A Walk to Remember
|A Walk to Remember|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Adam Shankman|
|Produced by||Denise Di Novi
|Written by||Nicholas Sparks (Novel)
|Music by||Mervyn Warren|
|Editing by||Emma E. Hickox|
Di Novi Pictures
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||102 minutes|
A Walk to Remember is a 2002 American coming-of-age teen romantic drama film based on the 1999 romance novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Shane West and Mandy Moore, was directed by Adam Shankman, and produced by Denise Di Novi and Hunt Lowry for Warner Bros. The novel is set in the 1950s while the film is set in 1998.
When a prank on fellow high-school student Clay Gephardt goes wrong, popular but rebellious Landon Carter (Shane West) is threatened with expulsion. His punishment is mandatory participation in various after-school activities, such as the drama club, where he is forced to interact with quiet, kind and 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.
When Landon has trouble learning his lines he asks Jamie for help. They begin practicing together at her house after school. At first Landon is only using Jamie for her help with the play, and treats her coldly when his other friends are around. But as he spends more and more time with her, he is surprised to find that she is far from the person he thought she was, and begins to question who he really wants to impress.
During the play, Jamie astounds Landon and the entire audience with her beauty and voice, and Landon kisses her on the stage. Afterwards, he tries to get closer to her, but she repeatedly rejects him. Soon thereafter, however, Landon's friends publicly humiliate Jamie by altering a photograph of her and placing her head on the body of a scantily clad woman. Landon angrily confronts his former friend, punching him and publicly siding with Jamie. Afterwards, Landon and Jamie begin a relationship in which Landon dedicates most of his time to her. He discovers that she has a wish list, and sets out to make all her ambitions come true, such as taking her to a state border so that she can stand on either side of the line and, thus, be in two places at once.
In the final stretch of the movie, Jamie confesses to Landon that she is afflicted by terminal leukemia and has stopped responding to treatments. Landon gets upset at first, and Jamie tells him the reason she did not tell him is that she was moving on with her life and using the time she had left but then Landon happened and she fell in love with him.
Jamie's cancer gets worse, her father rushes her to the hospital where he meets Landon. Landon doesn't leave Jamie's side until her father practically has to pry him away. Jamie's father sits with Jamie and tells her that "If I've kept you too close, it's because I want to keep you longer."
Soon, word gets out about Jamie's illness. Eric, Landon's best friend, comes and tells him how sorry he is and that he did not understand. Other friends come and apologize too.
Later, Jamie gives Landon a book that was her mother's filled with quotes. Landon reads 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 along with her. Jamie then tells Landon that she believes that God sent him to her to help her through her illness and that he is her angel. He later learns that his estranged father is going to pay for private home care for Jamie. Landon shows up at his father's door and thanks him before breaking down in tears as his father hugs him.
Landon continues to fulfill various wishes on Jamie's list, such as building her a telescope so she can see a comet. Through this process, Landon and Jamie learn more about the nature of love. Landon is finally able to grant Jamie's top wish by marrying her in the same chapel her parents got married in. Landon narrates that they had a perfect summer together with more love than anybody could possibly know and that she died soon after. Landon himself becomes a better person through Jamie's memory, achieving the goals that he set out to do, like she did.
Four years later, Landon visits Jamie's father and shows that he is still a better person because of Jamie by informing her father that he has been accepted into medical school; prior to falling in love with Jamie, he had no plans for his future after high school. Jamie's father tells him that both he and his mother are proud of him and that Jamie would be too. Landon tells him that he is sorry he never granted Jamie's wish to witness a miracle. Jamie's father tells him that she did in fact witness one: it was him. Carrying that thought, Landon goes for a walk on the docks where he narrates saying that Jamie changed him forever and that while he misses her, he believes their love is like the wind: he can't see it, but will always feel it. The movie ends with Landon, looking at the sunset, smiling.
- Shane West as Landon Rollins Carter
- Mandy Moore as Jamie Elizabeth Sullivan-Carter
- Peter Coyote as Reverend Hegbert Sullivan
- Daryl Hannah as Cynthia Carter
- Lauren German as Belinda
- Clayne Crawford as Dean
- Al Thompson as Eric
- Paz De La Huerta as Tracy
- David Lee Smith as Dr. Carter
- Jonathon Parks Jordan as Walker
- Matt Lutz as Clay Gephardt
Background and production 
The inspiration for A Walk to Remember was Nicholas Sparks' sister, Danielle Sparks Lewis, who died of cancer in 2000. In a speech he gave after her death in Berlin, the author admits that "In many ways, Jamie Sullivan was my younger sister". The plot was inspired by her life; Danielle met a man who wanted to marry her, "even when he knew she was sick, even when he knew that she might not make it". Both the book and film are dedicated to Danielle Sparks Lewis.
