www.whyville.net Apr 20, 2008 Weekly Issue

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Movie Review: A Walk to Remember

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Shane West --- Landon Carter
Mandy Moore --- Jamie Sullivan

Landon Carter is an aimless, lost cause. He and his friends are in one of the most popular cliques at his high school. When he is held responsible for hurting a student who wanted to join his clique, Landon faces severe punishments. Not only does he have lengthy community service hours to fulfill, but he must also tutor children on the weekend at a nearby school and participate in the school play.

Through his punishments Landon "reacquaints" Jamie Sullivan, a girl who he grew up with. Jamie is the farthest thing from being cool but she doesn't care. She enjoys helping people and excelling in everything she does. Landon asks Jamie to help him memorize his lines for the school play and Jamie agrees -- except there's one condition. Jamie warns Landon not to fall in love with her. She soon begins thinking that they are friends -- but really, Landon is just using her. After being ashamed by Landon who tells her they're "secret" friends (translation: they are not friends at all!) Jamie begins ignoring Landon. This inspires Landon to show Jamie that he's not worthless and he can outdo himself in the school play. With a lot of practice, concentration at rehearsals and memorizing, Landon gets rave reviews.

In the play, Landon and Jamie share a kiss. This is what causes Landon realizes that he truly has feelings for Jamie and he wants to date her. However Jamie refuses the offer solely because her reverend father won't allow her to date. After convincing Jamie's father to let her have one date with Landon, Mr. Sullivan agrees. But after just one date with Landon, Jamie is impressed by his sincerity and she too, likes him more than she thought she did. Meanwhile Landon's friends disapprove of the idea that their popular friend is dating a nerd. They feel like his time is too occupied with Jamie and not with them.

During a conversation about their futures, Landon asks Jamie whether she is planning to go to college or not. He is shocked by her answer when she replies that she is not. Jamie's reason is that she was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago and has stopped taking treatment. She tells Landon that she warned him not to fall in love with her . . .

This is one of my favorite movies because it is touching and emotional. It's unbelievable to think that someone would give up their popularity to date someone "beneath" them. That is one of the reasons I felt that the love between Landon and Jamie was so powerful. Landon was never a lost cause. He has dreams and aspirations but no one ever encouraged him to explore his interests. No one was ever proud of his accomplishments or his hopes for the future. Through Jamie's motivation, Landon discovers that he has the potential to succeed in life. When he learns that Jamie has cancer, he returns her favors. Landon gives Jamie the hope to have strength. He even attempts to fulfill her life's goals as soon as he can.

The lead actors were very promising. Mandy Moore was only 17 years old when shooting this movie but her acting is exceptional. Shane West seemed a little muted and I felt that he could've done more with his role. This movie is based on the book "A Walk to Remember" by Nicholas Sparks. Nonetheless the movie is missing crucial plot lines from the book because director Adam Shankman wanted to 'modernize' the novel, which was set in 1958. The movie does not include the most important part, in my opinion, which is the significance of the title 'A Walk to Remember'. The powerful message of the novel still remains, which is: everyone has inspirations if you just believe in them.



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