A Walk to Remember

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A Walk to Remember
A Walk to Remember Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdam Shankman
Produced byDenise Di Novi
Hunt Lowry
Written byNicholas Sparks (Novel)
Karen Janszen
StarringShane West
Mandy Moore
Music byMervyn Warren
CinematographyJulio Macat
Edited byEmma E. Hickox
Gaylord Films
Di Novi Pictures
Pandora Cinema
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release dates
  • January 25, 2002 (2002-01-25)
Running time102 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$11 million
Box office$47,494,916
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For the book, see A Walk to Remember (novel).
A Walk to Remember
A Walk to Remember Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdam Shankman
Produced byDenise Di Novi
Hunt Lowry
Written byNicholas Sparks (Novel)
Karen Janszen
StarringShane West
Mandy Moore
Music byMervyn Warren
CinematographyJulio Macat
Edited byEmma E. Hickox
Gaylord Films
Di Novi Pictures
Pandora Cinema
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release dates
  • January 25, 2002 (2002-01-25)
Running time102 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$11 million
Box office$47,494,916

A Walk to Remember is a 2002 American coming-of-age teen romantic drama film based on the 1999 romance novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Shane West and Mandy Moore, was directed by Adam Shankman, and produced by Denise Di Novi and Hunt Lowery for Warner Bros. The novel is set in the 1950s while the film is set in 1998.


When a prank on a fellow high-school student, Clay Gephardt, goes wrong, popular but rebellious Landon Carter (Shane West) is threatened with expulsion. His punishment is mandatory participation in various after-school activities, such as tutoring disadvantaged children and performing in the drama club's spring musical. At these functions he is forced to interact with quiet, bookish Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), a girl he has known for many years but to whom he has rarely ever spoken. Their differing social statures leave them worlds apart, despite their close physical proximity.

When Landon has trouble learning his lines, he asks Jamie for help. She agrees to help him if he promises not to fall in love with her. Landon laughs off the strange remark, believing Jamie to be the last person with whom he would ever fall in love. After all, Landon has access to the prettiest and most popular girls in town; and between her shy demeanor and old-fashioned wardrobe, Jamie doesn't exactly fall into that category.

Landon and Jamie begin practicing together at her house after school. The two form a tentative friendship, and Landon learns that Jamie has a wish list of all the things she hopes to do in her life, such as getting a tattoo and being in two places at once. One day, Jamie approaches Landon at his locker, where he is hanging out with some of his friends. When Jamie asks Landon if they are still on for practice that afternoon he smirks "In your dreams". His friends laugh and Landon's smirk falters as Jamie's face fills with betrayal and embarrassment. That afternoon Landon arrives at Jamie's house, hoping that Jamie will still agree to help him. But she refuses to open the door. When she eventually does, she sarcastically remarks that they can be "secret friends". She slams the door in his face when he agrees. Landon eventually learns the script by himself.

During the play, Jamie astounds Landon and the entire audience with her beauty and voice. Landon kisses Jamie during the play, which was not in the script, and Landon tries to get close to Jamie, but she repeatedly rejects him. Soon thereafter, however, Landon's friends publicly humiliate Jamie by photoshopping her face on the photo of a scantily clad woman. Landon angrily confronts his friend, punching him and publicly siding with Jamie. Afterwards, Landon and Jamie begin a relationship in which Landon dedicates most of his time to her. He sets out to make all the things on her wishlist to come true, such as taking her to a state border so that she can stand on either side of the line and, thus, be in two places at once. He also visits Clay Gephardt to try and make up with him.

In the final stretch of the movie, Jamie confesses to Landon that she has terminal leukemia and has stopped responding to treatments. Landon gets upset at first. Jamie tells him that she didn't tell him because she was moving on with her life and using the time she had left but then Landon happened and she fell deeply in love with him. She says that she "does not need a reason to be angry at God".

Landon goes to his father, who is a doctor, and asks him to help Jamie. His father worries a bit and says that he needs to examine Jamie and know her medical history before he could do anything. Landon leaves in a huff.

Landon and Jamie make up the next day. They hug and he tells her that he will be there for her. Soon, word gets out about Jamie's illness. Eric, Landon's best friend, comes and tells him how sorry he is and that he didn't understand. Dean and Belinda both come and apologize, too.

Jamie's cancer gets worse and she collapses in her father's arms. He rushes her to the hospital where he meets Landon. Landon doesn't leave Jamie's side until her father practically has to pry him away. Jamie's father sits with Jamie and tells her that "If I've kept you too close, it's because I wanted to keep you longer." Jamie tells him that she loves him and he breaks down.

