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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I first saw this movie when it came out, and I remember enjoying it as
a nice, romantic "weepie" (a kind of movie I'm not averse too on
occasion, although I can't watch the Lifetime network for more than 30
seconds at a time without reaching for the airsickness bag).
Then by accident I caught the last hour of the movie on late-night TV about three months ago, and I noticed that, hmm, there seemed to be a bit more going on than just a nice (very nice), heart-breaking love story. In particular, and in contrast to standard Hollywood fare, redemption and forgiveness were in the air. The most obvious examples involve Jamie and Landon, the two main characters; Landon treats Jamie badly, then redeems himself through his efforts in preparing the school plan, tutoring, and confronting Jamie with his feelings for her at school (and don't forget the pink sweater!). At this point, Jamie forgives him. Likewise, Jamie apologizes for not telling Landon earlier about her illness, and he forgives her. Landon's father eventually redeems himself for leaving his family by paying for Jamie's home-care, and Landon forgives him in a scene that, even after a dozen viewings, still "gets me". Landon's ex-girlfriend redeems herself for the hateful flyers she made of Jamie by apologizing to Landon, who forgives her. Etc. Etc.
As luck would have it, I saw the whole film a few days later (thank you, TBS), and noticed other things: how Landon's parents' love for him was so evident, albeit off the screen; how Landon's friends were more than just the evil popular types; how funny Eric is; and how the teenagers in general, rather than stereotypes, round out into plausible characters that I recognize from my own adolescence.
I was well and truly hooked at that point, bought the DVD, and have watched it, if not obsessively, then at least more often than I can say I've watched any other movie. It is so refreshing to see a movie that deals with big issues soberly, but lightly, in the process leaving me simultaneously sad, uplifted and determined to be better than I am.
I know the film was panned when it was released, and this is a great shame, because this is a film whose pleasures exist at many levels, if you let yourself watch the film itself rather than watch the film stereotype. Roger Ebert, who is about the only movie critic I can take seriously anymore, did "get it", though, and more power to him.
A girl looking like Mandy Moore would not get treated at all poorly at all in suburban high school. It's discouraging that the kids with real social problems see movies that are supposed to represent people like them, only to find they cast someone like Moore for the part of the outcast. This contradicts what the messages in these movies are supposedly supposed to be: you shouldn't care what others think of you. It's almost offensive. You don't hire white actors to play African Americans in a movie where they deal with prejudice all the time, so why is it I never see a heavyset girl in roles like this? If it's about the money, why even bother to make a movie like this at all, if you're going to do it wrong? All of you arguing that it shouldn't matter, obviously don't notice the kids that have few friends. I've seen movies with male characters that aren't what society would consider attractive and are odd, or eccentric... but never even see a "dorky" female at the theater. Too bad.
This is one of the few movies that I can't get tired of watching it. It is absolutely amazing. The theme and story is just WOW! I was very happy when I first watched it, and I think I've watched 20 or more times after that. Every time I watch it, I cry like a little baby. Plus Shane West and Mandy Moore play their characters extremely well! I just can't get enough of this movie. The whole begins with a stupid little joke that turns out bad which leaves Clay Gephardt (Matt Lutz) in the hospital, and popular kid Landon Rollins Carter (Shane West) in a whole lot of trouble at school. Landon is then forced to participate in different school activities which included the drama club. While in the drama club, Landon is forced to work with Jamie Elizabeth Sullivan (Mandy Moore) who is a very shy, quiet, and book smart girl at the school. Jamie is the daughter of Rev. Hegbert Sullivan (Peter Coyote); Landon and Jamie have known each other for a while but because of their social statuses at school they have been in different spaces. Landon seeks help from Jamie when he has trouble with his lines and that is when they started to get close. Jamie was resistant in the beginning but slowly started falling for Landon. On the other hand Landon tried to hide his relationship with Jamie from his "popular" friends but later on when his friends disrespected Jamie, he defended her in front of the whole school. As they grew closer to each other, Jamie reveals to Landon that she is suffering from Leukemia and that she had stopped responding to the medication. Landon is upset at first but later on changes his mind, and decided to help Jamie fulfill her wish list (this is when the movie gets so good). After a while Landon and Jamie get married, and they live for a while before she passes away. Landon then goes back to see Jamie's dad, they have a little talk. Landon then leaves and is seen smiling at the sunset. The theme of this movie is love clearly. It is a very romantic movie and also sad. The theme was portrayed in a couple of scenes. The first one was when Landon defended Jamie in front of the whole school, which just showed that his love for her was strong that he was willing to confront his friends for her. The second was when he built her kaleidoscope just so she can fulfill her wish of watching a comet (extremely beautiful). This movie can be compared to the Notebook in my opinion. I personally haven't watched the movie but from what I've heard it seems like they are very similar. Lightning technique in this movie was used very well. Every time Landon and Jamie were having a beautiful moment, the light would be very bright, warm and actually peaceful. However during the rough times it would be a little bit gloomy just to match the mood.
