A Walk to Remember Recap

Jamie

Landon Carter is just your typical teenage rebel. When he gets in trouble for a prank gone awry, he is forced to join the school play with Jamie Sullivan. She’s a good girl and Landon would NEVER fall in love with her. So can he fall in love with her and overcome the secret reason why he shouldn’t fall in love with her before it’s too late? Find out in… A Walk to Remember.

How?! Landon Carter is a teenybopper rapscallion who, along with his scallywag friends, gets in trouble for the literal definition of peer pressure… like… he gets a dude to jump off a bridge by pretending like he’s going to do it too. Pretty on the nose. Anyway, the school is like “you rascal, you now have to volunteer teach and participate in the school play,” and Landon is like, “pffft, whatever. Definitely won’t fall in love with a total nerd.” But then he sees Jamie Sullivan and she’s a total nerd but also… intriguing. But still, definitely NOT falling in love with her. However, realizing that he’s probably going to totally bomb the play he asks Jamie to help him out. Through this process they strike up a friendship and they totally own the play, but afterwards go their separate ways. That is until Landon’s so-called friends play a prank on her and he’s like “yo, not cool and also she’s my girlfriend and I love her.” The audience is confused but thrilled as we get to watch young love blossom over fancy dinner dates and dancing. But Jamie is always on guard and we soon find out why. She’s dying from cancer and the audience rends their clothes in despair. But Landon isn’t ready to give up yet. He still totally is in love and they keep on dating and making her dreams come true in the short time they have. Realizing the profound change in his life he decides that despite her imminent death he wants to marry Jamie and despite the misgivings of their parents they do and boy oh boy, let me tell you, it’s… a walk… to remember. In fact, I’m remembering it right now and it’s beautiful. We then find out that after her death the once wayward Landon is now studying to become a doctor and likely cures cancer in the future. THE END. Big Question: Would the story have been less profound if they didn’t get married? Just wondering how much the marriage itself factors into the story.

Why?! Love… oh, you probably want me to say more. Well, I think Jamie always realized that Landon was really nice (and very handsome *wolf whistle*), but through a combination of peer pressure and difficulties with his parent’s divorce was straying from the straight and narrow. So I think she kinda knew that if they hung out that side would come out and they would fall in love. So still, love all the way.

Who?! Mandy Moore is the star and at the time was a pretty big pop star. Not like Britney, bitch. But like a bench player on the all-pop star team. There were also a couple “In memory of” credits at the end of the film. These went to Nicholas Sparks’ sister, who was the inspiration for the book, and Jimmy Everest, who was a child who died of bone cancer and whose memorial helped establish the University of Oklahoma’s pediatric cancer center.

What?! A bunch of places mentioned how crazy the product placement in this film was and I was like “what?” but then I was reminded that there is pretty much a full-blown commercial for the Star Registry in the middle of the film (you can name your own star!). And this came just a mere three years after they were forced to stop claiming that you were buying the official naming of a star… so it’s officially unofficial. That is pretty good.

Where?! I mean… it’s Nicholas Sparks. Where else but North Carolina. But also like most of his books it’s not necessary, just made very clear. So like a B or B+. Obviously this film could also have taken place on Martha’s Vineyard… starring me. Obviously. Also, interestingly this film features a scene with a “Welcome to Virginia” highway sign. Add that to the list.

When?! Now if you thought the product placement was great for this film, wait until you get a load of the temporal setting. Eventually the film revolves around Jamie having all of her dreams come true thanks to Landon. This includes seeing a once-in-a-lifetime comet. What comet? Well she specifically mentions it’s the Comet Hyakutake… which was visible in Spring 1996. Interestingly she wouldn’t have needed a telescope to see that comet… it was very bright and visible to the naked eye. But yeah, I’m gonna give that an A. Somehow the exact time of the film is relevant to the plot.

The film is fine, but eventually gets quite weird. It’s all very saccharine, so if you’re into high schoolers falling deeply, madly and/or truly in love and marrying despite imminent death from cancer then this will do nicely. If you aren’t looking for that then it’s a tough watch. The big critique is how much time they spend on the front half of the film (sometimes even on trivial things) only to put the pedal to the metal as Landon goes from scoffing at Jamie in the hallway, to holding her head in his hands and asking “baby, are you all right?” in what feels like five second. It’s pretty jarring, but still less jarring than them getting married just moments later. The book does a better job with the pacing and as a result is probably more successful. But still… it’s OK. We all need a little sweetness every once in a while. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Oh man, that walk. You know what? That was a walk that I’m going to remember, that’s how good that walk was. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – This was a long time coming. We almost audibled to Sex in the City 2, but then it just felt right. It had been so long since we had done a Nicholas Sparks film, and this is the true OG Nicholas Sparks film. I was a bit surprised to learn that the leading man is also somewhat musically inclined. I was not surprised after watching it to learn they didn’t let him sing in the film. What are my expectations? A whole lotta schlock. What I want is Midnight Sun. Someone has to be a terrible actor, and I want to tear up and think “Peter Coyote, you done right, don’t you feel bad.” If I don’t get that I’ll be disappointed.

The Good – I thought Mandy Moore did a decent job. If I knew nothing about her I wouldn’t have thought it was a singer-turned-actor, she held her own amongst the rest of the young cast. The film is mostly just syrupy sweetness, which often is enough to get me through a teen drama. The first hour is quite good in that regard. We get to learn who Landon is, see him change and start dating Jamie, ah young love. Then they gut-punch you, but that isn’t always a bad thing either.

