A Walk to Remember is a high school love story that, on the surface, may seem formulaic and weepy, but, upon a closer look, becomes a beautiful romance and tale of transformation that is more touching than most. I particularly like this Nicholas Sparks adaptation over his other more well-known one The Notebook because of the morality central to the story. Unlike the out-of-control preacher’s kids in movies such as Footloose, Jamie Sullivan exemplifies so many virtues that anyone who values faithfulness and authenticity should find her attractive, beyond Mandy Moore’s physical beauty.
Landon’s redemption and love for her are also made more genuine by the fact that he shows his love. In contrast to love-at-first-sight stories like The Notebook, he brushes her off at first, but, by the end, his growth as a person is evident. He piles flowers on her porch, respectfully asks her stern father for permission to date, builds her a new telescope, tries to grant her list of wishes, and spends every moment proving his undying affection for her. Even after she’s gone, he remains an upstanding citizen, holding her memory as his inspiration in life. (Compare this with the way Ryan Gosling’s character went sharply downhill without the love of his life in The Notebook.)
The acting is shaky at first, but everyone grows into their characters nicely, and Shane West and Mandy Moore have undeniable chemistry by the end. Plus, it was nice to see Darryl Hannah and Peter Coyote in a different kind of role for them. Nicholas Sparks’s ability as a writer shines with the quirks he builds into the characters, such as Jamie’s list of things to do before she dies, an event that comes too soon. The end is bittersweet but much more uplifting than other films with similar outcomes, such as 1998’s City of Angels.
While the filmmakers had to add in some obscenities in order to make it more than a Hallmark movie or a low-budget Christian film, Jamie’s laudable faith and Landon’s satisfying turn-around make it a movie that’s a tad corny but well worth seeing. Plus, though I don’t care for Landon’s preferred music at the beginning, the film has a pretty good soundtrack, highlighted by Mandy Moore’s performance of Switchfoot’s “Only Hope.” Also, according to Wikipedia, most critics panned the film, but it is the 28th most liked film on Facebook, with good reason.
Best line: (Landon, reading a quote to Jamie from her book) “‘What is a friend? It’s a single soul dwelling in two bodies.’ -Aristotle.”Artistry: 6 Characters/Actors: 6 Entertainment: 5 Visual Effects: N/A Originality: 5 Watchability: 5 Other (moral value): +6 Other (language): -2 TOTAL: 31 out of 60
Tomorrow: #301: Independence Day
© 2014 S. G. Liput