It’s rare to get a romantic movie starring Hollywood’s most attractive actors that is both popular and not a Nicholas Sparks adaptation. Yet that is exactly what we get with Endless Love. Starring Alex Pettyfer and Gabrielle Wilde, Endless love is a classic forbidden romance as the two leads play lovers from different backgrounds that refuse to bend to the pressure of their respective families. While the movie was a modest hit, it has gathered a cult following and it is to those fans that this list is aimed at. If your one of those fans, here are 10 movies like Endless Love for your viewing pleasure.
The Fault in Our Stars
Josh Boones adaptation of John Green’s zeitgeist romantic novel could have easily been a cynical cash grab as Hollywood looked to capitalize on the book’s popularity. The results couldn’t have been more different as The Fault in Our Stars stays true to the novel’s tone with Shailene Woodley and Ansel Egort perfectly cast as Hazel and Gus, a pair of terminally ill teenagers that fall in love after meeting at a cancer support group. In terms of qualifying for the list of movies like Endless Love, there has to be a tragic element to the central love story and you can’t get more tragic than both of them having cancer. Even so, The Fault in Our Stars never comes close to exploitation, with both character’s illness’ being a reason for them to seize the moment and fall in live, rather than letting the hand that life dealt them beat them down.
The Notebook may be the definitive romantic movie of the 21st century. I realize that this statement will be met equally with agreement from fans of the movie, and questions about my sanity from those that are not. The reality is that everyone, whether they liked the movie, or even seen the movie, are aware of The Notebook’s place in popular culture. That’s why it has a place on this list of movies like Endless Love, mainly because it would be sacrilege not to include it. If for some reason you are still unfamiliar with The Notebook here is a quick summary. Ryan Gosling plays a poor man who falls in love with a rich girl played by Racheal McAdams. Even though she shares his feelings, their social differences, which are highlighted by Joan Allen as McAdams’ mother. The rest of the film is about how these two find their way back to each other, and it’s really quite moving. There, I said it.
Remember Me is a movie that is usually a target of derision thanks to its 9/11 ending, and for that it certainly deserves its critics. However, the romantic story that unfolds before this bafflingly bad choice is really quite good. Robert Pattinson, in his hunky Twilight days, plays Tyler a rebellious young man who is trying to come to terms with his brother’s recent suicide. One night he meets Ally, played by Lost’s Emile De Ravin, who has a similar personal trauma after witnessing her mother’s murder. Blimey! I forgot how dark this movie is. With Tyler bottoming out of his life, especially due to his strained relationship with his father (played by Piece Bronson), meeting Ally turns out to be the best thing for him. Due to her own personal trauma she has promised herself that she will live her life to the fullest, and example that has a great effect on Tyler.
The Theory of Everything
A change of pace here as our list of movies like Endless Love takes a detour into the land of Academy Award winning biopics, The Theory of Everything is both a dramatic rendering of Stephen Hawking’s fight against adversity while showing how important his relationship with his wife was in keeping him going after his diagnosis of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. One of the pivotal aspects of the movie is the chemistry between actors Eddie Redmayne as Hawking, and Rogue One’s Felicity Jones as his wife Jane. Unsurprisingly, unless you’re a fan of Michael Keaton (which I am), Redmayne won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Hawking, and The Theory of Everything is one of those rare biopics that is more than just a piece of worthy Oscar bait. It has genuine heart as well.
P.S. I Love You
Based on the best-selling novel by Celia Ahern, P.S. I Love You was one of the highest grossing movies of 2007: making $156,835,339 on a $30 million budget. While critics took a pass on the movie, its popularity is not undeserved. Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank, who is taking a well-earned break from tougher roles like Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby, plays Holly: a young widow who is sent a cake on her 30th birthday that is the first of many messages that her husband Gerry, played by Gerard Butler, has left her after his death from a brain tumor. Gerry has left 10 messages, all of which end with P.S. I Love You, as a way to help Holly cope after his death. It’s a sweet movie, with Swank in fine form in a role that she could do in her sleep if she wanted to, and Butler putting in a more sensitive performance than his usual belligerent romantic leading roles.
The late 90s was a popular time for teen movie versions of classic literature. Clueless was an update of Jane Austen’s Emma, O was a high school version of Othello, and the darkest of the bunch was Cruel Intentions, based on Les Liaisons Dangereuses. A huge hit when it came out in 1999, Cruel Intentions has remained a trashy guilty pleasure. Ryan Philippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar play a pair of step-siblings make a wager in which Philippe’s aptly named Sebastian Valmont must take the virginity of the Headmaster’s daughter. His prize is a roll in the hay with Gellar’s Kathryn Merteuil. Cruel Intentions is not high art, but it’s a blast of a bad movie, especially the enjoyment involved in watching Sarah Michelle Gellar chew the scenery in a very un-Buffy performance.
Charlie St Cloud
A slight change of pace here as Charlie St Cloud is a movie that eventually fits the mold of movies like Endless Love. In a time where Zac Efron was still trying to break away from High School Musical, and before he became the star of good to not-so good comedies, came his lead role in Charlie St Cloud. Efron plays the titular Charlie who loses his little brother after a car crash. Charlie and his little brother, Sam, were so close that Charlie takes a job as caretaker at the cemetery that Sam is buried in. One day Charlie wakes up and realizes that he can see and talk to Sam once again. They have heart to hearts, they play catch, and no one wonders if Charlie is losing his mind or not, that is until he meets and falls in love with a girl named Tess (Amanda Crew).
Gwyenth Paltrow may be best known for playing Tony Stark’s girlfriend, the ridiculously named Pepper Potts, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but she also proved that she has comedic skills, and can do a solid English accent in romantic comedy Sliding Doors. Sliding Doors is one of those rare romcoms that uses a premise that would be more at home in superhero movies: the multiverse theory. Basically, Paltrow plays Helen Quilley: as we get to see how her life changes in one moment, in this case whether she misses her train or not. From this moment the movie spits into two different timelines: one where she gets the train and arrives home to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and one where she arrives home late. From there we see Helen’s life from these two alternating timelines showing how her life could be different.
Somewhere in Time
Christopher Reeve’s is one of those unlucky actors that is only remembered for one role, that of the first cinematic Superman. Which is a shame really as his filmography outside of playing the Man of Steel has some treasures to be discovered. One of these is Somewhere in Time, in which Reeve plays a Chicago playwright named Richard Collier. One night Richard is stopped by an old lady that begs Richard to come back to her. Confused by the encounter he finds out that the woman was beautiful stage actress in the early 1900s named Elise Mckenna. Becoming obsessed with her (writers, am I right?) Richard uses self-hypnosis to travel back in time to meet the younger version of Elise, played by Jane Seymour. The couple fall in love but hampered by literally coming from different times. Too bad Reeve’s can’t just fly round the planet a couple of times to solve this problem.
10 Things I Hate about You
Our final entry on the movies like Endless Love list is another teen movie adaptation of a classic work of literature. In this case it’s 10 Things I Hate About You, based on the William Shakespeare play Taming of the Shrew. The movie has stars Julia Stiles as Kat Stratford, an abrasive high school outsider that intimidates every boy that comes near her. This is bad news for her younger sister as she can’t on dates until her Kat does. Enter Patrick Verona (the late Heath Ledger at his most swoon-worthy) an Australian exchange student who thinks he is the man for the job of winning Kat’s affections. Apart from being a funny, and at times sweet romantic teen comedy, 10 Things I Hate About you is worth a watch thanks to the performances of future stars Stiles and Ledger, as well as a breakout performance from Joseph Gordon Levitt.