Later, Jamie gives Landon a book filled with quotations; it belonged to her mother. Landon reads 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 along with her. Jamie then tells Landon that she believes that God sent him to her to help her through her illness and that he is her angel. The next day, Landon comes to the hospital and sees Jamie being wheeled out. Jamie asks him to thank his father for her. He later learns that his father is going to pay for private home care for Jamie, leaving Landon stunned. Landon shows up at his father's door and thanks him before breaking down in tears as his father hugs him.

Landon continues to fulfill various wishes on Jamie's list, such as building her a telescope so she can see a comet. Through this process, Landon and Jamie learn more about the nature of love. They eventually get married in the same chapel Jamie's parents were married in, which is the top thing on her list she wanted to do. Landon narrates that they had a wonderful summer together after getting married and that Jamie passed away shortly after. Landon himself becomes a better person through Jamie's memory, achieving the goals that he set out to do, like she did.

Four years later, Landon visits Jamie's father and shows that he is still a better person because of Jamie by informing her father that he has been accepted into medical school; prior to falling in love with Jamie, he had no plans for his future after high school. Jamie's father tells him that both he and Landon's mother are proud of him and that Jamie would be too. Landon tells him that he is sorry he never granted Jamie's wish to witness a miracle. Jamie's father tells him that she did, in fact, witness one: Landon. Carrying that thought, Landon goes for a walk on the docks where he narrates that Jamie changed him forever and that while he does miss her, he believes their enduring love is like the wind: he can't see it but he will always feel it. The movie ends with Landon looking at the sunset and smiling warmly.


Background and production[edit]

The inspiration for A Walk to Remember was Nicholas Sparks' sister, Danielle Sparks Lewis, who died of cancer in 2000. In a speech he gave after her death in Berlin, the author admits that "In many ways, Jamie Sullivan was my younger sister". The plot was inspired by her life; Danielle met a man who wanted to marry her, "even when he knew she was sick, even when he knew that she might not make it".[1] Both the book and film are dedicated to Danielle Sparks Lewis.

It was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina, at the same time that Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) and the TV show Dawson's Creek were being filmed there. Many of the sets were from Dawson's Creek (1998) - particularly the school, hospital and Landon's home.[2] The total shooting time was only 39 days, despite Mandy Moore being able to only work 10 hours a day because she was a minor.[2] Daryl Hannah, who wore a brown wig as her character, had received a collagen injection in her lips, which went awry and caused noticeable swelling. By the end of filming, however, the symptoms were less obvious.[3]


Director Adam Shankman wanted the lead characters to be portrayed by young actors: "I wanted young actors with whom teenagers could connect", he said.[4] Shankman arranged a meeting with Shane West after he saw him in a magazine. He was looking for someone who could transition from being very dark to very light. He described his choice as "an instinct" he had about West, who would appear in almost every scene and had "to be either incredibly angry and self-hating or madly in love and heroic."[4] West said: "I don't generally read love stories, but after reading the screenplay, I knew I couldn't wait to read the book so I could truly understand Nicholas Sparks' story and how he envisioned the character of Landon. It's a beautiful story and the characters are very believable, which is what attracted me to the project.[4]

Shankman said of Mandy Moore that she "has the voice and the face of an angel" and added that she is luminous.[4] Moore explained that she was moved by the book: "I had such a visceral reaction to it that I remember not being able to read because I was almost hyperventilating while I was crying." Commenting on the film, she said: "It was my first movie and I know people say it may be cliche and it's a tearjerker or it's cheesy, but for me, it's the thing I'm most proud of."[5]

Comparisons to novel[edit]

While there are many similarities to the novel by Nicholas Sparks, many changes were made. On his personal website, Sparks explains the decisions behind the differences. For example, he and the producer decided to update the setting from the 1950s to the 1990s, worrying that a film set in the 50s would fail to draw teens. "To interest them," he writes, "we had to make the story more contemporary."[6] To make the update believable, Landon's pranks and behavior are worse than they are in the novel; as Sparks notes, "the things that teen boys did in the 1950s to be considered a little 'rough' are different than what teen boys in the 1990s do to be considered 'rough.'"[6]

Sparks and the producer also changed the play in which Landon and Jamie appear. In the novel, Hegbert wrote a Christmas play that illustrated how he once struggled as a father. However, due to time constraints, the sub-plot showing how he overcame his struggles could not be included in the film. Sparks was concerned that "people who hadn't read the book would question whether Hegbert was a good father", adding that "because he is a good father and we didn't want that question to linger, we changed the play."[6]

A significant difference is that at the end of the novel, unlike the film, it is ambiguous whether Jamie died. Sparks says that he had written the book knowing she would die, yet had "grown to love Jamie Sullivan", and so opted for "the solution that best described the exact feeling I had with regard to my sister at that point: namely, that I hoped she would live."[7]


Box office[edit]

The film opened at No. 3 at the U.S. box office raking in $12,177,488 in its opening weekend, behind Snow Dogs and Black Hawk Down.

