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A Walk to Remember

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: A Walk to Remember

Starring: Mandy Moore, Shane West
Director: Adam Shankman
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: January 2002
Genres: Drama, Romance

*Also starring: Peter Coyote, Daryl Hannah, Al Thompson, Lauren German, Clayne Crawford, Paz de la Huerta, Jonathan Parks Jordan, Matt Lutz

Review by Susan Granger
1 star out of 4

Targeted directly at teenyboppers, this sappy parable, set in Beaufort, North Carolina, revolves around a widowed Baptist minister's overprotected daughter (teen pop star Mandy Moore) who teaches some lessons in humility and selflessness to a reckless, popular young stud (Shane West). He was involved in a high school hazing accident; as punishment, he's ordered to tutor a young student at a nearby school and participate in the Drama Club's spring play. But he can't remember his lines, so she rehearses with him. Soon, the wholesome geeky girl who loves astronomy and the guy from the in-crowd discover they're attracted to one another. Adapted for the screen by Karen Janszen from a novel by Nicholas Sparks ("Message in a Bottle") and directed by Adam Shankman ("The Wedding Singer"), the formulaic good-girl-meets-bad-boy plot is predictable, including an impending tragedy. (If you've seen "Here on Earth," "Autumn in New York," or "Sweet November," you've been there, done that.) The roles are two-dimensional stereotypes, not fleshed-out characters. Mandy Moore comes across as guileless and sweet, certainly better than Mariah Carey in "Glitter," and Shane West tries to impersonate the rebellious Charlie Sheen. As his divorced mother, Daryl Hannah (now a brunette) looks haggard and acts dazed, while Peter Coyote struggles valiantly to make his preacher part resonate. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "A Walk to Remember" is a fuzzy, sugar-frosted 3, obviously destined for a quick trip to the local video store. A flick to forget.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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