Movie Mom

Movie Mom


A Walk to Remember

posted by rkumar
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Profanity:Strong language for a PG
Nudity/Sex:Mild
Alcohol/Drugs:Teen drinking (offscreen)
Violence/Scariness:Dangerous prank and car accident with injuries, sad death
Diversity Issues:Inter-racial friends
Movie Release Date:2002

I got more enjoyment out of the squeals of joy from the 9-14-year-olds in the audience than from anything on the screen in this syrupy re-tread of “Love Story” set in a Beaufort, North Carolina high school.

Teen Beat pin-ups Mandy Moore and Shane West star as high school seniors Jamie and Landon. Landon is what passes for a glamorous bad boy in Beaufort. He and his friends spend most of their time partying and congratulating themselves on being better than anyone else. They play a prank on a boy who commits the great sin of thinking he might be worthy of hanging out with them. When the boy is seriously injured, Landon is sentenced to participation in school activities: tutoring a disadvantaged kid, sweeping up, and starring in the school play(!).

Landon keeps running into Jamie, a plain, Bible-toting girl who always wears the same sweater and does not care what other people think about her. He asks her for help learning his lines. When he sees her for the first time on opening night, all dolled up to play a nightclub singer (apparently their play had no dress rehearsals), it turns out that she is very pretty. He finds himself drawn to her, and, through her, drawn to a better notion of his own potential.

There is nothing that anyone over the age of 15 hasn’t seen a dozen times, including the plain girl who loosens her hair and turns out to be beautiful, the reunion with the estranged father, and that old favorite, movie star’s disease, in which the actress becomes more beautiful as she gets sicker. The direction, cinematography, and performances are barely adequate, but the Beaufort setting is lovely and the movie manages a couple of affecting moments. But “A Walk to Remember” is a movie to forget.

Parents should know that the movie has very strong language for a PG, with many “s-words.” Before Landon cleans up his act, he drinks and drives. It is clear that Jamie is very principled and their only physical involvement is some chaste kisses. At one point, she asks, “Are you trying to seduce me?” and he replies, “Are you seducible?” She says she is not and he respects her for it. Landon’s best friend is black (Al Thompson as Eric), but the character’s dialogue is so stereotyped that he seems like the “token black guy” in “Not Another Teen Movie.” He and Landon have an elaborate special friendship handshake, and there is an unintentionally hilarious moment when, after an exchange of sympathy and support, they somberly go into their handshake moves.

Families who see this movie should talk about whether they have lists of things they want to do before they die, and how we can help each other realize our dreams. How can we tell that Landon was not happy when he thought he was better than Jamie? How did she show him that he could be something more? When should we care about what other people think of us, and when shouldn’t we?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Love Story and a better performance from Mandy Moore in The Princess Diaries.



Previous Posts

Guardians of the Galaxy
The summer movie you've been waiting for has arrived, a joyous space romp that all but explodes off the screen with lots of action and even more charm. Our recent superheros have been complex, often anguished, even downright tortured. It has been a while since we've had a charming rogue with a ba

posted 5:59:33pm Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »

Get on Up
There are a lot of challenges in taking on the life story of James Brown, known variously as the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, the Godfather of Soul, Mr. Dynamite and others with vari

posted 5:59:21pm Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »

Magic in the Moonlight
Woody Allen's 44th film is an amuse bouche without a meal, a dollop of whipped cream without the dessert underneath.  In last year's film, "Blue Jasmine," the strength of the performances (especially Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett) and the resonance of its Bernie Madoff-ish crossed with "Streetcar Nam

posted 5:58:31pm Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Behind the Scenes on "Calvary"
Brendan Gleeson gives a magnificent performance as a warm-hearted priest in a sad and damaged world in "Calvary," opening next week across the country.  Here's an exclusive peek behind the scenes, featuring Gleeson and Director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies Sister Rose Pacatte. [iframe

posted 3:45:01pm Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »

Tonight: The Last of Our Pre-Code Series, Jean Harlow in "Red Headed Woman"
Tonight is the last of the Pre-Code films Margaret Talbot and I will be presenting at Washington D.C.'s Hill Center.  And it's a doozy, Jean Harlow in "Red Headed Woman."  We'd love to see you there. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATDif96J5Ms[/youtube] Margaret and I will be back a

posted 3:37:33pm Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.