stevens (Disney Channel)
Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special
Ben Foster, Bang Bang You're Dead (Showtime)
Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show
Outstanding Game Show Host
Alex Trebek, Jeopardy! (Syndicated)
Outstanding Children's Series
Reading Rainbow (PBS)
Played the lead in the reality-based TV movie, "The Stalking of Laurie Show" (USA)
Had a recurring role on "Crossing Jordan" (NBC) as pathologist Dr. Devan Maguire
Breakout role as the lawyer and mother, Annabeth Chase on Jerry Bruckheimer’s "Close to Home" (CBS)
Played Marni Fliss on the short-lived NBC series "Committed"
Portrayed Bridget Forrester on the CBS soap, "The Bold and the Beautiful"
Made television debut in the Canadian series "Student Bodies"
Invited to be the only female member of the comedy troupe Yikes!
Guest-starred on the episodes "Double Vision" and "A Very Dead Zone Christmas" of the USA series "The Dead Zone"
Canadian actress Jennifer Finnigan used her shining face, clear blue eyes and cupid bow lips to charm American audiences and catapult onto the A-list in her breakout role as the lawyer and mother on Jerry Bruckheimer's "Close to Home" (CBS, 2005 - ).
host on Montréal's CJAD 800; has worked with the station since before Jennifer was born