The Bad – I did not like the weird pacing they chose for the adaptation. The relationship is building for about an hour, and then in order to connect the dots to the ending they kind of just have to fast forward months into the relationship. It makes the whole flow of the end of the film seem off. I don’t want to get into it too much, but having the two 18 year old lead characters get married at the end is very old fashioned. It dates the movie to a different time in America. And the play-within-a-movie was objectively awful and everyone should feel bad about that storyline.

The BMT – Of course, all Nicholas Sparks novels are going to inevitably result in BMT glory. This had to be done, so from that perspective it is obviously BMT. The issue is probably that this is one of the better Sparks films in the end. Like, you couldn’t even throw us one ghost wife? Not even a single one? That’ll ultimately sink it in my estimation. Did it meet my expectations? Nope. Neither of the leads were amusingly terrible at acting. They were both serviceable, and their relationship was earned and very sweet. And then, I felt nothing for Peter Coyote when his terminally ill daughter died. Sorry. It is probably his dour preacher demeanor that turned me off, whereas Rob Riggle in Midnight Sun was a constant amusing delight. So take some notes Sparks, your father figures should have an irreverent sense of humor. Just a tip.

Roast-radamus – There isn’t a Planchet, but there is a frenemy with a ‘tude named Dean. I mean, we don’t award things for that, but still, it is important to consider awards for sheer ‘tudeness. I’ll definitely allow for Setting as a Character (Where?) for North Carolina, they even filmed on the Dawson’s Creek set. And lob over an easy Worst Twist (How?) for the now-classic tragic-death-of-the-leading-lady-for-romance. I think this has a chance for a Good nomination at the end of the year, but it is highly dependant on how many films we think could get that designation.

StreetCreditReport.com – Not surprisingly this film got very little play in 2002. It might have just been floating in that fine-but-too-sweet area such that it really wasn’t the worst. Or 2002 was a particularly “good” year for bad movies. Whatever the case, the cred mostly comes from Sparks anyways who managed to mostly tarnish his reputation as a writer for a whole group of people who would never be interested in his books by releasing terrible adaptations for a decade. That’s it though, it is all Sparks.

You Just Got Schooled – Jamie (me, not Sullivan) jumping in because, guess what? I totally read this book. Don’t worry, it’s pretty short. Anyway, it’s a very sweet book, which focuses much more on the spiritual and religious aspects of Jamie’s (and eventually Landon’s) life. It also takes place in the 50’s and is told from Landon’s point of view decades later. Both these aspects make the pacing of their relationship and their eventual marriage much more logical. There is also a lot more discussion about their choices in the book, so the film feels like it hits hyperspeed at a certain point as they jump from not dating at all to marriage in a relatively short time frame. Besides that though I think it’s a pleasant enough adaptation of a pleasant enough book. Do I recommend it? No… why would you read this?

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

A Walk to Remember Quiz

Huh. So the last thing I remember I was pulling this awesome prank on my friend where we were going to make him jump into this lake and almost kill him. It was awesome. But then I crashed my car and got a pretty big concussion and don’t remember anything else (pretty ironic considering the title of the film). Do you remember what happened in A Walk to Remember?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) As I mentioned in the intro, our main man Landon and his crew are going to initiate a new member by making him jump into a reservoir of some kind. But, how many people are currently in the crew?

2) Due to Landon’s prank being too hilarious (and also because it almost killed poor Clay) he is punished in three ways by the school principal. What are his punishments?

3) Via this punishment, Landon reconnected with Jamie. How does he know Jamie?

4) Why does Landon hate his father? And why does he forgive his father?

5) Where do Landon and Jamie get married?

Answers

A Walk to Remember Preview

“Wait wait wait,” Rich yells to the centaur as he gets dangerously close to cutting their tree free of the cliff. Just as Rich and Poe lament the end of their adventure, they hear a tiny voice, “Wait Sorsaron, let’s hear them out.” A tiny man in a robe appears next to Sorsaron, “Well?” he asks expectantly. Thinking quickly, Rich and Poe lay it all on the line. “Help us and you save the world,” they say solemnly. The centaur’s eyes softens, “Brawln, throw down a rope.” As they walk, Brawln and Sorsaron explain their gritty origin story. Such a mismatched pair! One a barbarian, the other a diminutive mage, they were brought together by fate under a blood wolf moon only to be captured by the evil gamemaster that is helping run the tournament. With each word, Rich and Poe can’t help but have a sense of deja vu. Have they heard this story before? It sounds suspiciously like an adventure they’ve already had except… worse. “We don’t care about this world,” explains Sorsaron, “but combine your earnestness with your muscled physiques and I had my first hope that perhaps you can defeat the gamemaster… even if the chances are still so slight.” Rich and Poe are deflated, it’s starting to sound like they have just as little idea about the well worn path as they do. But when they mention their task, Brawln and Sorsaron look startled. “The school,” Brawln mutters and at that Rich and Poe press them for more details. What and where is this school? “You must complete a task for us first,” Sorsaron insists. Rich and Poe look at each other and then agree. “Where to?” they ask and Brawl points across the desert. Well this should be a walk to remember. That’s right! We are watching teen drama A Walk to Remember. And before you riot and scream blasphemy against its inclusion in BMT just remember, we don’t make the rules… or I guess, we do technically make the rules, but by all metrics this did not get good reviews. So, tough. Deal with it. It’s based on a Nicholas Sparks book and was part of his rise to Hollywood prominence in the 2000’s. Let’s go!

