Film has no mass appeal

Movie review

January 25, 2002|By Roger Moore | Roger Moore,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Is A Walk to Remember not another teen movie?

Almost.

It's a love-between-mismatched-teens tale, with a lump of Titanic/Love Story tragedy tacked on by author Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle). Though there's a refreshing sweetness about it, and just enough edge to have young teen credibility, it can't rise above the banality of Sparks' recycled small-town romances.

Shane West is Landon Carter, high school punk. As punishment for nearly killing somebody, Landon has to help clean the school. And he has to take the lead in the school play, a gangster musical written by a student. Say what?!

Teen pop star Mandy Moore co-stars as Plain Jane preacher's daughter Jamie Sullivan, the female lead in the play. His single mom is Daryl Hannah. Her single father is Peter Coyote. 'Nuff said.

Landon at first wants nothing to do with Jamie. Of course, she brings out a nobler side in him. And Landon brings a little fun into Jamie's structured life. She keeps a list of things she wants to accomplish in her lifetime, and he sets out to help her check off items.

A Walk to Remember may touch a nerve with younger viewers who haven't seen the "chick flicks" Sparks stole the plot from. But for grownups, this treacle is going to be pretty hard to swallow.

Roger Moore is a film critic for the Orlando Sentinel, a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

A Walk to Remember

Starring Peter Coyote, Daryl Hannah, Shane West, Mandy Moore

Directed by Adam Shankman

Rated PG, language, sensual material

Released by Warner Bros.

Running time 100 minutes

Sun score *1/2

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