Love is like the wind. You cannot see it but you can always feel it.
Set in a small town during the 1950s, A Walk to Remember is the story of an only son of a wealthy family that finds true love with the most unexpected person. The daughter of a minister (Mandy Moore) meets the only son (Shane West) and the story takes us through hard times, love and bitter sweet passion. This great love story shows us that it all comes down to who is by your side and who is willing to stand up for love even when it seems impossible.
A Walk to Remember was released in January 2002, and I’ll go on record as saying that I loved the movie. I think it’s a wonderful adaptation, and I hope that everyone who enjoys my work will watch it. I promise that you’ll enjoy it.
One thing that I’d like you to remember is that the movie will be different from the book. It has to be, not only because films and novels are different mediums and accomplish things in different ways, but also because every single reader saw the movie in his or her own mind and it’s impossible to match everyone’s imagination. But please, see the film anyway.
The film stars Mandy Moore (Jamie), Shane West (Landon), Peter Coyote (Hegbert) and Darryl Hannah (Landon’s mother), and they all did a fabulous job. As for specific differences between the novel and the film, I’d like to touch on those briefly:
First, the film is set in the 1990s, not the 1950s. This was done because both the producer and I thought this was such a wonderful film for teenagers because of the message it provided (strong faith, kindness, forgiveness, charity, redemption, looking past the obvious to see the person within), especially compared with most movies geared for teens these days. A simple fact of Hollywood is that if we’d set the film in the 1950s, teens wouldn’t have gone to see it. To interest them, we had to make the story more contemporary.
Second, the play was changed. I won’t go into details, but it’s not the Christmas Play. The reason for that was because the Christmas Play was Hegbert’s way of showing that he’d once struggled as a father and the struggle was difficult to overcome. Yet, due to time constraints in the movie, this involved a sub-plot that simply couldn’t be worked into the story. People who’d read the book would understand it, but people who hadn’t read the book would question whether Hegbert was a good father. Because he is a good father and we didn’t want that question to linger, we changed the play. Thus, the end result for Hegbert is the same, it was just handled differently.
And finally, 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.” Landon’s a little rougher in the beginning of the film, but his redemption is that much greater by the end. In my mind, that was a fair trade.