A Walk to Remember (2002) – BMeTric: 4.5; Notability: 22 

AWalktoRememberIMDb_BMeT

AWalktoRememberIMDb_RV

(This might genuinely be the highest rated film (according to IMDb) that we’ve ever done. I have a feeling I’ll be doing a bit of crying this week.)

RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – “A Walk to Remember” is a love story so sweet, sincere and positive that it sneaks past the defenses built up in this age of irony. It tells the story of a romance between two 18-year-olds that is summarized when the boy tells the girl’s doubtful father: “Jamie has faith in me. She makes me want to be different. Better.” After all of the vulgar crudities of the typical modern teenage movie, here is one that looks closely, pays attention, sees that not all teenagers are as cretinous as Hollywood portrays them.

(See! Roger Ebert loves it! How is it possible it got such bad reviews? I have a theory: With things like Dawson’s Creek and The OC and 90210 kind smashing television from the late 90s to the early 2000s people were just burnt out on melodramatic teen dramas. And so even the good versions of it, like this, got dunked on by mainstream critics. Prove me wrong!)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq02sBe5xko/

(Landon Carter is a bad boy. And then he meets a good girl. And he wears headphones, and looks super cool. And they’ll fall in love, and everything is super sweet and awesome. But then he’s like “I’m too cool”, but then he’s like “I love you”.)

Directors – Adam Shankman – (Known For: What Men Want; Hairspray; Rock of Ages; Future BMT: The Wedding Planner; Bedtime Stories; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen 2; The Pacifier; Bringing Down the House; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Got into Juilliard for dance without ever having taken a formal dancing course, and then started as a choreographer. He clearly has a relationship with Steve Martin, whom he directed in Cheaper by the Dozen 2 and Bringing Down the House. He also helped organize the 82nd Academy Awards which Martin hosted.)

Writers – Nicholas Sparks (novel) – (Known For: The Notebook; Future BMT: The Last Song; Nights in Rodanthe; Message in a Bottle; Dear John; The Lucky One; The Best of Me; BMT: The Choice; Safe Haven; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Apparently he still holds a Track and Field record at Notre Dame. He tends to write Christian-themed romance novels centered around tragedy.)

Karen Janszen (screenplay) – (Known For: Dolphin Tale; Dolphin Tale 2; The MatchMaker; Gracie; Digging to China; Duma; Future BMT: Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; BMT: A Walk to Remember; Notes: Created the recent television show Mars.)

Actors – Mandy Moore – (Known For: Midway; Tangled; Ralph Breaks the Internet; The Princess Diaries; 47 Meters Down; Saved!; Dr. Dolittle 2; Romance & Cigarettes; Dedication; Future BMT: Southland Tales; Love, Wedding, Marriage; Racing Stripes; American Dreamz; Swinging with the Finkels; How to Deal; Chasing Liberty; Try Seventeen; Hotel Noir; BMT: License to Wed; Because I Said So; The Darkest Minds; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Was already a famous singer by the time this movie came out. Played herself on a season-long arc on Entourage as well.)

Shane West – (Known For: Get Over It; Awakening the Zodiac; Here Alone; Liberty Heights; What We Do Is Secret; Future BMT: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; Whatever It Takes; Echelon Conspiracy; The Lodger; BMT: Dracula 2001; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Is in a band called Jonny Was (which was Average Jo when this film came out, they have a song on the soundtrack). Played Bane on the television show Gotham.)

Peter Coyote – (Known For: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; Erin Brockovich; Bitter Moon; Femme Fatale; Good Kill; The Legend of Billie Jean; Southern Comfort; Jagged Edge; Cross Creek; Outrageous Fortune; Kika; Resurrecting the Champ; The Hebrew Hammer; Northfork; Heartbreakers; Bon voyage; Suddenly Naked; Here; La rançon de la gloire; Future BMT: Sphere; Moonlight and Valentino; Unforgettable; A Little Trip to Heaven; Patch Adams; BMT: Random Hearts; A Walk to Remember; Notes: Changed his name to Coyote because he took drugs once, hallucinated that he was a coyote, and then saw a coyote later and someone convinced him it was a sign. That is straight from his Wikipedia page.)

Budget/Gross – $11,800,000 / Domestic: $41,281,092 (Worldwide: $47,494,916)

(That is a decent hit. Honestly I’m a bit surprised it is that low. I would have expected a bit more from the movie that I think obviously kicked off the Sparks craze.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (28/103): Though wholesome, the Mandy Moore vehicle A Walk to Remember is also bland and oppressively syrupy.

(Sounds about right, that is certainly part of why I’ve never seen the film. Comes across as syrupy sweet. Reviewer Highlight: Just because A Walk to Remember is shrewd enough to activate girlish tear ducts doesn’t mean it’s good enough for our girls. – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – A Sklog to Remember (B)

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(You have to admit that this is effective. If people are looking for some romance in their lives then this seems like a solid advertising scheme, with some soft colors and love in the air. Hate the font though. That would have helped immensely.)

Tagline(s) – She didn’t belong. She was misunderstood. And she would change him forever. (B)

It all comes down to who’s by your side (D)

(The first has the elements you want but just doesn’t get there in a reasonable amount of time. It’s nice though so it still gets a good score. The second one is a little confusing. First, why does the poster need two taglines? Second, what does this have to do with this movie? Third, this is a simple statement without even a sense of cleverness. It’s bad.)

