A Walk to Remember
Directed by Adam Shankman
Quick synopsis… When bad boy Landon (Shane West) is cast opposite the campus bookworm (Mandy Moore) in a school play, no one expects romance to bloom. Despite peer pressure and strict parents, the newly minted lovebirds forge a heartfelt bond … until tragedy tears them apart. This adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’s pulpy best-seller provides teen pop sensation Moore her first starring role — and lets viewers clean out their tear ducts.
- I saw this movie for the first time back during my first senior year of college.
- A bunch of us got together to watch it in the Student Activities Center on the big screen TV in there.
- Pretty sure we rented it on VHS. Yeah.
- And I cried.
- Like a 12 year old girl.
- In front of my friends.
- But it’s cool… they were crying, too.
- This was my introduction to the world of Nicholas Sparks.
- By this point, the only other movie based on one of his novels was Message in a Bottle.
- Even though The Notebook was his first novel. That adaptation would come out two years after this one.
- I didn’t read anything by Sparks until about 2008.
- When I got around to reading A Walk to Remember, I was disappointed.
- It’s real different from the movie.
- I bet if you read the book first, you don’t like the movie. If you saw the movie first, you’re probably like me and didn’t like the book.
- I won’t go into the differences between the movie and the book. That’s not what this post is supposed to be about.
- This is just about the movie.
- Then why don’t I start talking about the movie?!
- You know, I’ve never understood why this kid at the beginning wants to be included in Landon’s circle of friends.
- They’re all jerks.
- I mean, they’re jerks to each other before the new kid even shows up to be hazed.
- “Ha! We’re all mean to each other! That means we’re best friends!”
- Who wants to be friends with people like that?
- That situation lands the kid in the hospital and Landon, our protagonist, in a sticky situation with the law.
- Landon is the product of divorce, giving him a rather large chip on his shoulder and an incredibly strained relationship with his father.
- Our first glimpse of Jamie Sullivan is when she’s singing a solo with the choir in church.
- At this point, Landon must at least dig her for her voice.
- But it doesn’t stop him and his friends from openly mocking her. To her face.
- Landon is forced to help the custodial staff, tutor kids on Saturdays, and participate in the school play. This basically keeps him out of jail.
- And it also puts him in closer proximity to Jamie Sullivan, who also tutors kids and is a part of the school play.
- Play rehearsal brings us to my favorite line of the movie: “I don’t know what I’m drinking, dollface, but if this is love, pour me another glass…”
- Jamie attempts to befriend Landon, but he continues to be a jerk to look cool in front of his friends.
- But he slowly begins falling for her.
- Who wouldn’t?
- He begins to change, becoming a better person for just knowing Jamie.
- Then we discover she has leukemia and her prognosis isn’t good.
- But that’s not what made me cry.
- What made me cry was the point when things get so bad for Jamie that it doesn’t look like she’ll ever leave the hospital again.
- Then Landon’s dad steps in and pays for home hospice care.
- Landon drives to his dad’s house to thank him. They hug. And Landon breaks down in sobs.
- And so do I.
- Sure, it’s a cheesy story. But it’s also heart-wrenching.
- Even more so if you’ve read Three Weeks with My Brother, Sparks’ memoir, which details the inspiration behind A Walk to Remember.
Obviously, this is the only Nicholas Sparks movie that makes my Top 100. Though there are probably a lot of people who would argue that The Notebook is the superior movie. Maybe it’s Mandy Moore. All right, next week’s movie is a lot less sappy. Unless you tear up when you hear the line, “Sloth love Chunk!”