Film vs Novel – A Walk to Remember

Shades of bullying and ostracism are outshined by love, faith and identity.

 Film vs Novel A Walk to Remember by Casey Carlisle Pic 01

A Walk to Remember Pic 06 by Casey CarlilseWhile I loved the story of A Walk to Remember, and found it truly touching, my experience with the book was somewhat lacking in comparison to my enjoyment of the film.

I felt the tone of the book it was a little too preachy and Landon’s final decision felt like it was motivated more out of duty than love. Where as in the film, each character was developed so much better. Nuisances and extra parts to the modernized storyline had it feeling much more realistic. The religious aspect had been dialled down, which really let the romance shine. Additionally, I appreciated in the movie how they allowed Jamie to enjoy the climax of the story a little before the ending, it really let the emotion resonate with the viewer – where in the novel the story simply stopped.

I adore Nicholas Spark’s stories, however his narrative style does not match the subject matter. I refer to the writing of Beautiful Creatures or Mara Dyer, where the language is practically melodic. Spark’s felt dry in comparison, and the repetition of the phrases ‘by the way’ and ‘hits you right between the eyes’ ended up giving me a headache.

The movie explored Landon and Jamie’s story so much more. There wasn’t such a clichéd ending either. Where I completely broke down in tears in the film, the book barely had me emoting. I remember when first reading A Walk to Remember over fifteen years ago I couldn’t think of a better piece of literature, but today having a more experienced pallet, it did not stand up to my raves. It may sound like I don’t like the book, when in fact I did – a great light read for an afternoon… I just wish it packed the punch that the movie did.

A Walk to Remember Pic 04 by Casey Carlilse

The title is tied in brilliantly within the novel, and there is a completely different interpretation for the film. Additionally, our main characters Landon and Jamie are different versions. Where Landon is more of an everyday guy in the novel, his screen counterpart (played by Shane West) is a smart-ass rebel. The latter serviced the character arc with much more dramatic flair. Jamie on the other hand was a goody-two-shoes that could do no wrong, that everybody loved for the book, yet in the film Mandy Moor played her as an understated, quite soul with an unwavering heart and unconditional kindness. Again the latter felt more realistic and fragile and was easier to identify with.

I feel like the Landon of the film was driven by his feelings to do more for Jamie – like checking off her bucket list, not afraid of rolling up his sleeves and doing some hard work to get there. In the book that impact was lost – there was maybe a couple of grand gestures leaving the story feeling rushed.

The bullying and teasing dealt with in the book was minor in comparison to that of the movie. Landon really struggles with it in the film, and lashes out, where the reaction in the book felt a little over dramatized. So too, did the reactions to Jamie’s news on the printed page… I much prefer the reveal in the film.

I’d recommend either, the book is soulful and touching; but the film crawls under your skin to squeeze your heart…

So a resounding win for the movie in my opinion!

A Walk to Remember Pic 03 by Casey Carlilse

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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2 thoughts on “Film vs Novel – A Walk to Remember

  1. Sarah Lea Stories says:

    I preferred the book, but I agree that Jamie was too perfect. Landon, however, was far more likeable in the book, and I thought the story lost quite a bit when it went from retro to contemporary. As a person who likes good Christian fiction, it makes sense I would like the religious/spiritual elements more, as so few movies, except those marketed as “Christian flicks”, have any spirituality at all. I will say I found it extremely hard to believe in the book that Landon never remarried, no matter how much he loved Jamie. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the movie, so I can’t remember if it goes into this detail of Landon’s life after Jamie.

    • femaleinferno says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂 I guess I liked the more contemporary feel of the movie because it was easier to relate to, and that it brought more issues for the main characters to contend with, increasing the stakes and tension of the narrative. The details of Landon’s life after Jamie only tie up the story line, it never mentions what happens to him other than faith and college, like a true contemporary. I recently purchased ‘Spark’ and ‘Flame’ the follow up to the trilogy started with ‘Glow’ which is sci-fi with a strong religious theme – keep watching for the reviews when I finish reading those sometime this year.

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