It was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina, at the same time that Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) and the TV show Dawson's Creek were being filmed there. Many of the sets were from Dawson's Creek (1998) - particularly the school, hospital and Landon's home. The total shooting time was only 39 days, despite Mandy Moore being able to only work 10 hours a day because she was a minor. Daryl Hannah, who wore a brown wig as her character, had received a collagen injection in her lips, which went awry and caused noticeable swelling. By the end of filming, however, the symptoms were less obvious.
Director Adam Shankman wanted the lead characters to be portrayed by young actors: "I wanted young actors with whom teenagers could connect", he said. Shankman arranged a meeting with Shane West after he saw him in a magazine. He was looking for someone who could transition from being very dark to very light. He described his choice as "an instinct" he had about West, who would appear in almost every scene and had "to be either incredibly angry and self-hating or madly in love and heroic." West said: "I don't generally read love stories, but after reading the screenplay, I knew I couldn't wait to read the book so I could truly understand Nicholas Sparks' story and how he envisioned the character of Landon. It's a beautiful story and the characters are very believable, which is what attracted me to the project.
Schankman said of Mandy Moore that she "has the voice and the face of an angel" and added that she is luminous. Moore explained that she was moved by the book: "I had such a visceral reaction to it that I remember not being able to read because I was almost hyperventilating while I was crying." Commenting on the film, she said: "It was my first movie and I know people say it may be cliche and it's a tearjerker or it's cheesy, but for me, it's the thing I'm most proud of."
Comparisons to novel 
While there are many similarities to the novel by Nicholas Sparks, many changes were made. On his personal website, Sparks explains the decisions behind the differences. For example, he and the producer decided to update the setting from the 1950s to the 1990s, worrying that a film set in the 50s would fail to draw teens. "To interest them," he writes, "we had to make the story more contemporary." To make the update believable, Landon's pranks and behavior are worse than they are in the novel; as Sparks notes, "the things that teen boys did in the 1950s to be considered a little 'rough' are different than what teen boys in the 1990s do to be considered 'rough.'"
Sparks and the producer also changed the play in which Landon and Jamie appear. In the novel, Hegbert wrote a Christmas play that illustrated how he once struggled as a father. However, due to time constraints, the sub-plot showing how he overcame his struggles could not be included in the film. Sparks was concerned that "people who hadn't read the book would question whether Hegbert was a good father", adding that "because he is a good father and we didn't want that question to linger, we changed the play."
A significant difference is that at the end of the novel, unlike the film, it is ambiguous whether Jamie died. Sparks says that he had written the book knowing she would die, yet had "grown to love Jamie Sullivan", and so opted for "the solution that best described the exact feeling I had with regard to my sister at that point: namely, that I hoped she would live."
Box office 
Even though not a critical success, it was a modest box office hit, earning $41,281,092 in the United States alone, and a sleeper hit in Asia. The total revenue generated worldwide was $47,494,916.
Critical response 
The film was met with generally negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 27% based on reviews from 102, with an average rating of 4.1 out of 10. The site's critical consensus is: "Though wholesome, the Mandy Moore vehicle A Walk to Remember is also bland and oppressively syrupy. Metacritic, another review aggregator which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 35, based on 26 reviews, which indicates "generally unfavorable". Entertainment Weekly retitled the film "A Walk to Forget". Time named it one of the top 10 worst chick flicks.
A Walk to Remember found a warmer reception with the general public, particularly in the Christian community due to the film's moral values; as one reviewer from Christianity Today approvingly noted, "The main character is portrayed as a Christian without being psychopathic or holier-than-thou". Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert praised Mandy Moore and Shane West for their "quietly convincing" acting performances. The Chicago Reader felt that the story "has a fair amount of nuance and charm." The San Francisco Chronicle reviewer Octavio Roca found the film "entertaining" and wrote: "The picture is shamelessly manipulative, but in the best melodramatic sense." Us Weekly deemed it one of the 30 Most Romantic Movies of All Time.
Despite the bad reviews, the movie was praised by audiences, has 79% score from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, and holds a score of 7.2 on the Internet Movie Database.
|2002||MTV Movie Awards||Best Breakthrough Female Performance||Mandy Moore||Won|
|2002||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Breakout Performance - Actress||Mandy Moore||Won|
|2002||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Chemistry||(Moore/West)||Won|
|2002||MYX Music Awards||Song of the Year||"Cry" by Mandy Moore||Won|
|2011||Yahoo OMG Awards Philippines||Best Foreign Romantic Film of 2000s||Adam Shankman||Nominated|
|2011||Yahoo OMG Awards Philippines||Favorite Actress of 2000s||Mandy Moore||Nominated|
Home media 
The lead song "Cry" was originally released on Moore's second studio album Mandy Moore. The soundtrack also includes two versions of Switchfoot's song "Only Hope" including the version Moore sang in the film.
