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A Walk to Remember (2002)

Teen troublemaker meets good girl and gets more than he bargained for.

Directed by:

Adam Shankman

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 98 minutes

US Certificate: PG UK Certificate: PG

On DVD

Landon Carter (Shane West) is a big name in the school in-crowd – an aimless, moody, troublemaker who breezes through school making the most of his popularity. One night, he dares a boy to jump into a reservoir in order to join his gang. When the prank goes wrong with the boy ending up in hospital, Landon is given community service to do – he is assigned to tutor disadvantaged students on the weekends and to participate in the Drama Club's spring play. This throws him together with Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), a girl who he has known all his life but ignored.

Serious, conservative, and daughter of the town's church minister, Jamie (Moore) is as far from cool as she can possibly be, and doesn't care – she knows where she is going and what she wants to do with her life. Struggling with the lines of the school play, Landon is forced to ask Jamie for help. In spending time together, Landon learns to worry less about what others think of him and more about doing what he feels is right. The two become friends and a relationship develops. However, Jamie has a very big secret she must keep from Landon – one that will get in the way of their romance and destroy their future together.

The “cool kid meets misfit and falls in love” story has been done many times, but this is a fine example of the genre. Both West and Moore produce likeable characters with depth. They also make the most of the script, which has a twist or two which makes it stand out from the crowd. Starting out as a lightweight teen movie, it develops into a fine right-of-passage fable which is surprisingly worthwhile.

Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks.

It's Got: Strong performances from West and Moore.

It Needs: A bit more on Landon’s background with his father.

DVD Extras Could use a director’s commentary. Extras: Cast and crew interviews, A day on the set of A Walk to Remember, Trailer, TV spots. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10

Alternatives:

10 Things I Hate About You, She's All That

Summary

It’s been done before, of course, but this movie does it much better than most. Those who love teen romances will enjoy this film, but don’t overlook it if the genre doesn’t usually appeal. This film will please a much wider audience than one might expect – including adults – and even the men may need a tissue for the ending.

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