High school is hard enough with all the homework, tests, and grades, but when you’re an outcast at your own school, it can be almost impossible. Mandy Moore and Shane West play such outcasts in the 2002 film A Walk to Remember based on the book by Nicholas Sparks.
A young teenage girl and the daughter of the town reverend, lead character Jamie Sullivan, is a loner with few friends and old fashion clothes. Her opposite at the school is Landon Carter, the most popular “bad boy” on campus. When a prank on a fellow student goes wrong, Landon is forced to join the Drama Club and do service for the school.
Jamie is already very involved with the school and, seeing Landon’s new support for the school, tries to encourage him. The two become close when Landon asks Jamie to run lines with him for the school play. Jamie helps Landon up to the day the play’s opening night, when he unexpectedly kisses her on stage.
Landon’s friends weren’t accepting of their relationship, and pulled a nasty prank on Jamie at school. This leads Landon to punch his best friend for hurting Jamie, thereby proving his affection for her. The two become inseparable.
Jamie’s father, the reverend, is hesitant to let Jamie date, but with much begging from Landon he finally allows it. Although Landon was known as the rebellious and corrupt teenager, he plans an incredibly sweet first date for Jamie. He knows about her List of things to do before she dies, and does his best to fulfill them. Near the end of the date, for example, he takes her to the state line and has her straddle it so she can be in two places at once.
Throughout their relationship, he continues to check off parts of her list and steal pieces of her heart. As the plot thickens, the two main characters have more and more trouble trying to be together. This modern “Romeo and Juliet” story is even better than the original.
This is an old movie, so you can catch it on TV or Netflix, but just be sure to have a giant box of tissues ready. It may sound like a classic boy-meets-girl story, but the sudden plot twist will leave you in a puddle of your own tears.