Keyword – high school girl

AWalktoRemember_high school girl

Top 10: Lady Bird (2017), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), Mean Girls (2004), The Breakfast Club (1985), Superbad (2007), Old School (2003), The Craft (1996), A Walk to Remember (2002), Never been Kissed (1999); 

Future BMT: 33.2 Drive Me Crazy (1999); 

BMT: A Walk to Remember (2002), I Know Who Killed Me (2007), The Gallows (2015)

(This has inspired me to update this section to take on multiple keywords. Like I want to just lump in all of the keywords to give the impression of “high school teen rom dram” you know? And probably do something like take the top 200-300 only so that it is a bit more manageable to generate. Makes me excited. EDITOR’s NOTE: Box Office Mojo appears to be blocking me from getting information, which is their prerogative. But I should be able to update this section to focus on the notability anyways, so I’m ultimately fine with it. Stay tuned)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Mandy Moore is No. 1 billed in A Walk to Remember and No. 2 billed in Because I Said So, which also stars Diane Keaton (No. 1 billed) who is in The Big Wedding (No. 2 billed), which also stars Robert De Niro (No. 1 billed) who is in Righteous Kill (No. 1 billed), which also stars Al Pacino (No. 4 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – This movie was filmed in only thirty-nine days, despite the fact that they only had Mandy Moore for ten hours a day because she was still a minor. (Wow, that is actually impressive)

Shane West loved the car he had in the movie so much that he actually bought the car; the price was only $5,000. (Nice, that’s cool)

Much of the movie’s soundtrack includes music from the band Switchfoot, who, at the time, were really only recognized in their native San Diego and in Contemporary Christian music circles. Mandy Moore was a huge fan of the band and had a great deal of influence in their participation on the film. When they were approached to do the film, however, the members really had no idea who Moore was and were not familiar with her music (despite her status as a pop star with several hits on the charts). Once they came on board, they contributed four existing tracks to the soundtrack. In addition, lead singer Jon Foreman recorded a duet with Mandy Moore, “Someday We’ll Know.” Moore also sings a version of the Switchfoot song “Only Hope” during the play in the film. (Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat??)

The inspiration for Jamie Sullivan’s character and some of the events in the book/movie are from Nicholas Sparks’ sister, Danielle Sparks Lewis (whom the book and movie are dedicated to).

The pictures of Jamie, on the mantle of the fireplace in the Sullivan house, are real pictures of Mandy Moore when she was a little girl.

The movie was shot in North Carolina; many of the sets were from the TV show Dawson’s Creek (1998), particularly the school, the hospital and Landon’s home. (NOICE)

The second film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, and the first to be rated PG.

After Recap

Jamie

Tessa is just an innocent good girl ready to study her way through college like the good girl that she is. But, uh oh! Her first week there she meets bad boy Hardin and he’s destined to change her life. Can she fix the broken bad boy (and perhaps even find love with him) before it’s too late? Find out in… After.

How?! Tessa is a good girl who just wants to study and not party. But when she shows up at college and finds herself with a bad girl roommate her mom is like “no way, what if you become a bad girl?” but Tessa reassures her and goes with the flow. Almost immediately, though, she crosses paths with her roommate’s bad friends, which includes bad boy Hardin. He’s all cool and British and has tattoos and is definitely not Harry Styles. Tessa’s high school boyfriend is also a little concerned, but rolls with it, which is kinda mature of him really. Out of nowhere, Hardin is like “let’s hang out” and they go to a lake and make out and Tessa is all like “woah.” But still Hardin acts all weird when his friends show up so Tessa is still pretty sure he’s bad to the bone. But one night, unfortunately when her boyfriend is visiting, she gets a call that Hardin is having a tough time and when she goes to console him they end up spending the night in each other’s arms (but in a totally innocent way). This of course blows up her relationship with her boyfriend and also with her mom, who demands she stop seeing Hardin or she’ll be disowned. Hardin is like “but I love you” and instead of breaking up they get an off-campus apartment together and totally smooch and love on each other all semester. Eventually, after helping Hardin through his father’s wedding to his new wife, Tessa and him have sex with each other and it’s beautiful and the audience cried. Also at this point we’re like “wait, she’s not a bad girl… instead is he… a good guy?” and we think the answer is yes. Wrong! Because just after that Hardin starts acting weird again and Tessa finds out this entire thing has been a Pygmalion scenario! Oh no! Hardin bet his friends that he could make Tessa fall in love with him. What a bad boy! Tessa once again buckles down, reunites with her mom, and gets a prestigious summer internship. Just as the school year ends she gets an essay written by Hardin where he professes his love and reveals that he’s a good guy after all and they totally smooch by a lake. THE END. Big Question: Is Hardin in fact a good guy or a bad boy? The answer will likely be revealed in one of the several sequels.

Why?! Come on. Love, duh (awwwww). That is the only motivating factor in the entire film for our main two characters. Hardin was damaged by his father’s alcoholism early in his life and so that makes it hard for him to accept love, but Tessa gets him through it. It’s beautiful.

Who?! We get a legit musician-turned-actor in this with Pia Mia making her feature debut as Tristan. She actually released a number of singles this year, but probably her biggest song is still the 1995 song Do It Again. Bitter Love from this year was pretty big though. Probably riding that After wave to success.

What?! None of the usual suspects make an appearance here, which is surprising. The only even mild thing is a Chekov’s game of Truth or Dare, but really isn’t that more an indictment on the predictability of it all? One important note is that this film is based on a book. I listened to seven chapters one day while cleaning my house, naturally, and it is unfortunate. Even more importantly though is that the original version with the Harry Styles main character is still available on Wattpad. So there’s the link so you can never click on it.

