A Walk to Remember: Mandy Moore’s film to forget is coming to Netflix

A Walk to Remember (PG, 101mins) Directed by Adam Shankman **

Although they’ve known each other since freshman year, Landon Carter (Shane West) and Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore) come from different ends of the high school social spectrum.

He’s a hip and popular Jedi Master of the Talking Bull, while she’s a minister’s daughter wearing a cardigan, bible, and straight shoelaces, more concerned with astronomy and good grades than partying.

But when a booze-and-water prank goes horribly wrong, Landon finds himself drawn into Jamie’s world of legitimate extracurricular activities and quiet reflection.

Despite his warnings not to fall in love with her, Landon lands hard, but still faces the twin obstacles of his strict father and his image-conscious friends, if he is to continue seeing her.

Mandy Moore plays Jamie Sullivan in A Walk to Remember.

Provided

Mandy Moore plays Jamie Sullivan in A Walk to Remember.

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Based on the 1999 novel by prolific writer Nicholas Spark, A Walk to Remember is a promising three-handkerchief tale, marred by cliches, leaps in logic and horrific oversimplifications, which can be attributed to both the novel source and director Adam Shankman (The Wedding Planner).

Rather than being expelled for his on-site drinking, which almost leads to tragedy, Landon is inexplicably ordered to help underprivileged students and direct the school play.

Of course, Jamie isn’t just the star of this piece, but she also wrote the music and lyrics (allowing Moore, then best known as Britney Spears’ pop star, that all-important chance to show off her lungs).

Then, just as the story begins to pick up, it unexpectedly veers straight into TV movie territory from which it never really recovers.

Based on the 1999 novel by prolific writer Nicholas Spark, A Walk to Remember is a promising three-handkerchief tale, marred by cliches, leaps in logic and horrifying oversimplifications.

Provided

Based on the 1999 novel by prolific writer Nicholas Spark, A Walk to Remember is a promising three-handkerchief tale, marred by cliches, leaps in logic and horrifying oversimplifications.

Continuity issues abound, with Landon acquiring crutches weeks after his accident and wardrobe issues being particularly visible.

Part of this could be due to the 36 cuts made to reduce the censorship rating, including the obvious dubbing of some M-rated languages.

Throw in West’s “Rebel Without a Clue,” sets straight from Dawson’s Creek (no, really), and Daryl Hannah in a creepy wig, and A Walk to Remember looks like a movie heading toward oblivion.

However, there is one silver lining, and surprisingly (although, as This is Us has shown over the past few years, she eventually became a brilliant actress), it’s Moore.

We all know how Britney failed to ignite in Crossroads, Maria Carey wiped out any sparkle from Glitter, and Madonna’s movie career was Swept Away around the same time in the early 2000s, but Moore proves here that there are singers from that period who can perform (subsequent Golden Globe and Emmy nominations providing a later testament).

What's particularly sad about A Walk to Remember is that Mandy Moore's performance is undermined by a shoddy script and less than impressive production values.

Provided

What’s particularly sad about A Walk to Remember is that Mandy Moore’s performance is undermined by a shoddy script and less than impressive production values.

Sure, she manages to chirp out the obligatory song (with the help of studio-quality audio unlikely both in her high school and in a church), but it’s her touching portrayal of a tough-as-nails girl. peer pressure, unwavering in his faith, but open to the prospect of a change that will win him a new audience and could burst the tissues.

The sad thing is that such a performance is undermined by a shoddy script and less than impressive production values.

A Walk to Remember – a film, bar Moore, to forget.

A Walk to Remember is now available to stream on Netflix.