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World’s Worst Chick Flick Part 3: A Walk to Remember

December 28, 2010


Before I begin, I should warn anyone who may use the text of this entry as an excuse not to watch this movie, that there is a faction of women out there who love Nicholas Sparks like he is their drug dealer. And their drug of choice is overwrought emotion. Second, you can replace the title of today’s movie with just about any other Nicholas Sparks movie and get the same result, because his formula for storytelling is pretty much the same with everything he writes. Consult the poster to the left for a full explanation.

Now, on to the review!

Mandy Moore plays Jamie Sullivan, a quiet pastor’s kid in a small North Carolina beach town. She has plain brown hair, so you know right away that she is unpopular. Shane West plays Landon Carter, the popular kid who gets in trouble and is forced to be in the school play as punishment.

By the way, what is this town and school saying about theater if they use it as punishment? But while working together on the play, Landon finds that Jamie is sweet. Then he hears her sing and realizes she’s awesome and they fall in love. Jamie’s dad isn’t very happy about all of this, but Jamie loves Landon and Landon has miraculously transformed into a nice guy, so what’s a father to do?

Now, if this were the only premise to the movie, I’d be ok with it. Basically every female in the world except Gwyneth Paltrow has felt like the ugly duckling and has dreamed of the cute, popular guy falling for them. But wait! This is Nicholas Sparks so you know something dark is afoot.

It turns out that one of the reasons Jamie never dates (besides the ugly sweater and plain hair) is that she has leukemia. Apparently, the parishioners at her father’s church ignore the needs of their pastor and their pastor’s daughter completely, because this is a shocking revelation in the movie. Never mind the fact that this is a small southern town, which should be a clue that everyone knows everyone’s business, especially if this business is that a young person is dying.

The Real Issue

During the last two years I have come to realize that men and women are equally emotional and needy. In fact, dare I say it, men are often more needy than women. Just ask a guy whose wife goes out of town how well he can take care of himself. However, women are definitely the more emotional and definitely crave emotion. We say things like “save the drama for your mama” (okay, fine, we say those things if we’re middle schoolers and it’s the 90s, but you get my drift), but the fact is, women don’t want you to save the drama. We love the highs and lows of emotions because it reminds us that we’re alive. It reminds us that there are people out there who care enough to ask what’s going on, good or bad.

Nicholas Sparks knows this and he exploits it. He writes a story, throws in some love, some family drama, and then a death. He takes his readers and viewers through every emotion, and at the end of the story women love it because they’re still feeling the high of their overdose on overwrought emotion.

And that is one of the major reasons I do not like Nicholas Sparks. He doesn’t use compelling stories or interesting characters to engage his audience. Instead, he uses a formula and exploits the emotions of his audience. He knows exactly what will get the waterworks flowing. And that’s what he does in A Walk to Remember. He takes two bland characters, makes them fall in love, gets them hitched, and then kills one of them off. Women walk out of the theater, feeling like they connected with the characters, when actually all they did was get high off of an emotional roller coaster.

But you know what? A lot of women like this, so who am I to judge? Maybe his books are different and Hollywood is the one to blame for killing off people willy nilly in all of his movie adaptations. The bottom line, though, is that this movie follows all the cliches. Therefore, it does not belong in the same category as the great chick flicks.

A Walk to Remember

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Schniff Schnaff Shalomie permalink
    December 28, 2010 1:55 pm

    I know a Panamanian who really liked this movie.

    In other news, I enjoy’s way of shedding light on things. The poster was enjoyable.

    • dtdorrin permalink*
      December 28, 2010 3:15 pm

      Yes, I remember that particular Panamanian was an exception to a lot of rules about guys liking chick flicks.

  2. Angie permalink
    December 29, 2010 9:21 pm

    Just because you are jealous of my mad movie poster making skillz it’s no reason to hate on Nicholas Sparks. When we were in Charleston the lady behind me on the carriage tour was going on and on about how much our tour driver (a guy) needed to see The Notebook. I told him not to bother.

    May I nominate the entire “Love Comes Softly” series to the World’s Worst Chick Flick search?

    • dtdorrin permalink*
      December 29, 2010 11:38 pm

      But then I’d have to actually watch the entire “Love Comes Softly” series and there’s like 47 of them. I don’t think I could handle that. And I really don’t understand why so many women insist that men watch The Notebook. It’s weird.

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