Where?! We get a nice shot of downtown Atlanta and then some pretty clear signage around campus regarding Rossmore University of Atlanta where Tessa and Hardin attend. We even get an aquarium date at the famous Georgia Aquarium. Sooooo… why weren’t they slamming refresshing Coca-Cola’s left and right? F… JK, B+.

When?! A little bit of a road trip through time as we pretty clearly ride the emotional roller-coaster that is Tessa’s freshman year at college. The beginning of the film is the first day of school (end of August, likely) and we end at the end of term with her set to intern at Vance Publishing. So wait… are we going to get three more sequels?! Sequels, Please! B.

I actually had my hopes pretty high for this one coming off the BMT success of the Fifty Shades franchise. There were a number of reviews that suggested the film may cross the line in the portrayal of an abusive relationship in a romantic light (which Fifty Shades certainly did), however this turned out to not really be true. Sure both Hardin and Tess have some family issues, but really their relationship isn’t that bad… just immature. You’d think that would mean I was disappointed, but I wasn’t. It is laughable fluff with some really bad acting, a predictable storyline, and a sequel on the horizon. Honestly, who doesn’t like a good girl trying to tame the bad boy story? Always room for a little Dylan-Kelly/Brenda action in my life. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! After I got done watching this film I thought to myself, “this is the craziest Friedberg and Seltzer film I’ve ever seen …” Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – How exactly did we come to a point where we have watched two different romantic dramas based on fanfiction. Sure, Fifty Shades was such a phenomenon you can sometimes forget it was Twilight fanfiction, but this was One Direction fanfiction! What were my expectations? I honestly had no idea what to expect. I had no idea what the storyline of the film was beyond girl-meets-bad-boy even. I could only hope that it would bring me the same delight Midnight Sun did for me last year.

The Good – I genuinely liked the lack of drama they brought to the main character’s non-romantic life. You have a good girl, she doesn’t drink, she doesn’t do drugs, she doesn’t have sex, she’s an academic star. But then, uh oh, she goes to college and meets a bad boy and … well she still doesn’t drink, or do drugs, and is still an academic star. Fine she has sex, but after like months of dating her live-in boyfriend. The lack of drama is definitely a bad thing in areas (we’ll get to that), but I kind of like that they portrayed a young adult’s college love life for what it is: typically not that impactful on your life as a whole. Most people’s college relationships don’t ruin their lives it turns out, no matter how “broken” this British bad boy is. The main actress is good, the vistas are beautiful, and we get a decent message from our main dork Noah which boils down to: “no hard feelings, people change, that’s literally what everyone does in college, being friends is fine”. Despite being a dork Noah is dropping some knowledge on Tessa.

The Bad – No offense to the Fiennes family but Hero doesn’t do it for me in this role. As he growls cliches, and declares that love is dead, I don’t think to myself “look at this tragic broken man, if only a woman would come along and fix his broken heart with her romance” … I instead laugh and wonder whether Fiennes had read the script before taking the role. The lack of drama does feel like it fails when it comes to the main relationship. They are literally soul mates. They are both such extreme literary weirdos in exactly the same way that everyone around them would have been like “kiss already” in real life. He is immediately quoting Wuthering Heights and debating Pride and Prejudice with her, it is crazy. Maybe hide his literary genius for a bit, or give him a crippling vice. As a watered down The Spectacular Now anyways, just make him an alcoholic! Anything! Any drama whatsoever would have been nice before we get to the weird Cruel Intentions rip-off and resolution in the last ten minutes.

The BMT – It didn’t really fit anywhere in the good or bad section … but it is so incredibly predictable that authors who write fanfiction would have a bizarre fascination/love for the book publishing industry. In Fifty Shade where does Anastasia work? A book publishing office. Where does Tessa get an internship at the end of this movie? A book publishing office. I genuinely almost squealed with delight when she walked through that book publishing office door! Last year I said I wanted to watch more RomDrams because I felt like they made me cry instead of allowing me to honestly critique them because I lacked the viewing experience. It looks like we are getting there, because I was laughing throughout this film and found it to be a BMT delight! Looking forward to the sequel. Did it meet my expectations? It surpassed them honestly. This film is a cartoon, and how it revelled in its cliche never failed to make me laugh. “I’m broken” Hardin whispers, and I whisper back, “aren’t we all?”, a tear welling in my eye.

Roast-radamus – You know what? I’m going to give a shout-out to my main dork Noah as a Baxter (Who?). Maybe not a traditional Planchet, but it is kind of close, and the term already exists for romance film. His sole purpose is basically to be dunked on by Hardin’s dumb friends, cheated on, and dumped so that Tessa can get with her bad boy in the end. And a small Worst Twist (How?) for the fairly obvious Cruel Intentions twist thrown in at the very last minute to stir up some late drama. I genuinely think this has a good shot as a Live nomination, at least from me. It was that delightful.

StreetCreditReport.com – I’ve lost a bit of faith with the online worst-of lists. I think I have to wait a bit for something like the A.V. Club to put out a definitive list. That should happen fairly soon, last year the list came out on December 11. For now I’ll just say it’ll definitely be top 5 worst fanfiction adaptations. And I would throw it into the mix for worst Romantic Drama of the decade I think, it is just that amusingly terrible, but I would really have to generate a list to know where it would likely land.

