A Walk to Remember

Directed by Adam Shankman
Starring: Mandy Moore, Shane West, Peter Coyote, Daryl Hannah.
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements, language and some sensual material.

Review by Eugene Kopman <eugene@filmhead.com>
February 18, 2002

In my opinion, if you try to make a movie out a book, you have to do the book justice. Some examples of great movies made from books are A Clockwork Orange, GoodFellas, The Silence of the Lambs, and most recently A Beautiful Mind and the first installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Unfortunately, A Walk to Remember wound not be anywhere near the great-movie-from-a-book category. My cousin was the one who read the book, the one who dragged me to the movie, and the one who told me everything that was wrong with it. Even if I didn't have a consultant, my opinion would still be the same.

Jamie Sullivan (singer Mandy Moore), the minister's daughter, is the oddball in school. She keeps to herself, doesn't really follow the crowd, wears only one type of sweater, and sings in the choir at her father's church. But when a rebellious teen, Landon Carter (Shane West) is caught trespassing and is sentenced to be in the school play, he asks Jamie for help with his lines. Slowly they start liking each other, but since Landon hangs with the cool crowd, he doesn't acknowledge that fact. Eventually Landon admits to loving Jamie when she specifically told him to not do that.

Unfortunately for the happy couple, everyone is against their relationship. Yes, not only does it sound cheesy, it is. Except for an interesting twist at the end, the movie is very predictable. A lot of things are different in the movie as they were in the book. For starters, the opening scene of Landon and his friends daring another to jump into the reservoir was completely made up. The school play was written by Jamie's father, Reverend Sullivan (Peter Coyote), but in the movie, it was written by Jamie and her classmate. The "walk to remember" was thoroughly described in the book; in the movie it was rushed and didn't have any effect.

Acting-wise, it was bad as well. Mandy Moore might have looked the part, but she can't act. She delivered every line the same way with the same innocent look on her face. Shane West is in the same category with Freddie Prinze Jr. when it comes to acting. Even Peter Coyote, a well-known actor, did nothing to help this movie. The only person who actually had a good performance was Daryl Hannah as Landon's mother Cynthia. Overall, for a (supposedly) very good book, the movie does not live up to expectations. If you don't know much about the book, it doesn't matter; the movie was still pretty bad.

For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
A Walk to Remember (2002)

Here's some merchandise for sale at Amazon.com
A Walk to Remember, a novel by Nicholas Sparks -- Hardcover
A Walk to Remember, a novel by Nicholas Sparks -- Paperback
A Walk to Remember, a novel by Nicholas Sparks -- Audio Cassette (read by the author)
A Walk to Remember: Soundtrack -- Compact Disc

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