Even though not a critical success, it was a modest box office hit, earning $41,281,092 in the United States alone,[8] and a sleeper hit in Asia. The total revenue generated worldwide was $47,494,916.

Critical response[edit]

The film was met with generally negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 27% based on reviews from 102, with an average rating of 4.1 out of 10. The site's critical consensus is: "Though wholesome, the Mandy Moore vehicle A Walk to Remember is also bland and oppressively syrupy." However, it scored more favorably with audiences on the site, with a 77% score.[9] Metacritic, another review aggregator which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 35, based on 26 reviews, which indicates "generally unfavorable".[10] Entertainment Weekly retitled the film "A Walk to Forget".[11] Time named it one of the top 10 worst chick flicks.[12]

A Walk to Remember found a warmer reception with the general public, particularly in the Christian community due to the film's moral values; as one reviewer from Christianity Today approvingly noted, "The main character is portrayed as a Christian without being psychopathic or holier-than-thou".[13] Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert praised Mandy Moore and Shane West for their "quietly convincing" acting performances.[14] The Chicago Reader felt that the story "has a fair amount of nuance and charm".[15] The San Francisco Chronicle reviewer Octavio Roca found the film "entertaining" and wrote: "The picture is shamelessly manipulative, but in the best melodramatic sense."[16] S. Williams of Momzone magazine felt that the movie was "everything a chick flick should be" and praised Shankman's direction. Us Weekly deemed it one of the 30 most romantic movies of all time.[17]


2002MTV Movie AwardsBest Breakthrough Female PerformanceMandy MooreWon
Teen Choice AwardsChoice Breakout Performance – ActressMandy MooreWon
Choice ChemistryMoore/WestWon
MYX Music AwardsSong of the Year"Cry" by Mandy MooreWon
2011Yahoo! OMG Awards PhilippinesBest Foreign Romantic Film of 2000sAdam ShankmanNominated
Favorite Actress of 2000sMandy MooreNominated

Home media[edit]

A Walk to Remember was released on DVD on July 9, 2002.[18]


A Walk to Remember: Music From the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
ReleasedJanuary 15, 2002 (2002-01-15)
GenrePop, contemporary Christian, post-grunge
Length52:01 (Standard)
62:32 (2003 Special Expanded Edition)
LabelEpic/Sony Music Soundtrax
ProducerJon Leshay
Singles from A Walk to Remember: Music From the Motion Picture
  1. "Cry"
    Released: November 4, 2001 (2001-11-04)

The film's soundtrack was released by Epic Records and Sony Music Soundtrax on January 15, 2002.[19] It features six songs by Mandy Moore and others by acts Switchfoot, Rachael Lampa and many more.

The lead song "Cry" was originally released on Moore's self-titled third studio album. The soundtrack also includes two versions of Switchfoot's song "Only Hope" including the version Moore sang in the film.

Moore's manager, Jon Leshay, the musical supervisor for A Walk to Remember, "instantly wanted" Switchfoot's music to be a vital part of the film after hearing them. He later became Switchfoot's manager.[20] When they were approached to do the film, the band was unfamiliar with Moore or her music (despite her status as a pop star with several hits on the charts). Before their involvement with A Walk to Remember, Switchfoot was only recognized in their native San Diego and in Contemporary Christian music circles, but have since gained mainstream recognition, with a double platinum album, The Beautiful Letdown which included hits such as "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move".

The soundtrack was re-released on October 21, 2003[21] as an special expanded edition and featured three songs that were not originally included on the first release of the soundtrack but were featured in the film. The song "Only Hope" by Moore had dialogue added that featuring Shane West as his character Landon Carter taken from the scene from where the song is featured in the film, as well as West's narration at the end of the film.