You Just Got Schooled – You’ve heard me talk about it, and yet I had never seen it until now. Cruel Intentions. It is now a cult classic, but was not particularly well received at the time, it seems because it was kind of smarmy? Amazing cast in retrospect. Selma Blair is … quite bad. And so, weirdly, is Phillippe, who is so weird you can’t actually imagine women hopping into bed with him unprompted. But if you look past that the story is amusing. And the ending is actually really shocking and good. It makes the whole ride worthwhile. Basically, the fact that After uses the premise of Cruel Intentions as its twist is almost more insulting given the fact that Cruel Intention’s own twist is so shocking and great. B+. I wish the acting was a bit better, but the film is really fun and the ending is amazing. It puts After to shame.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

After Preview

Adam Banks is horrified by the latest demands by Jamie and Patrick. “They are monsters,” he whispers in shock, “I can handle them being proud of what they’ve made. But this is just greed. We need something on them, Rod. Some scandal that will let us fire them.” With that he orders Rod back to the set with a scandalous new member of the cast.

Jamie looks deep into the eyes of Leighton Vanderschmidt, cast opposite him as the Ghost of Christmas War. Apparently when Banks heard about the demand for a ghost he insisted that Leighton be cast, which was fine by them… she is by all accounts boffo box office. The spooky character is meant to evoke the fleeting nature of life and love, but Jamie isn’t yet sure the message is getting through. Mostly they’ve just done a whole bunch of kung fu and made out. Nice. Looking around Jamie starts to think that perhaps it is getting through because everyone on set looks truly horrified. Likely due to existential dread. With shooting done for the day he turns and runs directly into Patrick, who spills a half-eaten cake onto his costume. “Jeez Louise, my costume is ruined,” Jamie snaps, stamping his foot. “Here let me help with that,” Leighton chimes in. How charming. She escorts him to her trailer and proceeds to help clean up all the cake. Jamie notices just how scandalous this must look, them alone in Leighton’s trailer, him pantsless, ruined cake everywhere. Gee, he sure does hope that no one is conveniently taking pictures at this moment through the open window, because that would be quite the scandal. But he waves off the eerie feeling… he’ll cross that bridge when he comes to it. That’s right! We’re watching the 2019 teen romance After, based on a book that started as One Direction fanfiction. It tells the story of a goodl girl who just can’t resist the mysterious bad boy in town (who also can’t resist her). Oooo, forbidden love. It had me at One Direction fanfiction. Let’s go!

After (2019) – BMeTric: 46.5; Notability: 18 

AfterIMDb_BMeT

AfterIMDb_RV

(Tumbling quite nicely. Didn’t open that high as well. On a nice streak for the Notability. Shows how a lot of the bad movies you find in the late 2010s end up being those films with relatively few famous crew. Makes sense from a business perspective, throw a flier out there using a shoestring budget.)

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – “After” opens with some narration about how certain moments in life seem to define a person, and from there, the clichés pretty much don’t stop. If there’s a defining moment in the life of Tessa Young (Josephine Langford), it’s either meeting, initially being annoyed by, falling in love with, being heart-broken by, or reuniting with Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes Tiffin).

(Ha! Pretty solidly destroying the entire concept of the film there. I am not looking forward to this though. Seems like it is going to mostly be frustrating.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZAdcWHuCmY/

(DRAMA. That is what they should have called the movie: Drama and Rain: The Movie. So much rain and drama. It is making me all excited, but in that special BMT kind of way.)

Directors – Jenny Gage – (BMT: After; Notes: She produced and directed a documentary called All This Panic about girls coming of age in Brooklyn. Makes sense she would be tapped for this adaptation.)

Writers – Tom Betterton (screenplay by) – (BMT: After; Notes: Gage’s husband. I’m sure this was part of some rewrites, but he seems to have worked alongside her quite closely throughout her career.)

Tamara Chestna (screenplay by) – (BMT: After; Notes: Seems to be working on a similarly themed film for Netflix called Moxie. Was an assistant to a producer (I think) on Last Holiday. Seems to have bounced around across a bunch of production studios.)

Jenny Gage (screenplay by) – (BMT: After; Notes: The director. Her and her husband probably were able to rewrite the script once she was put on board.)

Susan McMartin (screenplay by) – (Future BMT: Son in Law; BMT: After; Notes: A very successful television writer, she wrote 58 episodes of Mom and 15 episodes of Two and a Half Man along with being a producer on both shows.)

Anna Todd (novel) – (BMT: After; Notes: This film was created as a fanfiction involving One Direction. It was the first book she ever wrote.)

Actors – Josephine Langford – (Future BMT: Wish Upon; BMT: After; Notes: Younger sister of Katherine Langford who we have not seen in a BMT film yet.)

Hero Fiennes Tiffin – (Known For: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; Private Peaceful; Bigga Than Ben; BMT: After; Notes: Nephew of Ralph Fiennes which is why he was hired to play a young Tom Riddle in Harry Potter. Went to school nearby where I currently live in London which is amusing.)

Khadijha Red Thunder – (BMT: After; Notes: Doesn’t seem to even have a wikipedia page … well she’s slated for the sequel, so maybe she’ll get one soon. Very weird.)

Budget/Gross – $14,000,000 / Domestic: $12,138,565 (Worldwide: $69,497,587)

(Solid worldwide success. Much like horror films it is pretty easy for teen romances to make money since you don’t have to pay much to make them.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 17% (6/35): Tepid and tired, After’s fun flourishes are let down by its generic story.

