A Walk To Remember is an embarrassingly cheesy melodrama.
Synopsis: 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. (IMDB)
Starring: Mandy Moore, Shane West, and Peter Coyote
Writers: Karen Janszen and Nicholas Sparks
Director: Adam Shankman
Rating: PG (Canada)
Running Time: 102mins
The 2000’s are known for cheesy, romantic melodramas. While the 2010’s have seen a large movement towards realism, even within the romance genre, the films made in the 2000’s were unabashedly cheesy. Of course, there were some really great romance films that came out of the late 90’s and early 2000’s: You’ve Got Mail, Love Actually, 10 Things I Hate About You just to name a few. They all had one thing in common: although we didn’t really believe this story could ever happen in real life, we cared enough about the characters to stick with the film throughout its running time. A Walk To Remember is bad at both of those things.
At points, the film felt reminiscent of The Room – tier dialogue. Unexpected events really come completely out of the blue, and are meant to catch the audience off guard. There have truly not be any plot twists introduced quite as badly as the one introduced in A Walk To Remember. While the twist was intentionally introduced this way to surprise the audience, it really doesn’t feel like it fits in with the rest of the film. At that point in the film, there’s no reason for us to care about the fate of this couple. The “twist” really takes you of the experience. Up until then, the film’s flaws were largely forgivable. Afterwards, it was hard to take anything that happened seriously.
Despite everything else, the film still managed to be somewhat entertaining though for the wrong reasons. Because of all its flaws, it’s unintentionally hilarious. The dialogue exchange between the characters is laughable, and it’s bizarre to think that a script this bad was ever made into a major movie. Nothing about the film feels organic, and that really drives you to not care about any of the characters. For a film that’s specifically designed to be a tear-jerker, it’s hard to believe that anyone was able to take these characters seriously for long enough to actually become invested in their relationship. Yes, the premise is inherently sad, but the execution by the director, Adam Shankman, completely ruins the experience.
At the end of the day, there wasn’t inherently anything wrong with the story itself. It’s a typical romance film, and it feels very 2000’s – esque. However, the biggest problems with this film were its characters and its dialogue. Because of how noticeably bad those aspects were, you can’t help but be taken out of the experience. A Walk To Remember is unintentionally funny, but overall, it’s a very underwhelming entry compared to Nicholas Sparks’ other adaptations.