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#cyberbullying | #cyberbully | 38 Thoughts I Had While Rewatching “A Walk to Remember” | #parenting | #parenting | #kids


Well, it’s yet another snowy pandemic Friday, which means it’s time to try to pump some small hit of serotonin into our brains by rewatching the rom-coms that delighted us in our youth. Today’s installment is a little film by the name of A Walk to Remember (2002), which—and I don’t mean to issue any spoilers here—is a lot more religious than I remembered. Let’s dive in, shall we?

  1. Ugh, teens are being bad, which violates my personal code of curmudgeonly ethics. One teen in particular—Clay—gets seriously injured jumping into a body of water from a great distance, which really confirms my desire never to do that. (Again, I’m not fun.)
  2. Brooding, clearly troubled Landon (a.k.a. Shane West) helps Clay, but gets in some legal trouble in the process, not to mention sustaining injuries of his own. He totally gets called out at church—and yes, FYI, everyone in this movie is very into church. Is it bad that the only thing I remembered about it was Mandy Moore’s bangs?
  3. Speak of the devil! Jamie, a.k.a. Mandy Moore, gets ruthlessly mocked by Landon’s cool friends for dressing poorly. She doesn’t care, though, because she’s a better person than they are.
  4. For his crimes, Landon is remanded to the school play. How lame!
  5. Landon is on the outs with his popular ex Belinda, but luckily, Jamie is there to teach him to tutor younger kids, because, again, she’s just a better person—than you, or me, or anyone.
  6. Is this a good time to mention I hate Jamie in a way I’m not super-proud of?
  7. Jamie sweetly warns Landon about the dangers of peer pressure, which guys famously love.
  8. Landon slams Jamie with the insult “You have exactly one sweater,” which…burn. She doesn’t care, though, because she’s a saint who doesn’t care what people think of her.
  9. Absolute cop-out that the school play is allegedly “written” by a student, rather than an actual play that the makers of A Walk to Remember would presumably have to pay for the rights to. Let me see Cabaret!
  10. Jamie’s dreams for her life, recounted to Landon, are as follows: “Spend a year in the Peace Corps. Make a medical discovery. Be in two places at once. Get a tattoo.”
  11. Landon’s just trying to memorize his lines like a good boy, but his friends are intent on distracting him, because they are Bad. He asks Jamie for help with his lines instead, because women exist to redeem men.
  12. “You have to promise you won’t fall in love with me,” Jamie tells Landon. Foreshadowing!
  13. Oh, Jamie’s father is a full-on minister. How did I block out every element of faith in this movie?
  14. The thing about Jamie is, she’s into Christianity, but also astronomy. Don’t make fun of her telescope!
  15. Oof, even as an adult, it’s brutal to watch Landon give Jamie the brush-off in front of his popular friends. Some wounds never heal.
  16. Jamie’s ambition, per her yearbook quote: “To witness a miracle.”
  17. Landon finds a way to bond with the kid he’s tutoring via basketball-influenced geometry, because (spoiler) he, too, is becoming Good.
  18. Landon apologizes to Clay, the kid who got hurt, but doesn’t get the absolution he’s looking for.
  19. Ooh, romantic school play vibes! A great time to remind everyone that Mandy Moore was actually a teenager for the filming of this movie, which is a refreshing change of pace from the Hollywood norm.
  20. Only Jamie could have crafted a banger like “So I lay my head back down/And I lift my hands and pray/To be only yours/I pray to be only yours/I know now you’re my only hope.”
  21. School play kiss! Drama! Ah, to be a high-school theater nerd.
  22. Landon’s normally absent dad shows up at the play, but Landon gives him the brush-off. Sad.
  23. Landon accuses Jamie of hiding behind “your books, or your frickin’ telecope, or your faith,” which is uncalled for! Let her gaze at the heavens if she wants to, IMO.
  24. Eric warns Landon that Jamie comes from “Bible-huggin’, Crucifix-wearin’, ‘Honk if you love Jesus’ people,” but Landon is adamant that “she’s not like that.” Okay!
  25. OMG, this is so mean I can’t stand it: The popular girls make a flyer with Jamie’s head Photoshopped onto a bikini picture. Very 2002-era cyberbullying, but it clearly hurts anyway! Jamie is mortified.
  26. Landon tries to defend Jamie’s honor, and loses a popular friend in the process. Good riddance.
  27. Landon asks Jamie out via her dad like a good, upstanding young man of faith, and actually secures permission. They go to a restaurant, and one year into the pandemic, I’m so jealous I could spit.
  28. These cute little nerds hang out at the Virginia state line, as one does. There’s more kissing, and temporary tattoos! Hot.
  29. Oh no, they break curfew and Jamie’s minister dad is pissed.
  30. Good God, Landon had a star named for Jamie. Classic aughts romance move!
  31. Ooh, now we have Landon’s life-goal list: “Examine a moon rock. Go to college. Get into medical school.”
  32. Oh God, this is the part where we learn that Jamie has leukemia, and I experience genuine emotions for the first time since starting this movie. I hate her, but I didn’t want this for her!
  33. Landon asks his dad, who happens to be a doctor, to help Jamie. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to be done. Sob!
  34. Jamie is getting worse, and Landon is still by her side. 🙁
  35. Okay, I signed on for a fun romp about the importance of looking past appearances. Why am I sobbing?
  36. Dolly Parton quote!
  37. Oh my God, they fully get married. I forgot!
  38. It’s four years later, and Jamie is gone, but Landon is in medical school now! And still pals with Jamie’s minister dad. May her memory be a blessing, as we Jews—who may or may feel uncomfortable watching movies this heavily Christian—say.

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