(Uh oh. Usually I like something like “An unmitigated disaster that is more laughable than sexy” … those are usually more entertaining. Hopefully it is indeed very laughable and not very sexy. Reviewer Highlight: The real problem with After is that it’s a lifeless slog of thinly written clichés, one that’s missing the charismatic spark of the actual One Direction boys. – Caroline Siede, AV Club)

Poster – Teen Romance Sklog-daption (2019) (A) 

after_ver2

(My god, it’s beautiful. Not only is it actually a fine example of a poster (interesting font, overall color scheme, and sexy spacing to really let us know we’re in for a steamy ride), but it’s like a romance novel front cover on steroids. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.)

Tagline(s) – After Your First, Life is Never the Same. (B)

(First… love? God I hope they mean first love. But you know they’re implying virginity. I think this is fine. Could be more clever, but it has a cadence to it and it feels right.)

Keyword – high school senior

After_high school senior

Top 10: After (2019), Superbad (2007), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), Varsity Blues (1999), Central Intelligence (2016), The Girl Next Door (2004), 21 Jump Street (2012), Project X (2012), 17 Again (2009), The Spectacular Now (2013); 

Future BMT: 27.4 Senior Trip (1995), 17.6 Varsity Blues (1999), 15.8 Inventing the Abbotts (1997), 13.2 Tuff Turf (1985); 

BMT: After (2019), Project X (2012)

(Not much here, and honestly not many good keywords for this one yet. Project X is a very high school senior thing, but this one … aren’t they in college in After? Whatever.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 22) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Selma Blair is No. 3 billed in After and No. 3 billed in Down To You, which also stars Freddie Prinze Jr. (No. 1 billed) who is in Summer Catch (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jessica Biel (No. 2 billed) who is in Valentine’s Day (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jessica Alba (No. 1 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 2 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 22. If we were to watch Feeling Minnesota, Hardball, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 18.

Notes – Hardin’s copy of Wuthering Heights is the copy that Anna Todd has had since she was a teenager.

Was originally a One Direction fanfiction on a website called Wattpad. (Oh my, that’s excellent)

The original After trilogy gained over 1 billion reads on Wattpad. (No!)

Josephine Langford admitted in an interview that she read the first few chapters of After on Wattpad several years before being cast as Tessa. (Oh don’t admit that! Say you tried to read it, but it was incomprehensible trash. How are we going to have seen multiple fan fiction adaptation for BMT. How did this happen?)

The rights to the film were originally sold to Paramount. However, Anna Todd wanted more freedom when it came to adapting the film. The rights were then given back and eventually sold to Aviron.

Josephine Langford only had about a week or so to prepare for her role as Tessa Young. She read the book(s) and the script while on a plane. (Cheap as ffffffff)

Before being a novel, After was a fan fiction on the website Wattpad where some of the characters’ names were based on the members of One Direction: Hardin = Harry Styles; Zed = Zayn Malik; Landon = Liam Payne; Nate = Niall Horan; Logan = Louis Tomlinson.

The full After series includes After, After We Collided, After We Fell, After Ever Happy, and Before (HA! Before takes the cake)

Perfect Recap

Jamie

Adam is a journalist looking for a story. What he doesn’t expect to find is love (awww). While writing a puff piece about LA gym culture, he encounters an aerobics instructor, Jessie, and immediately falls in love. Can he get the bog scoop (and still get the girl) before it’s too late and he ruins it by being an asshole? Find out in… Perfect.

How?! Act I: Adam is a journalist. But just not any journalist. He’s got integrity up the wazoo. He’s got a big ol’ story in the works and it might even be a book… but while he waits to find out if he can score the big interview he decides to start his next story: a sexy puff piece about young singles who frequent the gym. Sexy. Act II: Adam arrives in LA and is immediately like “woah, who’s that?” about Jessie, the top aerobics instructor (in the world? Probably). As a result, a funny thing happens on the way to writing the story when he totes falls in love and realizes that he actually wants to write about how gyms are the next philosophical frontier (you dig?) as society attempts to take responsibility for oneself and become… perfect. Unfortunately this all crashes and burns when despite scoring the big interview he needed he also inadvertently ruins what he has with Jessie. Act III: Under pressure from lawyers regarding the big interview and also suffering heartbreak, Adam decides to write the original puff piece anyway. This ends up double backfiring when Jessie attempt to reconcile but discovers what he’s done. Attempting to make up for it, Adam writes the Emersonian version of the piece, but his editors are like “this is clearly the writings of a pompous asshole” and write an even worse version of his original story. Even worse he’s heading to jail for contempt of court for not giving up his notes from the original story. Gah! Lucky for him, though, Jessie is a first amendment fanatic and they reconcile upon his release. THE END. 

Why?! It’s pure journalism, baby. Adam is just all about that first amendment and won’t compromise on anything. Whether it’s writing about financial crimes or the Emersonian nature of the gym, he is a totally uncompromising asshole. It’s only when Jessie realizes that he’s only an asshole because of the first amendment that she can be like “oh, I love him.” Her motivation is like… life, man. She just wants to win and be the best and be… perfect.

Who?! Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner played himself as did Carly Simon in a cameo. I believe there are a number of other cameos in the film, including thanks given to Mick Jagger who allowed photos of himself to be used in the film. There are some notable special thanks as well including Kathryn Bigelow. I still can’t figure out how she was involved in Perfect in any way.

