ninth symphony films - movie reviews

A WALK TO REMEMBER (2002)


DIRECTOR  -  adam shankman

RATED  -  pg

GENRE  -  drama

LENGTH  -  101 minutes

RELEASED  -  25 january 2002

DISTRIBUTOR  -  warner bros.

OFFICIAL SITE  -  a walk

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $11,000,000
a walk to remember - a shot from the film

BUY THE DVD:

buy the dvd from a walk to remember at amazon.com

buy the dvd from a walk to remember at amazon.com


SYNOPSIS:
two teens fall in love after they are thrown together unexpectedly.




MOVIE FACT:
many of the sets are borrowed from "dawson's creek."


MOVIE FOTOS:

picture from a walk to remember

picture from a walk to remember

picture from a walk to remember



RATING:


three out of four possible stars

A Walk to Remember is, as described by the man who wrote the novel and the screenwriter who adapted it in to a film, a movie that could have very easily fallen into the arena of bad melodrama. Flowers, hearts, butterflies, and tulips could have easily covered the poster for this film, given its PG rating and its faith-slanted theme. But every filmmaker involved in this film should feel proud that he or she was able to bring a movie to the screen which contained in it more believable emotions than many other films which have garnered PG-13 and R ratings for their sexual content.

While this film was undoubtedly made for the young teenage girl to indulge her fantasies, it's more appealing and less annoying that one might think for audience members outside its designated demographic. As a light piece of entertainment at the movie theater, this film is one of the best examples of a movie that an audience can just enjoy, without any emotional strings attached. While the story is affecting, it is still balanced with a decent amount of comedy. And despite a few entertaining and crude sexual jokes, the comedy is also the innocent kind.

The subject matter is something that more than requires that the film be somewhat more "innocent" than a lot of mainstream comedies. The element of spiritualism and the belief in God, though not a defining characteristic of the script, thankfully isn't overplayed and has a element of humor as well. Had it delved much deeper into Christianity, the movie would have been more suitable for screening in a Sunday school class, rather than on the big screen. And in point of fact, when Mandy Moore, who plays Jamie Sullivan, says, "I do not need a reason to be angry with God," the script walks a very thin line between entertainment and Sunday school.

But if one were to look at this film on the basis of its acting merits alone, the film would still come out a winner. If an audience is able to look past the mentioning of God, viewers will find that the film has a decent sense of humor about spirituality, and really doesn't beat the door down with it. The actors in A Walk to Remember are the single most reason to take a look at this film. Shane West, who plays Mandy's love interest, "Landon Carter," gives quite a strong performance, and has one of the most expressive faces of any actor his age.

Regardless of the fact that this film will probably place pictures of him on the covers of countless teen fashion magazines, West's performance is the best part of the film. And Mandy Moore, though her performance is not as honed, still makes a good impression for one of so little acting experience. And a bigger success still is that these two actors create realistic characters on screen that should make the casting director proud. West and Moore act well off one another and, whether or not they had a relationship off-screen, they still make one of the most believable cases for teenage love in recent memory.

And in an interesting note, an aspect that helps the movie considerably is the soundtrack. In many feature films, the pop songs that infuse every moment of screen time usually seem chosen only for the sales their inclusion into the film might bring to the CD sales of the soundtrack. And although there is more than one Mandy Moore-sung song on this CD, the songs seemed to have been picked with a lot of thought involved as to how they would compliment the story and give the stars some audial backing. For a film filled with pop songs from beginning to end, this film includes the hits in all the right places.

And the actors that surround the two leads compliment the cast as well. Peter Coyote plays Mandy Moore's reverend father, and Daryl Hannah plays Shane West's mother. Both of these actors show, like their "children," that a PG rating doesn't have to mean a lack of emotion displayed on screen. Though a few expletives slip their way through onto the soundtrack, the film is still an accomplishment for its genre and its rating. Without resorting to toilet humor, the filmmakers of A Walk to Remember have created a very touching romance that, thankfully, never becomes too gooey or melodramatic.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.


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