I’ve already seen A Walk to Remember a few times, once every few years. Not my first viewing which you already know that I don’t hate this one at all. I believe Message in a Bottle was what put Nicholas Sparks on the map but to me, A Walk to Remember is the one that resounds the most to me. I’ll tell you why after a synopsis.
Director: Adam Shankman
Cast: Mandy Moore, Shane West, Peter Coyote, Daryl Hannah, Lauren German, Clayne Crawford, Al Thompson
Landon Carter (Shane West) is part of the popular group of kids in high school. Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore) is the Reverend’s daughter. Nothing could pull these two together until Landon gets caught for trespassing and is given community service for his school. One of the many include getting involved in the lead role of the school play. Being new to this, he reluctantly asks Jamie for help, scared that it would tarnish his reputation. As he gets to know her more, she makes him see the world in a different way.
A Walk to Remember has a different meaning to me as it holds the memory of the first time that I ever cried while reading a book. Maybe its the only time. I did read this back in high school, probably ten years ago give or take and I still remember that strong feeling this book had on me. To me, this was Nicholas Sparks best work and nothing could ever really beat it. When it was announced that this movie would be made, the excitement I had was out of this world. This was actually a really awesome adaptation. It touched me at least. Rewatching it now that I’ve been more exposed to the world of film didn’t really change much, I was a total mess. Waterworks for a good part of the last half. This one gets me every time.
A Walk to Remember, to me, was the debut of Mandy Moore. I really like her for her voice and the character she portrays was spot on. She was smart, witty and really confident with herself. She was also very strong but when she opened up her thoughts to Landon, that girl was definitely someone that was amazing. Jamie Sullivan is the girl you want to be. Someone who is loved and knows how to love someone else but at the same time and inspire change for the better or inspire someone to see their potential and to give confidence and faith to the one that she loves. Its a well-written character and Mandy Moore did a great job at bringing her to life on screen.
I haven’t seen Shane West other than A Walk to Remember and last year in The League of Extraordinary Men. He actually has boyish charm and as I flipped through his filmography, he actually is in Nikita, a show that I’ve avoided because I don’t like the chick. Anyways, Shane West does a fine Landon Carter. Jamie Sullivan and Landon Carter are quite opposite but their characters compliment each other. In high school, he’s that bad boy that all the girls like but wish they could change. Someone with a big more to hide what he’s actually thinking of and someone who just needs the right person to nudge him in the right direction and figure out what he really wants. I actually felt that when I was younger, I was touched by Mandy Moore’s character but this time, I felt like Shane West’s performance really contributed a lot to it too. The scene where he takes Jamie out and tries to complete things off her “bucket list” is just so fun!
Sure, this movie is sappy. I’m not going to deny that. But, its done so well. The story is cute, smart and heart-warming and of course, there’s always a heartbreak, bittersweet is Nicholas Sparks calling. He always does it. There never is a damn happy ending, never. For this one, its what makes this story even better because its about the essence of love, how you can’t see it but you can feel it around you.
Maybe I’m biased but this movie works for me. Its romantic and sweet. I love it! Its not something I’d go watching frequently because it’d ruin how precious it feels to me and I’m not one to cry all the time. Still, its a nice reminder of the precious things in life. It holds a lot of nice messages, a few memorable quotes and I absolutely love the songs. I still think the book has a bigger impact than the movie but amongst the many adaptations I’ve seen, this one is done pretty well 🙂
Have you seen A Walk to Remember? Have you read the book? What do you think of it? Any opinions on Mandy Moore or Shane West?