Love Everlasting is a 2016 American teen romance film directed by Rob Diamond and starring Lucky Blue Smith. Diamond stated that the film is based on two people’s genuine life experiences. Smith’s character was inspired by Diamond’s buddy Jason Wixom, who got a heart transplant as a child. Burke is based on a woman who endured terrible face damage as a child.
Love Everlasting: Background
The film was partly shot in Utah, where Smith grew up and makes use of the area’s picturesque grandeur. Smith is most known as a model, and this was his first picture as an actor. His father, Dallon Smith, was one of the film’s three producers.
It had its world premiere on November 9, 2016, at the Vista Theatre in Los Angeles, and had a limited theatrical release in Utah theatres on February 10, 2017. The Salt Lake Tribune called the film “a finely played but predictably heartbreaking young-adult romance.” It was also compared to The Fault in Our Stars and Romeo and Juliet. It also garnered a slew of nominations for the 2017 Utah Film Awards, with Shawn Stevens taking home the award Best Feature Supporting Actor. The film is not rated, but the filmmaker believes it would have received a PG or PG-13 classification in the United States.
Love Everlasting: Plot
Bridger Jenkins (Lucky Blue Smith), a high school student and his mother Helen (Emily Proctor) flee an abusive stepfather and husband in Missouri with $197 in their pockets and end up in the little hamlet of Greenville, Utah after their truck breaks down. Will Simms (Shawn Stevens), a local mechanic, provides them with temporary accommodation. Clover (Christie Burke), Will’s daughter, is shy and secretly a cutter, plagued by a past incident that left a scar on her left face. Bridger also has a scar from a paediatric heart transplant on his chest. They get closer, but both are subjected to the wrath of school bully Bo Chinsley (Austin R. Grant)
More About Love Everlasting
Diamond’s film, which he both wrote and directed, centres on a pair of outcasts from a small town. Bridger (Smith) is a gangly bleach-blonde high school senior on the run with his mother, Helen (Emily Procter), from the latest in a line of losers. Their cross-country road trip to the West Coast gets as far as rural Utah before their truck catches fire on the side of the road. They meet Will (Shawn Stevens), a tow truck operator with an available camper in his yard, Clover (Christie Burke), a teenage daughter about Bridger’s age, and a link to a nearby cafe where Helen can obtain a job waiting tables. Clover is shy and appears to have a terrible past, but Bridger and Helen believe Will’s offer is too good to do down.
Love Everlasting- School Bully
The only thorn in this picture-perfect ointment is Bo (Austin R. Grant), the school bully who immediately attacks Bridger upon his arrival at the local high school. Bo appears to dislike Bridger’s connection to Clover, who also enrages him, despite the fact that she was legally the victim in the alcohol-fueled accident shooting that ruined his collegiate football hopes.
Nicholas Sparks-style ending
Even in this situation, Bridger and Clover are aided by a bearded shop teacher named Roman (Landon Henneman). Roman is always in the right place at the right moment, whether fending off Bo’s hallway assaults or providing Bridger with a ride to school since Clover’s friend-zoned chauffeur Albert (Garet Allen) is too envious to let the new child join the carpool.
These superficial issues are secondary to the unfolding plot of Bridger’s unexplained medical condition, which finally helps him bond with Clover but also pulls “Love Everlasting” towards a Nicholas Sparks-style finale that tries too hard for romance but falls flat. Too often, the development of Bridger and Clover’s relationship, as well as storyline events such as the pair’s high school graduation, feel rushed, with numerous musical interludes connecting scenes that haven’t earned their emotional weight.
There are several interesting ideas swirling about in this picture, and cinematographer Lars Lindstrom has shot numerous moments in stunning lighting. The film’s premise of outsiders discovering love has some promise, but there isn’t enough tension to keep things intriguing, and Diamond’s film frequently stumbles over the essentials. Many scenes drag due to awkward dialogue and stiff delivery, and too many elements of the storey feel contrived, resulting in a small town where everyone over 18 is quick to give you shelter and employment at the drop of a hat, but everyone under 18 is happy to laugh at you mercilessly when the bully pushes you over at school.
The film requires the perfect actors in the six important roles for it to function, and it delivers. All of them are completely believable, with Lucky Blue Smith, who was only 17 years old at the time of filming, dazzling in the lead part. He possesses the charm of Marlon Brando but the appearance of a tall, slender David Bowie. Meanwhile, modest Christie Burke is endearing as the scarred girl, and Emily Procter, who was 47 at the time of filming, is a highlight in all-around beauty.
Critics complain about the alleged predictability, however, there are some unexpected events. For example, I was convinced the oak tree passage would be spoiled by a dramatic cliché, but it dares to stick to its guns. “Love Everlasting” gets a reasonably good grade from me since it has a heart (as opposed to crudity or eye-rolling “woke”-ness), featuring several gems that represent real life and how to build it, whatever your purpose. The high school years are especially effectively shown. We’ve all dealt with bullies, peer pressure, shallow cruelties, the actually helpful teacher, the person outside the shelter, the “fort,” the ‘in’ kids, outcasts, nerds, and abusive father figures. The film underlines, above all, that any huge problem can be conquered if you have the warmth of love and respect, which provide inner-value and hope to endure.