A Walk to Remember

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A Walk to Remember
A Walk to Remember Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdam Shankman
Produced by
Screenplay byKaren Janszen
Based onA Walk to Remember
by Nicholas Sparks
Starring
Music byMervyn Warren
CinematographyJulio Macat
Edited byEmma E. Hickox
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • January 25, 2002 (2002-01-25)
Running time
102 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$11.8 million[2]
Box office$47.5 million[2]

A Walk to Remember is a 2002 American coming-of-age romantic drama film directed by Adam Shankman and written by Karen Janszen, based on Nicholas Sparks' 1999 novel of the same name. The film stars Shane West, Mandy Moore, Peter Coyote and Daryl Hannah, and was produced by Denise Di Novi and Hunt Lowry for Warner Bros. Pictures.

Plot[edit]

In Beaufort, North Carolina, popular and rebellious teenager Landon Carter and his friends have been fond of underage drinking on school grounds. They seriously injure another student during a prank gone wrong. The principal gives Landon the choice of being expelled or atoning for his actions by tutoring fellow students, helping the janitor, and participating in the school play. Choosing and doing the latter, Landon notices Jamie Sullivan, who he has known since kindergarten and is the local minister's daughter. He has seldom paid any attention to her, as she is labeled as an outsider and a geek because of her interest in astronomy.

Landon has trouble learning his lines for the play, so Jamie, who is also in the play, agrees to help him on one condition: for him to not fall in love with her, and he laughs it off and dismisses it as a foolish idea. They begin practicing together at her house after school, but Landon remains wary of ruining his image by being friendly with an outsider like her. At one point he makes the insulting suggestion that they be "secret friends", and Jamie's hurt but mature response embarrasses Landon. He then stops being dismissive of Jamie and treats her like a friend. They get to know each other and a spark of romance buds between them.

On the opening night of the play, Jamie astounds Landon and the audience with her voice and beauty. When Jamie finishes singing towards the end, Landon kisses her, which is not a part of the play. Afterwards, Jamie avoids Landon until his friends play a cruel prank on her. In opposition to his friends, he protects her and she eventually warms up to him again. Landon asks Jamie on a date, but Jamie says her father will not let her date. Landon asks her father for permission, bringing up that he is looking for a chance at redemption with her and at life through her. Jamie's father is initially hesitant but agrees.

On their first date, Landon helps Jamie to fulfill her list of things she wants to achieve in life. On another date, where Jamie is silent and unfocused, she confesses she isn't making any plans for the future because she has leukemia and hasn't been responding to treatment. A desperate Landon asks for his father's help in curing her, but is disappointed by his reply and takes a long drive home thinking about Jamie. Landon's friends become aware of the tragedy looming, and give him their support. Jamie's condition grows worse and gets sent to the hospital. While there, Jamie gives Landon a book that once belonged to her deceased mother and tells him that maybe God sent Landon to her to help her through the rough times and that Landon is her angel. Unbeknownst to Landon, Jamie is given private home care by Landon's estranged father to relieve her father's financial burden. Landon visits his dad, tearfully thanking him for his help, embracing and reuniting.

Landon builds a telescope for Jamie to see a one-time comet in the springtime. Jamie's father helps him get it finished in time and it is brought to her on the balcony where she gets a beautiful view of the comet. It is then that Landon asks her to marry him. Jamie tearfully accepts, and they get married in the church where her mother got married. They spend their last summer together filled with strong love.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

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".[3] 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.[4] The total shooting time was only 39 days, despite Moore being able to only work 10 hours a day because she was a minor.[4] 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.[5]

Casting[edit]

Director Shankman wanted the lead characters to be portrayed by young actors: "I wanted young actors with whom teenagers could connect", he said.[6] 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."[6] 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.[6]

Shankman said of Moore that she "has the voice and the face of an angel" and added that she is luminous.[6] 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."[7]

Comparisons to novel[edit]

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."[8] 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.'"[8]

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."[8]

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."[9]

Soundtrack[edit]

A Walk to Remember: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by Various artists
ReleasedJanuary 15, 2002 (2002-01-15)
GenrePop, contemporary Christian, post-grunge
Length52:01 (Standard)
62:32 (2003 Special Expanded Edition)
LabelEpic/Sony Music Soundtrax
ProducerJon Leshay
Singles from A Walk to Remember: Music from the Motion Picture
  1. "Cry"
    Released: November 4, 2001

The film's soundtrack was released by Moore's first label Epic Records and Sony Music Soundtrax on January 15, 2002.[10] It features six songs by Moore and others by acts Switchfoot, Rachael Lampa and many more.

The lead single "Cry" was originally released on Moore's self-titled third studio album in 2001. The soundtrack also includes two versions of Switchfoot's song "Only Hope" including the version Moore sang in the film.

Moore's manager, Jon Leshay, the musical supervisor for the film, "instantly wanted" Switchfoot's music to be a vital part of the film after hearing them. He later became Switchfoot's manager.[11] 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 their double platinum fourth album, The Beautiful Letdown (2003) which included hits such as "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move".

The soundtrack was re-released on October 21, 2003[12] as a special expanded edition and featured three songs that were not originally included on the first release of the soundtrack but were featured in the film. The song "Only Hope" by Moore had dialogue added that featuring Shane West as his character Landon Carter taken from the scene from where the song is featured in the film, as well as West's narration at the end of the film.

