A Walk to Remember

2002

A Walk to Remember

Critics Consensus

Though wholesome, the Mandy Moore vehicle A Walk to Remember is also bland and oppressively syrupy.

27%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 103

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 31,402,117
User image

A Walk to Remember Photos

Movie Info

The best-seller by sentimental novelist Nicholas Sparks becomes this teen melodrama set in a coastal North Carolina port. Cocky, popular high school student Landon Carter (Shane West) is the big man on campus at Beaufort High School until a hazing incident leaves a fellow student paralyzed. Sentenced to community service and membership in his school's drama club, Landon is forced to seek help from Jamie Sullivan (pop singer Mandy Moore), the conservative, religious, plain-Jane daughter of the town's Baptist minister (Peter Coyote). When the two students begin to fall in love, Landon struggles with the drop in popularity that his new friendship brings, while Jamie is forced to deal with her strict father and a secret that she's keeping from her schoolmates. A Walk to Remember, which co-stars Daryl Hannah, is the second of Sparks's novels to make it to the big screen after Message in a Bottle (1999). ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Watch it now

Cast

Shane West
as Landon Rolands Carter
Mandy Moore
as Jamie Elizabeth Sullivan
Peter Coyote
as Rev. Sullivan
Daryl Hannah
as Cynthia
Matt Lutz
as Clay Gephardt
David Andrews
as Mr. Kelly
Mervyn Warren
as Choir Director
David Lee Smith
as Dr. Carter
Marisa Miller
as Ms. Garber
Dean Mumford
as Policeman
Gordon Groddy
as Choir singer
Anne Fletcher
as School play dancer
Cassidy Ladden
as Choir singer
Alan Butler
as Security Guard
Janie Barnett
as Choir singer
Elaine Caswell
as Choir singer
Vivian Cherry
as Choir singer
Robin Clark
as Choir singer
Frances E. Davis
as Housekeeper
Diva Gray
as Choir singer
Nikki Gregoroff
as Choir singer
Seth Howard
as Maitre D'
Dino Muccio
as Choir singer
Kevin Osborne
as Choir singer
Jason Paige
as Choir singer
Willie Teacher
as Choir singer
Julia Ann West
as Church lady
Eddie Zimmerhoff
as Erik Smith
View All

Critic Reviews for A Walk to Remember

All Critics (103) | Top Critics (30)

