A Walk To Remember

A Walk To Remember

*

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Just when you thought that teen movies had become too gross to roast, along comes something so old-fashioned it could have been written for June Allyson and Clark Gable in the Thirties, except if it had been it would have been better than this.

Landon (Shane West) is the leader of the rebel crew at high school. He's into humiliating practical jokes and the usual loud, racy nonsense. His grades suffer. His mother (Daryl Hannah, in a weird black wig) can't talk to him. His dad walked out ages ago and he hates him for it. He's in the process of dumping his girlfriend when - zippeddydoodah! - he notices Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), because she sings well and they're in the end-of-summer play together.

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Jamie is not like other girls. She wears long skirts and a shapeless cardy, reads The Bible - her dad (Peter Coyote) is the local minister - and doesn't care what people think. "You would be so beautiful of you knew how to do your makeup," one of the senior babes gushes, sarcastically. Jamie ignores her. She's beautiful anyway, if you look - and Landon looks.

Her dad disapproves of him, because he's cocky, irresponsible, a bad influence and in his front room. He perseveres, which surprises the Rev, as people in this small town tend to appreciate his potty dogma. Landon isn't people and doesn't like being told what not to do by an authoritarian dinosaur, with his head in dusty scriptures. Jamie says, "Don't fall in love with me." She has her reasons. Naturally, he falls and it changes his life and the movie sinks into a pit of molasses, as soft rock ballads massage the soundtrack and your brain melts. Can life be this sweet without rotting the soul?

Love stories are a staple diet in Hollywood. Manipulating emotions matters most when the plot is weak. They throw everything in the candy store at this one. You wait for the Rev and Landon to embrace in a gesture of forgiveness. When it happens, you have three choices - suicide, vomit, escape.

Reviewed on: 12 Sep 2002
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A Walk To Remember packshot
High school bad boy falls in love with a girl who wears long skirts and cardigans.
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Director: Adam Shankman

Writer: Karen Janszen, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks

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

Year: 2002

Runtime: 101 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US

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