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"Jamie inspires Landon to look at the Big Picture of life, to see beyond concerns and details."

 

Raymond Teague is the author of Reel Spirit: A Guide to Movies That
Inspire, Explore and Empower
, from Unity House. 

He is an award-winning
journalist, an editor of spiritual publications, a popular New Thought
speaker, and a lifelong movie buff. 

His book is available by clicking the "Buy the Book" link above or by clicking here.

  Raymond Teague, 
"Reel Spirit" Movie Reviews

A Walk to Remember
(2002, 100 minutes, PG)

Do take A Walk to Remember, a most rewarding and inspiring stroll through issues of faith, love, and individuality.

Based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, this film is a teen romance with true heart and soul, a touching story for adults as well as teens. It communicates the essential goodness of humankind and makes one feel positive about life, even in the midst of unfairness and sadness.

The story follows the growing relationship between Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), an unpretentious, quiet, intelligent misfit at school, and Landon Carter (Shane West), a handsome, popular, somewhat wild member of the "in" crowd. Much to Landon's surprise, Jamie changes him and his world.

"Jamie has faith in me," Landon says. "She makes me want to be different, better."

How does Jamie exert such an influence over Landon? She does so first through example and earns Landon's respect.

While she is ridiculed at school because of the way she dresses and because of her interests, Jamie obviously is her own person and doesn't give in to any kind of peer pressure, unlike Landon.

"You don't care what people thing about you?" asks the incredulous Landon.

"No," Jamie replies.

The daughter of a minister, Jamie is secure in her spiritual beliefs and her faith, another example for the wayward Landon.

"How can you not believe?" Jamie asks Landon. About her faith, she says, "It's like the wind. I can't see it, but I believe."

Even toward her father (Peter Coyote), Jamie exhibits complete confidence in herself and her beliefs. Upset about Jamie's involvement with Landon, her father says, "You should care what God thinks."

Jamie confidently replies, "I think He wants me to be happy."

Her self-confidence, individuality, and positive outlook help Landon begin to see life differently and to find purpose for himself. "You can do anything," Jamie tells him, and he is inspired to better his life and, for the first time, to think about his goals and dreams.

Because of Jamie, Landon learns not only to help himself but to reach out to other people, such as visiting a classmate in the hospital. Landon also shows signs of a growing faith of his own. When Jamie's father is forbidding him to date Jamie, Landon replies that he is only asking for the minister to have the faith in him that he preaches about on Sundays.

Jamie inspires Landon to look at the Big Picture of life, to see beyond concerns and details. Jamie acknowledges, and knows from experience, that there is suffering in life, but she says that without suffering there would be no compassion.

Concerning her own challenges and again relying on her faith and ability to see beyond the moment, Jamie says, "Maybe God has a bigger plan for me than I had for myself."

What a tremendous example Jamie is of the powerful, positive influence one person can have on another. Landon credits Jamie with teaching him about life, love, and hope, and calls her his angel.

Director Adam Shankman and writer Karen Janszen have indeed fashioned an inspiring, moving, haunting film about an angel and the soul she takes under her wings.

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