A Walk to Remember
2 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
who's by your side Seeing as how it's based on a weepy Nicholas Sparks novel, it's not surprising that this teen romantic drama is an almost unbearably weepy film. It's hard to imagine anyone besides 12-year-old girls falling for it, but I guess you never know. Landon (West) is the big man on campus at his North Carolina high school--tough and brooding, magnetic and intelligent. His mother (Hannah) worries that he's squandering his future when he's sentenced to community service for a dangerous stunt. While helping the needy kids he's forced to get to know the school's virginal goody-goody Jamie (Moore), daughter of the town's stern preacher (Coyote). Not only does Landon discover that he actually likes being a good guy for a change, but he also falls for the girl, who he never noticed was so stunningly beautiful, both inside and out. Aw!

There's more of course, and as you watch the film there are little hints from the very beginning as to where it's going. And you can't quite believe that it actually goes there. The predictable, obvious plot is so swampy and melodramatic that it feels like a 'Very Special Episode' of Dawson's Creek ... without the edge. Shankman (The Wedding Planner) was probably not the right choice to direct it either, as he wallows in the schmaltz, never ever undercutting it with badly needed humour. He lurches from genuinely touching emotions to unbelievable lapses in logic, all underscored with a far-too indulgent collection of pop tunes (Moore even listens to herself on the radio at one point!). The cast is very good, especially West, who actually makes his character authentic within the constrains of the weepy teen movie genre; and there's another startlingly unselfconscious turn from Hannah. But it's all so corny and earnest that it hurts!

cert PG themes, language 27.Aug.02

dir Adam Shankman
scr Karen Janszen
with Shane West, Mandy Moore, Peter Coyote, Daryl Hannah, Clayne Crawford, Lauren German, Al Thompson, David Lee Smith, Paz De La Huerta, Jonathan Parks Jordan, Matt Lutz, David Andrews
release US 25.Jan.02; UK 13.Sep.02
Warners
02/US 1h41

Young love. Jamie and Landon (West and Moore) have a beautiful moment before the maudlin plot kicks in once again...

west moore coyote hannah
R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... who's by your side "Well, I think that this movie is an incredible film. It teaches people about life, and how to treat others. It's a very good influence on teens. It gives us an actual visual of what unconditional love is. I happen to love the film." --Ashley, net 8.Jun.03

"I thought the film was brillant, as it showed real emotions and issues which concern teenagers. The acting, especially the performance from Shane West and the exceptional Mandy Moore, was second to one. I loved the emotional ending but the part I love most is when he first makes her wishes come true (to be in two places at once)." --Joules, Ireland 24.Aug.03

2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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