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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Gwyneth Paltrow has taken her passion for unusual beauty treatments to a new level by undergoing a bizarre therapy involving bee stings. The Iron Man star has revealed she used "bee venom therapy" to treat an injury, which involved being stung by a live insect, but Paltrow is convinced the odd procedure worked as her problem subsequently healed up.
She tells Britain's Marie Claire magazine, "The craziest treatment I've tried is one where I was stung by a live bee. It's called apitherapy and it's apparently been used since Egyptian times to promote healing."
Paltrow is known for her love of unusual and holistic treatments and has previously hailed the benefits of practises including Chinese cupping therapy, macrobiotic diets and wrinkle-busting laser facials.
Late Bee Gees star Robin Gibb excluded his love child from his will so the little girl will not receive any of his $39 million (£26 million) fortune. The singer, who died last year (12), fathered a daughter, Snow, now four, with his housekeeper Claire Yang in 2008 and he bought her a house in Oxfordshire, England before he lost his battle with cancer.
It has now emerged that Yang will be allowed to keep the house, but neither she nor her little girl were included in Gibb's will, meaning his $39 million fortune will be be handed to his widow, Dwina.
The estate includes Gibb's U.K. property as well as his share of the royalties from the Bee Gees back catalogue.
The singer's grown-up children Robin-John, Spencer and Melissa will each receive a cash payment, and they will split his assets following Dwina's death, according to documents obtained by Britain's Daily Mail.
Yes, we admit it, we got a little excited when we found out that Destiny's Child was reuniting. Can you blame us?
When Beyonce teased new music on her official Facebook page a couple days ago, we thought it might be just that, a tease. But only days later we already have the girl group's first new single in eight whole years, "Nuclear."
The song — which was produced by hip hop producer Pharrell Williams (also of The Neptunes and N.E.R.D fame) — is the last song on the upcoming Love Songs album, set for release on January 29. The other 13 tracks include:
1. "Cater 2 U'
2. "Killing Time"
3. "Second Nature"
5. "Now that She's Gone"
6. "Brown Eyes"
9. "If You Leave" (featuring Next)
12. "Say My Name" (Timbaland Remix)
What do you think of this smooth and sultry single? Do you like the slow jam, or are you too hoping some of the other singles give us the catchy beats of the girls from the past?
Have a listen below and tell us what you think of the song Bee, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams are set to play at the Super Bowl halftime show early next month.
[Photo Credit: Legacy Records]
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Bee Gees' co-founder Robin Gibb has "contracted pneumonia and is in a coma," according to a statement on his website. "We are all hoping and praying that he will pull through."
The news comes less than six months after the 62-year-old singer suffered abdominal pains, later to find out he had liver and colon cancer. He was thought to have made a recovery. Especially troubling is his twin brother and fellow Bee Gees member, Maurice, died in 2003 after falling ill with intestinal problems that also started out as stomach pains. He was only 53-years-old.
Fans from around the world have been leaving messages of support and wishes for a full recovery on the singer's Facebook page.