Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.

About

Blog

Oscar Predictions

This is still a work in progress as I migrate from my old platform at Tumblr. For now, you can still access the whole backlog of posts there at http://reelmatt.tumblr.com

A Walk to Remember

Film #260

THE PLOT

The story of two North Carolina teens, Landon Carter and Jamie Sullivan, who are thrown together after Landon gets into trouble and is made to do community service.

Year 1, Day 259

BEFORE: Passing the halfway point in March, the leftover chain keeps on chugging. This film is among those excised from my romance chain in February due to a whole bunch of unscheduled days off. A Walk to Remember isn’t on my radar of highly anticipated films but was meant as more of a filler to get a full two weeks of romantic films. But alas, I had included it and it’s still available for me to watch, so I’m going to bite the bullet and give it a shot.

AFTER: Heretofore some of the romance films in the marathon have struck highly on the emotional scale but none are as lovey-do very as A Walk to Remember. The focus is place solely on the shoulders of Landon Carter (Shane West) and Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore) and for the most part the film does a decent job. But if it weren’t for the big twist, this film would fall by the wayside amongst the numerous other films in the genre.

I’ve been asked before, “Why do I watch so many romantic films? Those are chick flicks.” My response is that they are films, just like any other. Love just happens to be the driver of the film as opposed to fighting or telling jokes to get a laugh. They are made to show relationships between people; that’s the whole point. And in A Walk to Remember, they would do what I’d say was a good job - it wasn’t as impressive as Crazy, Stupid, Love. for example, but it wasn’t as appalling as No Strings Attached. West and Moore do a great job at conveying the personalities of high schoolers; teenagers who fall hopelessly in love. Landon, is the tough rebellious guy who would never be seen with the quiet and sweet Jamie. The transition from people who never speak to each other to people head-over-heels for each other progressed nicely. Landon doesn’t change over night and it takes a while for Jamie to accept him. The amount of time spent on their relationship and its various states was just the right amount and made it very plausible.

But if it weren’t for the major twist around two-thirds of the way through, I feel much of this movie wouldn’t be interesting at all. All I’ll say about the twist is this: there are many paths I expected the film to take, many twists that would have been predictable, but what actually happens was totally unexpected. This singular moment, and how it affects the character’s actions from there on, makes the film. Here’s what I mean. Up until this point, the film just dawdles along, inching from one scene to the next. Yeah, we get a good idea of who Landon and Jamie are, but there are a whole bunch of secondary characters and story lines that make little to no sense and are just thrown in because they’re necessary to develop the story (i.e. provide inciting incidents, areas of conflict, etc.). There’s nothing to make A Walk to Remember stand out and be worthy of setting time aside to watch it specifically. It’s not bad, but the good parts just barely keep my interest afloat.

Hypotheticals are one thing though. The fact is, A Walk to Remember has this twist and the twist adds a whole lot to the story and the film. Even still, it doesn’t make the film fantastic. One mind-blowing event is not enough to make up for all the other plain, ho-hum elements of the film. I would recommend watching at some point in the future, but it won’t be your new favorite film or even one of your top films. It’ll just be an interesting film with a great twist.

RATING: 3 out of 5