I recently watched this movie over again on TV and I realized I didn't
have it on DVD. So I rushed to the store and bought it. Here's what
Hollywood may not know.
1. Relationships can be that pure and WITHOUT sex 2. Christians can actually be moral and non-hypocritical and follow their beliefs 3. Actors/actresses who weren't known as that before can actually give great performances...even if they were pop stars...
4. A Walk to Remember is a sweet, lovable, romantic story that can tear at your heart strings. I don't ever cry at movies. This one made me reach for tissues!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When rating this film, I rate it 15 out of 10. It is fantastic. The
acting is superb, the storyline is fantastic, the direction is amazing
and just about everything is brilliant.
Even though when you think of Mandy Moore, you think bubblegum pop/Britney-knock-off, this film makes you look at her in a whole new light and respect her for the fact that she is a fantastic actress and with all the different songs she sings through out the film she shows off her amazing singing voice.
Add the wonderful Shane West opposite her and Adam Shankman behind the camera, and it makes an amazing piece of film.
The transformation of the characters throughout the film is always convincing and never makes you think "well hey, that just wouldn't happen."
I have seen the film at least 10 times and every time it makes me cry in three specific parts. See if you agree:
1) The moment Jamie tells Landon that she is dying. 2) The Moment Landon goes to see his father after he pays for the private home care for Jamie. 3) The scene where they get married and is followed by Landon's voice over.
Also I know they changed the end of the film compared to the book it is based around, but I don't think it would have made the ending as good as the rest of the film if it had ended with Landon giving the wedding rings back to Jamie's father. It would have created a "you bastard" scenario for the viewers. Any sympathy and feeling you had for Landon would have been totally destroyed.
********************End Of Spoilers******************
So in summary, this film is a must see for any kind of romantic evening, anyone who wants to watch amazing actors and an amazing story in one place and just about anyone who doesn't mind watching a teenage love story that can relate to anyone of any age.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A WALK TO REMEMBER is one of the best comedies to hit the screen in a long
time. It seems to have everything: a virtuous "delicate flower" of a girl
who seems dedicated to seeking out the most frumpy, spinsterish outfits (and
dies, to boot), the jerk popular boy who is calculated to make middle school
girls swoon, what with his James Dean wannabe look, and his one facial
expression of a pouty glower that miraculously never changes throughout the
film, whether his emotion is anger, sorrow, or love, a hick preacher father
for the girl and a mother for the boy who looks like a female impersonator,
with her squared off jaw and hilarious hairdo. Throw in a school play in
which the boy is forced to star in as punishment for his delinquent behavior
(somehow, in these movies, jail, expulsion, or suspension is never used,
only performance!), a requisite scene in which the plain girl glams up for
the play to reveal Mandy Moore underneath, and the cheesiest looking comet
imaginable, and you have a great satire of the "doomed teen love" genre.
The only problem is that this is not a spoof, but an actual tearjerker
starring Moore and Shane West in which tears are in fact generated, but from
laughter and not pathos.
The plot is derivative and cheesy, and the dialogue is worse, but that could have been overcome by bravura performances by the leads. Shane West, as mentioned before, has the expressive capacity of a brick wall, Moore is slightly better but still blandness personified, and the two have no actual chemistry! I may sound like the ultimate cynic, but I am actually quite the softy, and have cried at the endings of many films. However, as a teenage girl, I am appalled at the dreck being forced down my throat. If it's doomed romance I want, give me GONE WITH THE WIND, CASABLANCA, or the more recent MOULIN ROUGE any day. There is one scene, though, which makes this an absolute must rent for everybody. About 54 minutes into the film, West asks Moore out in his car, she turns him down, and he makes the strangest face I've ever seen on an actual person! It's technically a frown, I suppose, but actually looks exactly like an upside-down smile. The facial contortion that he achieves is amazing to behold, and I had to rewind it several times to make sure that I saw it correctly. Good stuff, too bad about the movie. For actual merit, A WALK TO REMEMBER gets a 1, but for sheer camp entertainment value I give it an 8/10.
**** WARNING **** DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WATCH THIS MOVIE UNLESS
YOU ARE A 15-YEAR OLD GIRL!!!
Every single movie of this type is identical, they don't so much as change one iota of the plot. I can't believe the number of stereotypes this movie has. The coolest guy in school (Landon Carter) is a misbehaving rich kid who has divorced parents, the virgin girl nobody likes is the preacher's daughter, the cool kid fights with his best friend when he finally decides to stand up for the girl, his ex-girlfriend is nasty to the point of playing a dirty trick on the good girl (but of course regrets her actions in the end), and the lamest of all????? After showing the bad rebellious kid the good side of life, the angelic chick tells him she has a terminal illness!!! AS IF!! Just like in every teen romance/tragedy ever made! Did they crib this stuff from Harlequin romances??? After 5 minutes, I said out loud, "Guaranteed she will have a terminal disease." And she does! And that wedding scene at the end, could that be any cornier???
