starring Mandy Moore, Shane West, Peter Coyote, Al Thompson
screenplay by Karen Janszen, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks
directed by Adam Shankman
by Walter Chaw An interminable trudge through afterschool-special hell, Adam Shankman's A Walk to Remember stars teen pop starlet Mandy Moore and is based on a novel by best-selling schmaltz-meister Nicholas Sparks--a combination sure to warn away most reasonably intelligent folks. After a kinetic opening sequence that recalls a nearly identical scene from The Lost Boys while giving false hope that A Walk to Remember will be an agreeably nostalgic diversion, the film becomes a vaguely surreal morality play scripted along the straitjacket genre conventions that indicate each of Sparks's novels. A Walk to Remember is hopelessly unrealistic and often uncomfortable to watch, far more interested in presenting Moore with showcase opportunities to peddle her cavity-causing music; it threatens to do for her what Glitter did for Mariah Carey. Worse, if you don't know every single plot point and twist after the first twenty minutes, you've done the sensible thing and left after the first ten.