A Walk To Remember (2002) – movie review

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Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Mandy Moore, Shane West, Peter Coyote, Al Thompson, Daryl Hannah

Director: Adam Shankman

Landon Carter (Shane West) is a typical high school ‘cool guy’. He hangs out with the in crowd makes fun of the geeks and just cruises through school with no solid plans or real confidence in his future. Landon and his friends invite a newcomer to join their little group but first he must prove that he is worthy by diving into a pool of dark, grimy water at an old industrial plant. This goes very wrong after the dive injures the boy and lands him in hospital leaving Landon as the prime culprit.

The School Principal instructs Landon to assist in; janitorial duties, teaching of underprivileged kids at their sister school on weekends and playing a character in the school spring play. In order to rehearse for the play he is forced to get help from the Reverend’s (Peter Coyote) daughter Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore) who also happens to be in the play. She is considered by many in the school to be very uncool, because of her strong Christian values and so Landon initially tries very hard at pretending to ignore her. However as Landon gets to know her he is amazed by her values, inner and outer beauty and self-confidence. Jamie in turn is equally surprised by Landon when she discovers his true, inner character. This inevitably leads them into a loving relationship.

Landons’s mother (Daryl Hannah) doesn’t really know her son and is worried that he may hurt Jamie but she’s reassured by his obvious true love for Jamie, which gives her a new level of respect for her son. Initially Jamie’s father also gives Landon a hard time but is won over by both Jamie and Landon’s love for each other. Love always pushes lives to the limit thus Jamie and Landon have to overcome a lot of unexpected obstacles leaving them both transformed and proving that love knows no boundaries.

Shane West is perfect as Landon, portraying the inner inhibitions of a troubled teenager who is transformed by love into someone complete and content. Mandy Moore is excellent in her role as Jamie. She gives her character an authentic Christian aura undergoing the change she feels from someone who didn’t need anything more to then being transformed by the love that makes two people one. Daryl Hannah is equally good as the single mother of Landon, giving a sense of love and respect for her son that every passionate mother normally has.

Adam Shankman’s directing in A WALK TO REMEMBER is superb and he succeeds in giving the teen generation a nice positive, realistic story about life and love. The result is a very good movie with good values for the whole family.

4 out of 6 stars