A Walk To Remember is a romantic movie based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks. It is a 2002 Warner Bros film which starred the 90s pop singer Mandy Moore as the demure, religious, and bookish Jamie Sullivan and punk rock musician Shane West as the popular but rebellious Landon Carter. Directed by Adam Shankman, the story is set in the small town of Beaufort, North Carolina.
Landon and his entourage of hooligans have an initiation ritual which, as usual, involved some defiance of authority. One night, after drinking, Landon and his clique trespassed in a cement factory and decided to jump into a pond only in their underwear. While doing their inanities, one of their friends got hurt from jumping off from the cement apparatus. They panicked and got the attention of the security guard so they decided to run away. All of them were able to escape except Landon and his friend who was still unconsciously lying beside the pond. Because he’s still a minor, he’s punishment was doing after-school community service and participating in a school play.
Joining the school play got him involved with Jamie Sullivan, the reverend’s daughter who had nothing in common with him. Jamie was dedicated in everything she does and excelled in school. Because of her Baptist upbringing, she often wears the same old and loose sweater and that created an impression of “oddity” from others. This usual façade of hers made Landon cold and distant from her. At first, he was only using Jamie to help him memorize the lines in the play. But as he spent more time with her, he discovered the real Jamie and realized that she’s far from the person he thought she was.
In the final act of the play, he got astounded by Jamie’s beauty as she sang Only Hope with her melodic voice. It was the first time she ever saw Jamie all made up. He got carried away and kissed Jamie even though it was not part of the script. After the play, he tried to be closer to her and to make up for all the offensive things he said and did. But Jamie just kept pushing him away. Not until Langdon’s friends publicly humiliated Jamie in school by placing a picture of her head in body of an indecently dressed woman. This embarrassed Jamie so much. Though he knew it would ruin his relationship with his friends, Landon took Jamie’s side and defended her. He then gained Jamie’s trust again and Jamie did not avoid him anymore.
Landon continued to do special things for Jamie by taking her to a date, buying a new sweater for her, and taking her to special places. Not long after, he started to develop strong feelings for her, something he did not expect to do. But a heart-breaking secret becomes known that puts their relationship to the test, Jamie confessed to Langdon that she had leukemia and had stopped responding to treatments. Despite of this, Langdon still held on with her. He was there when she needed him the most and fulfilled the most important wish in her wish list – to get married in the church where her deceased mother also got married.
The actors Shane West and Mandy Moore have chemistry with each other. Both have portrayed their characters well. Mandy Moore’s voice was an asset in the movie. The part where he sang the Only Hope was the most unforgettable and amazing part she did. She’s also the voice behind most of the soundtracks the movie used such us Cry, Lighthouse, and Someday We’ll Know. The musical directors have chosen songs that perfectly fit the scenes in the movie. An example was the part where Landon danced along with her mother and the song was “Mother, we just can’t get enough” by the New Radicals. The songs are also remarkable that whenever the song Cry is heard, people who have watched would always associate it with the movie. Other soundtracks were also recorded by the Switchfoot band.
Another positive thing about the movie is that it did not end with Jamie on the death bed. It just showed Landon watching the sunset smiling and still believing that Jamie is still with him. Like the air, he couldn’t see her, but he could feel her. That created an optimistic ending for the movie.
The movie fits all ages. Though it is a romantic film, it is wholesome. Jamie and Landon did not go beyond kissing. It also teaches the audience the true essence of faith, forgiveness, and love. Faith was manifested by Jamie and her father who did not lose their trust in God despite Jamie having leukemia. Forgiveness was also shown when Shane pardoned his friends who hurt and despised him and his father who left him for another woman. And love was omnipresent all throughout the movie.
The reality of death was not a hindrance for Jamie and Landon’s love for each other; it wasn’t a reason to lose their faith in God. Indeed, love never fails. Over all, it’s a must-see movie. It’s a movie for those who wants to know what love is, who wants to be in love, and who are already in love and wants to stay in it. It’s a timeless movie that would surely make one’s heart melt in awe.