I am a seventeen year old teenage girl; basically, the entire demographic that this movie was going for. Having seen "A Walk to Remember," I figured it'd be another Mandy Moore chick flick - not bad, but nothing special.
This movie just *didn't work.* Using two different teen novels as a basis for a "plot" didn't work. The plot was all over the place; my friend (also a seventeen year old female) and I would stare at the screen and whisper, "What the hell was that?" every five minutes. This movie had every cliche imaginable: teenage pregnancy, divorce, marriage, birth, death, car accident. If reading that seemed random, try watching it. It's ridiculous. Oh, and I neglected to mention the pot smoking grandmother.
Here are a few examples about what just didn't work in this movie:
About 10-15 minutes into the film, a boy collapses on the soccer field. He's clutching his stomach, and my friend and I both immediately thought, "Oh, appendicitis." Next shot (this is after he passes out and people are surrounding him), he's on the ground clutching his chest. Dramatic voice-over is something along the lines of him dying of a heart defect.
Insert my friend and I (and other audience members) saying, "What the hell?"
Another scene. The best friend is pregnant. She and Halley (Mandy Moore) are talking afterwards, and Scarlett (the friend) is wearing a tank top with four pictures of the GERBER BABY. "What the hell?!"
It goes on and on. Honestly, if we'd realized 20 minutes into it how disorganized and poorly put together it was going to be, we would've left. The only reason we stuck around the whole time was because we'd sat through it for so long that we couldn't get our $9.25 back if we left.
As far as the acting goes, Mandy Moore was decent, but I didn't really get her character. As I haven't read the two novels this movie was based on, I don't even know if she was playing two different characters or one. Actually, when Halley would do a total 180 between scenes, my friend and I joked whether they pulled the scene from novel one or novel two. As for Trent Ford...I'm not going to discuss his looks other than in this statement, because I don't think criticizing an actors appearance does any good. As far as the actual acting went...It was pretty rough. Didn't do anything for me. A couple of the supporting characters (played by Allison Janney and Alexandra Holden) were ok; others (Mackenzie Astin, Mary Catherine Garrison) were as terrible as Trent Ford.
One can only hope that if Mandy Moore wishes to be taken seriously as an actress, she'll accept a better script next time, because she's not a terrible actress.
I gave it 3/10, and that's only for the non-comedy induced laughs my friend and I, as well as several other members of the very small audience, had.
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