Drama Endings Beginnings

Love Hurts: A TIFF Review of ‘Endings, Beginnings’

September 23, 2019Ben MK

Romantic relationships can be tricky enough when there are just two people involved, but when there are three hearts on the line, things can get downright messy. In Drake Doremus' Endings, Beginnings, one woman finds out firsthand just what a tangled web love can weave, when she falls for two very different men who also happen to be best friends.

Still struggling to move on after her recent breakup with her former fiancé Adrian (Matthew Gray Gubler), Daphne (Shailene Woodley) has sworn off men for the foreseeable future and has decided to focus on herself and her own emotional well-being. However, when she meets the self-deprecating and sarcastic Frank (Sebastian Stan) and his more mild-mannered pal Jack (Jamie Dornan) separately at a party on the same night, those plans go right out the window. Against her better judgement, Daphne begins a relationship with each of them, unbeknownst to the other. But when an unexpected turn of events brings this love triangle to its inevitable conclusion, it forces her to take a long, hard look at what she really desires in life.

Far too melodramatic for its own good, the result leans heavily on the chemistry brought to the screen by Woodley, Stan and Dornan. But despite their earnest efforts to elevate the material given to them, not even this attractive threesome can hide the fact that Endings, Beginnings lacks the substance to truly engage with its audience. Ultimately, this is one romantic drama that ends as it begins — superficially.

Endings, Beginnings makes its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 50 min.

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