Track listing[edit]

Standard edition
No.TitleRecording artist(s)Length
1."Dare You to Move"  Switchfoot4:09
2."Cry"  Mandy Moore3:43
3."Someday We'll Know" (cover of New Radicals)Moore and Jonathan Foreman3:52
4."Dancin' in the Moonlight" (cover of King Harvest)Toploader3:52
5."Learning to Breathe"  Switchfoot4:36
6."Only Hope" (cover of Switchfoot)Moore3:53
7."It's Gonna Be Love"  Moore3:51
8."You"  Switchfoot4:14
9."If You Believe"  Rachael Lampa3:49
10."No One"  Cold3:17
11."So What Does It All Mean?"  West, Gould, & Fitzgerald3:00
12."Mother, We Just Can't Get Enough"  New Radicals5:45
13."Only Hope"  Switchfoot4:14
Total length:
Complete listing of music in the film[22]
  1. "Cannonball" — The Breeders
  2. "So What Does It All Mean?" — West, Gould, & Fitzgerald
  3. "Empty Spaces" — Fuel
  4. "Lighthouse" — Mandy Moore
  5. "Friday on My Mind" — Noogie
  6. "Anything You Want" — Skycopter 9
  7. "Numb in Both Lips" — Soul Hooligan
  8. "Tapwater" — Onesidezero
  9. "If You Believe" — Rachael Lampa
  10. "No Mercy" — Extra Fancy
  11. "No One" — Cold
  12. "Enough" — Matthew Hager
  13. "Mother, We Just Can't Get Enough" — New Radicals
  14. "Only Hope" — Mandy Moore
  15. "Get Ur Freak On" — Missy Elliott
  16. "Flood" — Jars of Clay
  17. "Dancin' in the Moonlight" — Toploader
  18. "Someday We'll Know" — Mandy Moore and Jonathan Foreman
  19. "Learning to Breathe" — Switchfoot
  20. "All Mixed Up" — 311
  21. "Dare You to Move" — Switchfoot
  22. "You" — Switchfoot
  23. "It's Gonna Be Love" — Mandy Moore
  24. "Only Hope" — Switchfoot
  25. "Cry" — Mandy Moore

In other media[edit]

In the HBO television series Entourage, the character of Vincent Chase was credited as having a small supporting role in the film. In the fictional Entourage universe, Chase has an on-set relationship with Mandy Moore during the filming of A Walk to Remember.


  1. ^ Sparks, Nicholas (2000). "Background information on A Walk to Remember, from a speech given in Berlin, Germany for Heyne Verlag". Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  2. ^ a b Adam Shankman (2002). "A Walk to Remember" DVD Commentary. 
  3. ^ Shankman, Adam. "Interview with Adam Shankman, Director of "A Walk to Remember" by Rebecca Murray and Fred Topel". Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  4. ^ a b c d "A Walk to Remember - About the film - casting". Warnerbros.com. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  5. ^ Kaufman, Amy (February 4, 2010). "Nicholas Sparks is a master of romance". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Sparks, Nicholas. "Nicholas Sparks on the Movie Adaptation of A Walk to Remember". Archived from the original on 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2007-07-12.  (Webcitation archive)
  7. ^ Sparks, Nicholas. "FAQ on 'A Walk to Remember' - Did Jamie Die?". Archived from the original on 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  8. ^ "A Walk to Remember.". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  9. ^ "A Walk to Remember". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  10. ^ "A Walk to Remember". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  11. ^ Kepnes, Caroline (2002-07-12). "Reviews — A Walk to Remember". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  12. ^ Romero, Frances (May 26, 2010). "Top 10 Worst Chick Flicks - A Walk to Remember". Time. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  13. ^ Overstreet, Jeffrey (January 23, 2002). "A Walk to Remember". Christianity Today. Archived from the original on 2008-05-03. 
  14. ^ Ebert, Roger (2002-01-25). "A Walk to Remember". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  15. ^ "A Walk to Remember". Chicago Reader. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  16. ^ Roca, Octavio (January 25, 2002). "FILM CLIPS / Also opening today". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  17. ^ "30 Most Romantic Movies of All Time - A Walk to Remember". Us Weekly. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  18. ^ Tyner, Adam (July 3, 2002). "A Walk To Remember". DVD Talk. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  19. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/only-hope/id186210887?i=186211481
  20. ^ "Switchfoot Featured in 'A Walk To Remember'". 2002-01-21. Archived from the original on 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  21. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Remember-Mervyn-Warren/dp/B0000DG001/
  22. ^ End credits, A Walk to Remember, 2002

External links[edit]