Standard edition
No.TitleRecording artist(s)Length
1."Dare You to Move"Switchfoot4:09
2."Cry"Mandy Moore3:43
3."Someday We'll Know" (cover of New Radicals)Moore and Jonathan Foreman3:52
4."Dancin' in the Moonlight" (cover of King Harvest)Toploader3:52
5."Learning to Breathe"Switchfoot4:36
6."Only Hope" (cover of Switchfoot)Moore3:53
7."It's Gonna Be Love"Moore3:51
8."You"Switchfoot4:14
9."If You Believe"Rachael Lampa3:49
10."No One"Cold3:17
11."So What Does It All Mean?"West, Gould, & Fitzgerald3:00
12."Mother, We Just Can't Get Enough"New Radicals5:45
13."Only Hope"Switchfoot4:14
Total length:52:01

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

A Walk to Remember grossed $41,281,092 in North America and $6,213,824 in other territories for a worldwide total of $47,494,916.[2][13]

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $12,177,488, finishing third at the box office behind Black Hawk Down ($17,012,268) and Snow Dogs ($13,079,373).[2]

Critical reception [edit]

The film received generally negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 27% based on reviews from 103 critics, with an average rating of 4.1/10. The site's critical consensus says: "Though wholesome, the Mandy Moore vehicle A Walk to Remember is also bland and oppressively syrupy."[14] 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".[15] Entertainment Weekly retitled the film "A Walk to Forget".[16] In 2010, Time named it one of the 10 worst chick flicks ever made.[17]

The film 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".[18] Chicago Sun-Times' film critic Roger Ebert praised Moore and West for their "quietly convincing" acting performances.[19] The Chicago Reader felt that the story "has a fair amount of nuance and charm".[20] The San Francisco Chronicle reviewer Octavio Roca found the film "entertaining" and wrote: "The picture is shamelessly manipulative, but in the best melodramatic sense."[21] S. Williams of Momzone magazine felt that the movie was "everything a chick flick should be" and praised Shankman's direction. Us Weekly deemed it one of the 30 most romantic movies of all time.[22]

Accolades[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result
2002 MTV Movie Awards Best Breakthrough Female Performance Mandy Moore Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Breakout Actress Mandy Moore Won
Choice Movie: Chemistry Mandy Moore and Shane West Won
Choice Movie: Liplock Mandy Moore and Shane West Nominated

Home media[edit]

A Walk to Remember was released by Warner Home Video on DVD on July 9, 2002. The DVD contains two commentaries (one featuring Shane West, Mandy Moore, and director Adam Shankman; the second featuring screenwriter Karen Janszen and author Nicholas Sparks), the music video for Moore's single "Cry", and the film's theatrical trailer.[23][24] A "Family-Edited Version" was later released on December 24, 2002.[25]

In other media[edit]

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 Moore during the filming of A Walk to Remember.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A WALK TO REMEMBER (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. March 6, 2002. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "A Walk to Remember (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. May 2, 2002. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  3. ^ Sparks, Nicholas (2000). "Background information on A Walk to Remember, from a speech given in Berlin, Germany for Heyne Verlag". Archived from the original on September 3, 2009. Retrieved July 12, 2007.
  4. ^ a b Adam Shankman (2002). "A Walk to Remember" DVD Commentary.
  5. ^ Shankman, Adam. "Interview with Adam Shankman, Director of "A Walk to Remember" by Rebecca Murray and Fred Topel". Retrieved 27 August 2007.
  6. ^ a b c d "A Walk to Remember – about the film – casting". Warnerbros.com. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  7. ^ Kaufman, Amy (4 February 2010). "Nicholas Sparks is a master of romance". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  8. ^ a b c Sparks, Nicholas. "Nicholas Sparks on the Movie Adaptation of A Walk to Remember". Archived from the original on April 17, 2008. Retrieved 12 March 2010. ()
  9. ^ Sparks, Nicholas. "FAQ on 'A Walk to Remember' – Did Jamie Die?". Archived from the original on April 16, 2008. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  10. ^ ""Only Hope" from A Walk to Remember (Music from the Motion Picture) by Various Artists on iTunes". January 15, 2002.
  11. ^ "Switchfoot Featured in 'A Walk To Remember'". 21 January 2002. Archived from the original on April 12, 2008. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  12. ^ "A Walk To Remember Music From The Motion Picture-Special Expanded Edition". October 21, 2003 – via Amazon.
  13. ^ "A Walk to Remember". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on July 5, 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2007.
  14. ^ "A Walk to Remember". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  15. ^ "A Walk to Remember". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  16. ^ Kepnes, Caroline (12 July 2002). "Reviews — A Walk to Remember". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  17. ^ Romero, Frances (26 May 2010). "Top 10 Worst Chick Flicks – A Walk to Remember". Time. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  18. ^ Overstreet, Jeffrey (23 January 2002). "A Walk to Remember". Christianity Today. Archived from the original on May 3, 2008.
  19. ^ Ebert, Roger (25 January 2002). "A Walk to Remember". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 12 July 2007.
  20. ^ "A Walk to Remember". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  21. ^ Roca, Octavio (25 January 2002). "FILM CLIPS / Also opening today". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  22. ^ "30 Most Romantic Movies of All Time – A Walk to Remember". Us Weekly. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  23. ^ Tyner, Adam (3 July 2002). "A Walk To Remember". DVD Talk. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  24. ^ "A Walk to Remember by Adam Shankman". Barnes & Noble. Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Inc. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  25. ^ "Amazon.com: A Walk to Remember". Amazon.com. Retrieved 15 December 2015.

External links[edit]