Audience Reviews for A Walk to Remember

  • Apr 03, 2014
    This movie was recommended to me recently as a new Love Story, but after watching it I have to say that this coming-of-age teen romantic melodrama based on the 1999 romance novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks, was a big disappointment. The film stars Shane West and Mandy Moore, and was directed by Adam Shankman. The story in the novel is set in the 1950s while the film is set in 1998, and it starts with a prank from a group of "cool" teenagers on a fellow high-school student, Clay Gephardt. Everything goes wrong; the student finishes in a hospital with serious injuries, and popular but rebellious Landon Carter (Shane West) is threatened with expulsion. His punishment is mandatory participation in various after-school activities, such as tutoring disadvantaged children and performing in the drama club's spring musical. At these functions he is forced to interact with quiet and religious, bookish Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), a girl he has known for many years but to whom he has rarely ever spoken. Their differing social statures leave them worlds apart, despite their close physical proximity... but that change when Landon has trouble learning his lines for the school play and he asks Jamie for help. This is definitely a chick flick - syrupy sweet, designed to be loved by the Christian community due to the film's moral values. One of the reviewers from Christianity Today approvingly noted, "The main character is portrayed as a Christian without being psychopathic or holier-than-thou"! The director is very skilfully manipulating the audience, but I'll have to admit that he does it with the best melodramatic sense possible. This is a movie which does not have too much artistic value, but it has a lot of emotional manipulative charge and triggers a lot of tears with the female audience.
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • May 03, 2013
    "How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat! Some dance to remember, some dance to forget!" Yeah, sorry, but after this film's soundtrack, I seriously need some Eagles or something, even if it means making a reference that is about as much of a stretch as getting Shane West to star in a film this poppy. I know when I think of sappy romantic dramas, I think of hardcore, rebellious punk rock bands like Jonny Was and The Germs, no matter how much I don't really want to, and I'd imagine West wishes that sarcastic statement was true, because, honestly, who thinks or even knows about Jonny Was or The Germs? They're not all that terribly good, so don't worry about it, but make no mistake, the point of this statement is that no one appears to be remembering poor ol' Shane West, though that might just be because there are so many musical people in this group that you're bound to lose track of things. Man, come to think of it, this film stars Mandy Moore, Shane West and Daryl Hannah of "You Can't Stop the Music" (If it takes a walk to remember that disaster, then I'll just stay at home), is scored by five-time Grammy winner Mervyn Warren, and is directed by Alan Shankman, the maniac behind 2007's "Hairspray", "Rock of Ages" and a couple of episodes of "Glee", so now I kind of wish that this thing was a musical, though might just be because if would be something at least kind of unique. Seriously, as often as this film hits conventions that have been done to death, you are indeed bound to find plenty to remember with this thing, but only when you're actually watching the film, because by the end, you'll probably have trouble remembering this "walk to remember", which, I must say, is good, because, wow, this film is bad, so much so that it can't even produce a soundtrack that's bearable. The film opens up with The Breeders' "Cannonball", specifically, of course, at the prelude, which, I must admit, features a killer bassline (Josephine Wiggs used a pick, so I reckon '90s rock bands really couldn't do anything right), or, if you will, the peak of this film's soundtrack, followed by, well, the '90s-tastic chunk of mediocrity that is the body of "Cannonball", then a long, long list of youth tunes that range from weak to unlistenable, and are more recurring than they seriously should be, throwing off your engagement value, which is loose to begin with, thanks to the telling of this film's "story". Now, I'm not saying that this film is limp, I'm saying that it's borderline aimless, going bloated by excess material, if anything at all that isn't filler, until repetition ensues, and firmly, throwing down a feeling of monotony that thins plot out to the point of being barely detectable. Even the storytelling of this film is, meandering along with little in the way of engagement value, which would have at least stood a chance at survival if this film at least tried to substitute its time-wasters with something resembling adequate exposition. Okay, maybe the film isn't exactly cleansed of development, but it's still mighty lacking in flesh-out, something that it desperately needs with characters like the ones seen in this film, which puts together conventional characters who, without expository layers and depth, come off as characters, maybe even utterly unlikable. Being a romantic drama, this film relies pretty considerable on the engagement value of its characters, but its characterization ends up falling tremendously flat, to where you're not only not comfortably associated with this film's character, but just plain repelled by the unevenness and artificiality that define our leads as disengaging, and are in no way helped by the acting behind the undercooked characters. As if the casting of obvious adults in teenaged roles isn't detrimental enough to the characters' convincingness, oh man, the acting in this film is so bad, being composed of one-note, cheesily lazy supporting players and, yes, even poor leads. To give you an idea of just how undercooked this "effort" is, it feels like only so much more than a vehicle for its stars, the handsome Shane West and the, when not slightly dorked up, very lovely Mandy Moore, and that would be just fine and all if the stars this film wasn't trying to sell you on weren't doing such an underwhelming job of selling their roles, with West being