The sweet coming-of-age story follows two teenagers in love, but it’s not some modern, torrid affair but a sweetly Southern romance that will make even the most jaded viewer want to believe in true love.
Directed by Adam Shankman and based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, the film revolves around Jamie Sullivan, a kind, honest, and forthright Southern girl with strong values who is a bit of an outsider at school because of her faith and the fact that her family can’t afford new clothes (and kids can be mean about that). Since she is played by actress and singer Mandy Moore she is also a natural beauty and when the popular senior Landon Carter (Shane West) is forced to join drama club as a punishment, he slowly realizes that Jamie is something special. Slowly a romance unfolds between the unlikely couple, even though Jamie’s preacher father forbids her from dating. Their relationship blossoms, though, and becomes the basis for an old-fashioned romance based on respect and common values and even Reverend Sullivan eventually comes around. Not to give away any plot points, but this movie requires a steady supply of tissues and a willingness to cry in public.
Here are seven of the greatest things about A Walk To Remember (with only a few light spoilers)
Do some of the sets on A Walk to Remember look a little familiar? That’s because they were the Dawson Creek’s sets, including Landon’s home, the hospital, and the school.
The character of Jamie was inspired by Nicholas Sparks’ sister, Danielle Sparks Lewis, whom he dedicated the book and movie to.
1. When Jamie warns him.
When Jamie agrees to help Landon practice his lines for a play, she says, “You have to promise you won’t fall in love with me.” Since Landon is the popular kid and Jamie the outsider, he scoffs: “That's not a problem.” It’s perfect foreshadowing for the romance to come.
2. When Landon quotes Dolly Parton.
Just to prove the film’s Southern roots, when Landon and Jamie start to befriend each other, he tells her: "Find out who you are, and do it on purpose. That's Dolly Parton.” Jamie replies, “I always thought she was smart.”
WATCH: You'll Never Guess What Dolly Parton's First Song Was About
3. When Landon and Jamie finally kiss.
The film occasionally walks the line between sweet and syrupy, but when Landon and Jamie finally kiss, it’s pure movie magic. Jamie is very nervous about kissing Landon, so when he boldly suggests, “I might kiss you.” She shyly replies, “I might be bad at it.” Landon scoffs, “That’s not possible.” And that is...
4. When Landon buys her a star.
In what may be the most romantic moment of the film, Landon names a star after Jamie, which prompts her to finally tell him she loves him—and everyone in the theater probably fell in love with him a little bit, too.
5. When Landon tells his mom: "Jamie has faith in me. She makes me want to be different. Better."
It’s like a teenage version of Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets telling Helen Hunt that she makes him want to be a better man. It’s a sweet statement that resonates no matter what age the protagonists happen to be.
6. When Landon says, “I am sorry that she never got her miracle” and Reverend Sullivan replies, “She did get her miracle, Landon, her miracle was you."
If that doesn’t make you lunge for the tissue box, you may need to see a doctor.
7. One of the greatest things about this movie is that it’s based on a true story. Specifically, the story of Nicholas Sparks' sister, who was diagnosed with cancer and whose boyfriend proposed to her because she wanted to get married before she died. She passed away a year before filming started. Because of his personal connection to the film, Moore was especially nervous of meeting Sparks and playing his sister in the movie.
And while it’s not technically part of the movie, the fact that Moore and West still keep in touch via email is the icing on the cake of this sweet film.