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Love is a leap of faith.

A Walk to Remember is a romantic novel by Nicholas Sparks which was published in 1999. It was adapted into a film in 2002 starring Mandy Moore.

The story is about Landon and Jamie who are two North Carolina teens who fall in love despite their differences in background. A devastating secret, however, threatens to rip them apart.

The book provides examples of:

  • Altar the Speed: The young couple gets married after an extremely short courtship. Because he knows she's dying, and "getting married at the same church her mom did" was one of the things she wanted to do before she died. Sweet or saccharine? You decide.
  • Author Avatar: Everyone knows that Tom Thornton is based on Reverend Sullivan himself.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: It's revealed late that Jamie's always been in love with Landon and she asked him to be the lead in the play so they can spend more time together.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Subverted. Readers believe Hegbert forbids Jamie and Landon's relationship because of his dislike for the Carter family but it's really because he doesn't want them to be hurt once Jamie's sickness becomes known.
  • Disappeared Dad: Landon's father Congressman Worth spends most of his time in Washington which led many to believe that Landon had no father.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Jamie brings sick animals to the vet.
  • Ill Girl: Jamie,
  • Like You Were Dying
  • Limited Wardrobe: The Sullivans are poor so Jamie often wears the same clothes all the time. She wears her angel costume as her wedding dress.
  • Preacher's Kid: Jamie.
  • Red Herring: Landon's grandfather figures large in the story. He's a former bootlegger turned "landowner" and his corruption is the reason Reverend Hegbert hates the Carter family. He is not the reason why he doesn't want Jamie to be with Landon.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Jamie is the daughter of a poor pastor while Landon's family owns the county.
  • The Fifties
  • The Pollyanna: Jamie mostly is this; she is a devoutly religious girl who is always optimistic and faces her impending death gracefully.
  • Title Drop: Landon says that Jamie was in pain as she walked down the aisle and every step was "a walk to remember".
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Jamie is never shown dying.
  • Weddings for Everyone
  • Wham! Line: "I'm dying, Landon".

The film provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Displacement
  • Adaptation Expansion: Much dialogue and conflict were added to beef up the movie.
  • Adaptational Badass: Jamie is much more assertive compared to her book counterpart.
  • Amicable Exes: Landon's parents don't speak to each other but she insists he talk to his dad once in a while.
  • Back for the Finale: Even the girl who Jamie tutored in just one other scene (and lives in another town) attended her wedding.
  • Beautiful All Along: Although she was never supposed to be "ugly" (just plain), Jamie has this moment during the scene in which she performs in the school play; as she takes off a black cape she is revealed in a blue silk dress, along with full hair and make-up for the first time.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Landon and Reverend Sullivan first meet when the former looks at pictures of the Sullivans on the piano. In the ending, Landon and Jamie's wedding photo is there too. It's a nice way to show some closure between the two men who loved Jamie the most.
  • Compelling Voice: Jamie's singing is the first thing to get Landon's attention.
  • Darker and Edgier: The spring play (Christmas play in the book) is "The Christmas Angel" which us a semi autobiographical melodrama about Reverend Sullivan trying to give Jamie a Christmas present. In the movie, the play becomes "Thornton's Way" which is a gangster/musical.
  • Death by Adaptation: The book leaves Jamie's fate vague on purpose but the movie makes it plain that she passed away.
  • Distant Finale: The ending is set four years later.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Landon's friends disliked Jamie but even they are saddened by the news of her impending death and they reconcile with him over it.
  • Famous Last Words

Jamie: "All (the days) of my life."

  • Freudian Trio
    • Ego - Jamie
    • Id - Landon
    • Superego - Reverend Sullivan
  • Gilligan Cut: Landon refuses to the lead role in the school play but the next scene shows him in the table reading.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Jamie's last scene is her smiling after getting married.
  • "God Is Love" Songs
  • Headbutt of Love
  • Hotter and Sexier: Jamie in contrast with the book.
  • I'd Tell You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You: Joked at with Jamie.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Jamie shows off her shoulder while Landon gives her a temporary tattoo. She seems unaware of how provocative her gesture was.
  • Karma Houdini: Landon is part of a drunken "prank" that pretty much cripples another student. His punishment is being made to do some community service by the Principal, as opposed to, say, a criminal trial, or at the very least having to defend himself in a civil suit.
  • Large Ham: Cleyne Crawford as Dean just can't help hogging every scene he's in.
  • Left the Background Music On: "Dancing in the Moonlight" by Toploader plays during the "two places at once" scene but it's revealed to be playing in Landon's car radio in the next.
  • Leitmotif: Jamie and Landon's love theme has six variations.
    • "The Kiss" - Played on guitar.
    • "Stargazing" - Guitar and piano duet. The piano plays the theme.
    • "It's not funny": Piano on major key.
    • "Jamie at the hospital" - Dark Reprise. Guitar counterpointed by sad violin.
    • "God's bigger plan" - Theme combined with "Only Hope" instrumental.
    • "They Wed" - Triumphant Reprise
  • Manly Tears: Landon breaking down at his dad's house.
  • Match Cut
    • After Jamie drives off from Landon after he told her he had feelings for her, the sound of her car is followed up in the next scene of Landon fixing up his Camaro.
    • When Landon's mom teaches him to dance, the last shot of him spinning her transitions to the next scene of him spinning Jamie.
    • The wedding scene begins with a shot of the church exterior then cut to the interior. The door is front and center in both shots.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Just another run-of-the-mill Boy Meets Girl teen flick, right? Oh, how we wish.
  • No Name Given
    • Reverend Sullivan is known as Hegbert in the book. No such name exists in the movie.
    • Landon's other friends Tricia and Walker are also never called by name.
  • Non Actor Vehicle: perceived to be so.
  • Product Placement
    • Landon wears adidas shoes.
    • His dad wears Lacoste polo shirts.
    • In the ending, Landon has traded in his Camaro for a sensible Ford SUV.
  • Race Lift: Eric becomes Landon's Black Best Friend.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Jamie is blonde in the book.
  • Sacred First Kiss: Not discussed in the open but Jamie is very angry that Landon took her first kiss in the play.
  • The Cast Showoff: Mandy's singing is showcased. Jamie doesn't sing in the book.
  • The Mourning After
  • The Nineties
  • Triumphant Reprise: The original "Only Hope" plays at the wedding.
  • Troubled but Cute: Landon.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: The Black Best Friend.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Death" is never said so phrases like "not being with you" and "then she went" are substituted.
  • Uptight Loves Wild