Of course there is redemption in the end for the previously heading-down-the-wrong-path hero, of course he reconciles himself with his estranged father, of course all his friends see the error of their ways and embrace the new Landon Carter. The cool kids are mean to the dweebs, but of course it takes the ugly duckling to show them the error of their ways (and of course she is not really ugly). This movie is so boring, so silly, so lame, only teenage girls could ever find any interest in it at all, but I guess that is who it is aimed at!
Even the angst the lead character supposedly experiences with his parents' situation is so contrived it is liable to make you sick. There is a hilarious scene where he asks his cardiologist father to save his leukemia-stricken girlfriend. When his father explains that he is a cardiologist, Landon replies "Never mind, I knew you wouldn't help!" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA! This movie has so many bad points, maybe everyone should rent it for a laugh! Oh well, I suppose I got my 4 bucks worth just making fun of it all the way through! LAME! LAME! LAME!
Well, this is the first time I've written a film review, which you will
probably gather as you continue reading! I felt I needed to write about
this film just to get some of the emotion out of me and into some
words. So this review may be more for me than for you.
I don't know how this movie escaped me in the first place for so long, but when I saw an ad for it just a couple of days ago I wasn't too sure it was my kinda thing, especially since 'that Mandy Moore girl' was in it. But seeing there was nothing else to watch I'd give this a try.
Boy oh boy oh boy.... I fell in love with this movie. It brought me to a hyperventilation of tears. It was innocent, simple and so so beautiful. The acting was right on. I was shocked my Moore's amazing rendition of Jamie Sullivan, I couldn't believe this girl could act in this way. All this time I had her pegged as the run of the mill Disney 'pop star' plastics. I was WRONG. This girl (now a woman) is very talented indeed.
The character of Jamie Sullivan will break your emotions into a million pieces, if you have any soft bone in your body she will find it. I have never been much of a crying person but this movie, that character, really borough it home for me. Taught me a few home truths - to be true to who we really are, to be kind, thankful for what we do have and to live like it's our last day...
Though this film has religious (Christian) undertones, I thought it was very subtle and never forced, so regardless of what your beliefs may be this film will leave you reeling and get you thinking about life and how we should treat each other.
It's impossible not to fall in love with Jamie Sullivan whether you're a guy or a gal. She is angelic. The epitome of what we all strive to be, what we want to see in each other.
All I can say is dang you Nicholas Sparks for writing this story and dang you Mandy Moore for breaking me into a million pieces with no mercy at all!!! All in a good way of course.
Watch this movie. It will be a movie to remember!
As I write this, I've just finished watching A Walk To Remember for the
first time. I feel as if so many different emotions were pushed and
pulled inside of me, but by no means was it in a bad way. Everything,
and I mean everything, from the actors, to the script, were perfectly
arranged so that every little moment in this movie takes the viewer on
a journey, a journey through the lives of two lovestruck teens. This
was no ordinary, sappy, teenage love though. The love portrayed by both
Mandy Moore and Shane West was more than words could ever describe.
All in all, I've seen countless movies throughout my twenty-one years of living, but this is BY FAR, the most heartbreaking and sentimental movie that I've ever laid eyes upon. Well done, well done.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I first heard of this film, and because of when it was released, I automatically thought: 'It's just another one of those lovey dovey movies' .. How wrong could I be.. This shows Jamie, who anyone can relate to, as the lonely girl who doesn't have any friends.. The amazing part is, she doesn't care. She wears what she wants, thinks what she wants, does what she wants, and even though everybody teases her, she carries on like nothing happened. Landon, at first, I thought was a right jerk. In all honesty I didn't have much hope for the movie in the first few scenes, as I thought she would fall for the jock/jerk and that would be the movie. Again, I was wrong. When Jamie reveals her Leukaemia to Landon, his reaction sealed the deal for me. The way he went to his dad for help, who then helped him, tried to make all her dreams come true, married her in her mother's church, built the telescope, and stayed by her side morning and night. The thing that scares me about death, is not death, but what happens after. The fact that one day, no one will remember who you are, or people will get over your death. That scares me. This movie made me feel as if there are people who are caring and kind enough to actually remember and still miss that person, four years later. I don't know if anyone will actually read this review, but I don't really care, as because of this movie, I have come to think that I will become more confident, and I believe it really has affected me as a person. I highly recommend this movie, to anyone who has ever loved, will ever love, has experience or witnessed death, is a hopeless romantic, or is even just looking for 100 minutes to kill. I guarantee you it will change your life in ways you didn't expect. All I can say now is.. I feel sorry for my future husband; He has a lot to live up to.
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