Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
Thoughtful, Moving and Beautiful
on 12 July 2014
I wasn't sure about this move when I first read the synopsis - working class boy meets rich girl and their parents try to keep them apart. What's original about that, right? But actually, this movie has a charming, heart-felt script and the story does have a little edge to it.
Jade (played by Gabrielle Wilde) and David (played by Alex Pettyfer) are graduating high school when you first see them. Jade is a loner with a very childlike attitude and naiveté who lost a brother to cancer a year earlier and has since been unable to move on. Her mother (played fabulously by Joely Richardson) is a free-spirited author who is hoping her daughter will find peace, love and the chance to finally live her teenage years. Her father (portrayed very well by Bruce Greenwood), is a surgeon who has never come to terms with the death of his son and whose grief has gradually morphed into rage. With a firm grasp on his daughter, he wants her to follow in his footsteps (as his late son had planned to) and become a surgeon, taking an internship at Brown. Jade's other brother, Keith (played by Rhys Wakefield) is desperate for his father's approval and wishes he would deal with his grief so the family can move on.
David is an only child who lives with his father (played by Robert Patrick). His father owns a auto shop and David hopes to take this over from him someday, with no plans to go to college. David has been fascinated by Jade since the 10th grade and finally gets the chance to speak to her when he's working the valet at a restaurant she arrives at.
A friendship grows between them which inevitably turns into love, and Jade decides to forego the internship and instead spend the summer with David before heading off to college, much to the frustration of her father who thinks she is wasting her opportunity. Jade's father, feeling that David isn't good enough for his daughter, forces the family to visit their lake house for the summer in order to separate Jade and David, but Jade invites David anyway.
Whilst at the lake house, David learns more about the family and discovers a shocking secret about Jade's father that has the potential to ruin his family. Following this discovery, Jade's father works hard to find a reason to ostracise David from his daughter and the rest of his family, and eventually does.
However, Jade and her mother, together with her brother Keith, feel that David is a positive influence on their family and is helping them to heal, following the death of their brother, and try to prevent Jade's father from separating them.
Eventually, when an incident occurs in which David needs Jade's father's help, Jade agreed not to see David again if her father helps David, and her father agrees.
I won't say any more about the plot because I'll give the ending away.
The relationship between Jade and David is completely believable, and throughout the film you find yourself desperately hoping everything works out. The ancillary characters add so much depth to the film, including David's friends, family and ex-girlfriend, and you feel that you really get to chance to understand each of their complexities.
The only reason I've knocked a star off giving this movie a five star review is because I personally feel that Jade's character is a little weak. For me, her childlike qualities occasionally make it hard to believe she has the strength to endure what her parents are putting her through.
Overall, if you like romantic dramas, this is one of the best I've seen and it doesn't feel like a 'teen drama' either.