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Reckless teenager and king of cool, Landon Carter (Shane West) gets caught after a prank with his buddies goes wrong, and is sentenced to school community activities. His punishment, tutoring underprivileged students and taking part in the Drama Club Spring musical, thrusts him into close contact with Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), the quiet and plain daughter of the local preacher (Peter Coyote). Finding himself out of his depth in both activities, Landon turns to Jamie for advice, which develops into a budding romance. Much to the distaste of Landon's friends and Jamie's father the two form a strong bond, with Landon catching Jamie's zest for life. Jamie is harbouring a secret however, one that will test their new love, and make Landon's re-evaluate everything that is important to him.

Review by Louise Keller:
Poignant and moving, A Walk to Remember is an inspirational love story, capturing the innocence and idealism of that first encounter. It begins just like many other teen movies, but the script swerves and takes a very different route. In fact, it probably does the film a disservice to call it a teen movie; it is really a love story, the emphasis being on the relationship between the two leads. We succumb by the genuine appeal and sweetness of this relationship. But there's no saccharine to contend with; we feel as though we have embarked on a journey of the heart, and become involved emotionally. Shane West and Mandy Moore dazzle in their roles as Landon and Jamie. The purity of the relationship shines through like a dazzling comet shooting through a midnight blue sky. West's transition from cool to sensitive takes us by surprise, and Mandy Moore radiates from within, as the ridiculed one-sweater girl who doesn't care what anyone thinks. Moore projects a natural stillness that fits perfectly with her character - and she also sings like an angel. (For a pop star, Moore fares much better than the likes of Britney Spears and Mariah Carey in their celluloid outings.) When we see her on stage in the school play, wearing an ice blue gown, crimped hair and stars in her eyes, we see her through Landon's eyes and succumb. Although Jamie's faith plays a big part of the story, this is no bible-pushing tale. The themes of faith and hope evolve naturally and we watch as Jamie slowly fulfils her dreams. Yes, I'm sentimental and a romantic. And yes, I cried buckets. I really liked Peter Coyote as the protective father, who practices what he preaches, but Daryl Hannah is almost unrecognisable as Landon's brunette mother and seems only to be a token addition to the cast. Don't be put off by the dreadful title (from Nicholas Spark's novel) - the movie deserves a better one. A story about love, hope and dreams, A Walk to Remember is a journey you will embrace.

Review by David Edwards:
Despite the plethora of teen movies which invades our screens every school holidays, producers still seem to think that they can keep recycling the same old story, with a few twists, and some new pretty faces. A Walk to Remember suffers from a debilitating lack of originality in its plot, although its fresh acting talent and young director have redeemed it from being a total stinker. With remarkable parallels to Here on Earth (it's basically the same story, let's face it), A Walk to Remember is squarely aimed at teenage girls. West and Moore are quite credible as the young lovers, and the script uses every opportunity to take advantage of Moore's angelic singing voice. She performs a number of tracks for the score, as well as displaying her vocal talents as character Jamie singing in the school play. Definitely marketed as a Mandy Moore movie, she at least proves she can hold her own on screen, and gives Jamie some dignity, in a story that could easily have turned into a trite tearjerker. West is just the right combination of cool and caring, and his transformation from snob to devoted boyfriend is believable at a pinch, even if his motivations are rather far-fetched. As Jamie's father, Peter Coyote is the epitome of the small town preacher and single dad. Darryl Hannah however, as Landon's divorced mother, is harder to swallow. Her performance is stale, if not wooden, and even with wrinkles and dark hair, it's hard to think of her as anything other than a mermaid. The script is predictably full of declarations of love, but they seem slightly less corny than in other films of its genre. Perhaps this is because the first half of the film builds enough "care factor", and the corny bits are regularly broken up by some quite witty one-liners for the younger members of the cast. Having never read a Nicholas Sparks novel, I can't comment on the film's faithfulness to the story, but A Walk to Remember isn't a complete waste of time. What could have been a very stale and condescending tale of young love, has instead been treated with a little respect, producing some rather poignant moments.

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CAST: Shane West, Mandy Moore, Peter Coyote, Daryl Hannah, Lauren German, Clayne Crawford

PRODUCER: Denise Di Novi, Hunt Lowry

DIRECTOR: Adam Shankman

SCRIPT: Karen Janszen (screenplay); Nicholas Sparks (novel)


EDITOR: Emma E. Hickox

MUSIC: Mervyn Warren


RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes




VIDEO RELEASE: December 4, 2002

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