disconcertingly unsubtle as the punky, popular jerk who gains faith, while Moore bores in a mediocre portrayal of the sweet, intellectual girl who changes the heart of a tainted soul whose affection for Moore's Jamie Sullivan is rendered hardly palpable. The chemistry between Shane West and Mandy Moore is bookended by fall-flat performances and, therefore, fizzles to a crisp, thus making our leads and their highly crucial relationship unconvincing and disengaging, and the film itself a failure as a character study, which isn't to say that our performers can't entirely be blamed for doing a poor job of leading this "story", because it must be hard as all get-out to sell writing this weak, particularly when it comes to dialogue. Like plenty of other misguided youth film writers, Karen Janszen tries to be witty in his interpretations of Nicholas Sparks' dialogue tastes, but his efforts never exceed mediocre, and way too often descend into laughable, being cheesily unbuyable and, of course, just plain trite, or rather, a component to the triteness that doesn't so much loom over this film as much as it all but defines this film. If you've ever heard of a Nicholas Sparks story, then you've heard of it a billion times, and not just in Sparks' crazy little world of mediocrity, and sure enough, you've got to see this film to believe just how derivative it is, taking one beat after another from the big book of romantic teen films, and doing oh so very little, if anything more than that, being nothing short of overbearingly predictable and, by extension, lazy, or at least too safe for its own good. The film is neutured, and sure, such a form of laziness crafts a wholesomeness that occasionally gives this film a drop of charm, but on the whole, this film's genericism sparks a mean case of blandness, something that, of all things, has saved many a film of this type. Films like this are dealt a whole lot of damage and come close to collapsing into all-out badness, but ultimately find themselves suffering from too much blandness to be bad, and with this film being bombarded with genericisms, aimless plotting and misguided cheesiness, it should, for all extents and purposes, simply fall-flat as a mediocre misfire that stands as too middling to be either good or bad, yet something extra goes wrong with this film, and that is, of course, manipulativeness. Exessively saccharine and desperately overambitious, the film is riddled with unsubtle, histrionic Nick Sparkisms, backed by anything from manufactured melodramatics to even overbearing Christian overtones, until you end up with a desperation that has graced many a fellow Nick Sparks book adaptation with a charm of overambition that has netted manipulativeness as too watered down to frustrate all that much, but, in this case, floods in as too self-assured to charm, poking at you, not desperately, but intensely with its manipulations that end up frustrating and, of course, emphasizing the film's other problems, of which there are oh so very many. Outside of the very occasional charming beat and sometimes reasonably handsome cinematography by Julio Macat, there's very little, if anything competent about this film (Even Emma E. Hickox's editing has some hiccups), and that would be relatively more forgivable if it wasn't for this film's thinking that it's better than it actually is, bothering you with its misguided "efforts", until finally falling flat as just plain bad and hardly worth remembering. At the end of this walk, outside of decent cinematography notes and even the occasional charming bit, the film collapses as an overambitious misfire, maybe even a disaster, going plagued by anything from a lame soundtrack to aimless storytelling, whose underdevelopment joins poor acting in turning in fall-flat character types, while shoddy dialogue joins overwhelmingly generic storytelling in crafting the considerable blandness that could have rendered the final product simply mediocre, but ends up joining disconcerting, histrionic manipulation in delivering a blow that sends "A Walk to Remember" into poorness that drives the final product out of your memory, but not soon enough. 1.5/5 - Bad
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Sep 28, 2012
    I give this film such a high score because of the following; the production value, the cinematography and the music. The film opens with a 3 minute 15 second long continuous shot, brilliantly lit and well acted. Many people's hold up with the film is how terrible of a chick-flick this is, which I can agree with. If anything, a chick-flick is what this film is on the surface. Failing to see the underlying message will only leave resentment toward the film. The message we're supposed to take away from this is that by loving the unlovable, by softening the hardest heart, it creates a ripple effect in which everyone around that person is affected in a positive way. Jamie befriends and "acts Christian" as Landon says toward Landon. The result of this is that by the end of the film, Jamie's father, Landon, and the other popular Jocks at high school all become more sensitive to others; their hearts are softened. Through this event as well, Landon and his father restore their relationship. Looking at it as an unlikely love story between two people from different social classes would be missing an absolutely incredible story underneath. It may come across as preachy, but it's not as if you didn't know what you were getting into.
    Jason 123 D Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    A Walk To Remember is a very boring and predictable film that may be fine for some girls but not for me. First of all I knew where the story was heading in the first 10 minutes and it made the rest very pathetic and in the end I regretted watching it. The characters had no back story or anything they were just either bullys or they are sweet, and other than Mandy Moores character we see no reason of why they are like that. The cast is what you'd expect from a inspirational romance, they all were very cliche and boring. I will admit the movie is bery sweet an harmless but it does not save it from the major problems. If you see this film, I just hope you know what you are getting into.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer

A Walk to Remember Quotes

News & Features