Mandy Moore's manager, Jon Leshay, the musical supervisor for A Walk to Remember, "instantly wanted" Switchfoot's music to be a vital part of the film after hearing them. He later became Switchfoot's manager. When they were approached to do the film, the band was unfamiliar with Moore or her music (despite her status as a pop star with several hits on the charts). Before their involvement with A Walk to Remember, Switchfoot was only recognized in their native San Diego and in Contemporary Christian music circles, but have since gained mainstream recognition, with a double platinum album, The Beautiful Letdown which included hits such as "Meant to Live" and "Dare You To Move".
2002 CD Soundtrack Tracklisting 
- "Dare You To Move" - Switchfoot
- "Cry" - Mandy Moore
- "Someday We'll Know" - Mandy Moore and Jonathan Foreman – (Cover of New Radicals)
- "Dancin' In The Moonlight" - Toploader – (Cover of King Harvest)
- "Learning To Breathe" - Switchfoot
- "Only Hope" - Mandy Moore as character Jamie Sullivan, with dialogue by Shane West as character Landon Carter – (Cover of Switchfoot)
- "It's Gonna Be Love" - Mandy Moore
- "You" - Switchfoot
- "If You Believe" - Rachael Lampa
- "No One" - Cold
- "So What Does It All Mean?" - West, Gould, & Fitzgerald
- "Mother, We Just Can't Get Enough" - New Radicals
- "Cannonball" - The Breeders (©2003 Special Expanded Edition Bonus Track)
- "Friday On My Mind" - Noogie (©2003 Special Expanded Edition Bonus Track)
- "Empty Spaces" - Fuel (©2003 Special Expanded Edition Bonus Track)
- "Only Hope" - Switchfoot
- Complete Listing of Music in the Movie
- "Cannonball" — The Breeders
- "So What Does It All Mean?" — West, Gould, & Fitzgerald
- "Empty Spaces" — Fuel
- "Lighthouse" — Mandy Moore
- "Friday on My Mind" — Noogie
- "Anything You Want" — Skycopter 9
- "Numb in Both Lips" — Soul Hooligan
- "Tapwater" — Onesidezero
- "If You Believe" — Rachael Lampa
- "No Mercy" — Extra Fancy
- "No One" — Cold
- "Enough" — Matthew Hager
- "Mother, We Just Can't Get Enough" — New Radicals
- "Only Hope" — Mandy Moore
- "Get Ur Freak On" — Missy Elliott
- "Flood" — Jars of Clay
- "Dancin' In The Moonlight" — Toploader
- "Someday We'll Know" — Mandy Moore and Jonathan Foreman
- "Learning to Breathe" — Switchfoot
- "All Mixed Up" — 311
- "Dare You To Move" — Switchfoot
- "You" — Switchfoot
- "It's Gonna Be Love" — Mandy Moore
- "Only Hope" — Switchfoot
- "Cry" — Mandy Moore
In other media 
In the HBO television series Entourage the character of Vincent Chase was credited as having a small supporting role in the film. In the fictional Entourage universe, Chase has an on set relationship with Mandy Moore during the filming of A Walk to Remember.
- Sparks, Nicholas (2000). "Background information on A Walk to Remember, from a speech given in Berlin, Germany for Heyne Verlag". Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- Adam Shankman (2002). "A Walk to Remember" DVD Commentary.
- Shankman, Adam. "Interview with Adam Shankman, Director of "A Walk to Remember" by Rebecca Murray and Fred Topel". Retrieved 2007-08-27.
- "A Walk to Remember - About the film - casting". Warnerbros.com. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Kaufman, Amy (February 4, 2010). "Nicholas Sparks is a master of romance". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Sparks, Nicholas. "Nicholas Sparks on the Movie Adaptation of A Walk to Remember". Archived from the original on 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- Sparks, Nicholas. "FAQ on 'A Walk to Remember' - Did Jamie Die?". Archived from the original on 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- "A Walk to Remember.". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- "A Walk to Remember". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- "A Walk to Remember". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Kepnes, Caroline (2002-07-12). "Reviews — A Walk to Remember". Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- Romero, Frances (May 26, 2010). "Top 10 Worst Chick Flicks - A Walk to Remember". Time. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
- Overstreet, Jeffrey (January 23, 2002). A Walk to Remember. Christianity Today. Archived from the original on 2008-05-03
- Ebert, Roger (2002-01-25). "A Walk to Remember". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- "A Walk to Remember". Chicago Reader. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Roca, Octavio (January 25, 2002). "FILM CLIPS / Also opening today". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- "30 Most Romantic Movies of All Time - A Walk to Remember". Us Weekly. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Tyner, Adam (July 3, 2002). "A Walk To Remember". DVD Talk. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- "Switchfoot Featured in 'A Walk To Remember'". 2002-01-21. Archived from the original on 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- End Credits, A Walk to Remember, 2002
- Official website
- A Walk to Remember at the Internet Movie Database
- A Walk to Remember at AllRovi
- A Walk to Remember at Rotten Tomatoes
- A Walk to Remember at Box Office Mojo