What?! Every once in a while we get a film that is basically just a long commercial for something. Here it’s Rolling Stone, which is depicted as more than just a music magazine… it’s got journalistic integrity for days. Look at all that goddamn journalistic integrity! It’s oozing off John Travolta’s body like sweat.

Where?! There is a fun minor setting of Morocco late in the film, but this is a NYC-LA production with a slight edge to LA because that’s really where the sexiness and love occur. That’s actually a big part of my grading: how sexy is the setting. I think this is an A-. Both NYC and LA are pretty indispensable for the plot… perhaps only Miami could have swooped in and ruined it. 

When?! Near the end of the film they set up the exact time frame. Takes place over a number of months culminating in the publishing of the article and portions of the final trial at the end of July. They give an exact date for a few of these times. It’s actually pretty solid. B+.

I’m not sure what to even say about this film. It felt like the longest movie in the world. Took me at least three full days to watch and yet the clock told me it was only two hours. There are long stretches of just male and female hips thrusting in your face for reasons unknown… probably to convey how people would easily see this and think “new singles bar of the 80’s” but this would be wrong. They are Emersonian philosophers, duh. Beyond the length, I think the biggest crime is the self-serving, pompous attitude of how journalism is depicted. Gets really tired as the film drags on to see Travolta stand up six or twelve times to declare his journalistic integrity. The only positive, weirdly, is that I genuinely think Travolta and Curtis had *gulp* sexual chemistry. That seems weird to say. As for To the Limit, that film may in fact be the single most confusing thing Patrick and I have watched. We tried to recap exactly what happened in the film to each other and it is simply put absolute nonsense. Throw in Anna Nicole Smith barely acting in a monotone voice and several playboy level sex scenes and we got something that’s… well… it exists I guess. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! As I sculpted my Perfect bod I thought of Emerson and the pursuit of man’s true physical potential. Also I thought about beating up dweebs. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I had only heard of this film via How Did This Get Made? basically. I knew it was about aerobics and that it is supposed to be terrible. The connection between Stallone and the director seemed interesting. What were my expectations? I just hoped it was just in your face aerobics sexy action. Without that why am I even watching this film?

The Good – There is wall-to-wall aerobics action … which I’m going to say is good. Jamie Lee Curtis I thought was great. And in a different universe where the aerobics story didn’t exist, the trial that occurs during the film could have been an interesting story. Instead it comes out as absurd, but the idea is a kind of in the weeds interesting story. Quite a thin section this week, but the film is very weird and hard to “enjoy” in traditional terms.

The Bad – The acting. Travolta is only the most high profile offender. The Rolling Stone founder plays himself and he is straight up terrible at acting. They just hired a load of aerobics instructors as actors and it shows, all of them are incredibly stilted and distracting. There are very very very long aerobics scenes, they last forever, it is crazy. The entire thing comes across as just the most snobbish trash. It really seems like the guy wrote a story where he nobly goes to jail for his craft (magazine writer), and nobly stands up for the dignity of subjects … give me a break. The entire thing just seems like a giant pat on his own back from a writer who really thinks he does things that are important … and people should know it.

The BMT – Yeah. It is a very unique film. About a sport (arguably) which really doesn’t have another film made about it. Made about a profession (magazine journalist) which gets overshadowed by their newspaper peers and thus doesn’t feature in films very often. And the acting is almost second-to-none terrible. I was intrigued by the film and would definitely watch it again with someone. Did it meet my expectations? More than I could have imagined. There is a crazy number of aerobic scenes with those full body suits that have thongs, and guys gyrating their hips. It is great. Highly recommend those scenes, they last forever.

Roast-radamus – This is actually a really good example of Product Placement (What?) … since the entire movie is a placement for a product: Rolling Stone magazine. They fight for the truth! Decent argument for Setting as a Character (Where?) since the strangeness of Los Angeles plays a huge role in the story. Outside shot at BMT, otherwise I don’t think it really has much of anything. I would have went with a specific temporal setting (since the magazine article was published specifically on June 6, 1983), but that is kind of unconfirmed, and also we have enough holiday films that that would never actually be nominated this year.

StreetCreditReport.com – Amazingly this has two giant pieces of cred. First, it is on Siskel and Ebert’s worst of list of 1985 which is obviously enough in and of itself. And then second it was features on How Did This Get Made? which is a rubber stamp for amusingly bad movies. I have to imagine this is the worst film ever made about aerobics or about a magazine journalist as well, although I have no proof of that.

Bring a Friend Analysis – With any John Travolta film we obviously have to watch a Joey Travolta film. To this end we watched the Anna Nicole Smith feature from 1995 called To the Limit. Full disclosure: I barely remember this film. Like, I straight up don’t understand what happened. I think it is because the movie was written strangely. It is like they had a plot sketched out on a napkin (A man’s wife is killed and friend murdered because of a mysterious CD-ROM. His friend’s wife, secretly a CIA agent, helps him to take down those responsible while keeping the disc safe), and then thought “that is too straightforward … let’s add some twists.” But then … they only do half twists because they don’t really know how to adapt their story (oh no, a girl is kidnapped! Oh wait, she just ran away and is back now. And then our main character is kidnapped! Oh no, he just ran away and is back now. And Anna Nicole Smith is a bad guy! Nope nevermind she isn’t). Anna Nicole Smith is a marvel to behold and kind of makes the whole thing worthwhile. The film is soft-core porn though which was just sad and gross. I’m going to give it a C+. I wouldn’t want to watch it again or anything like it because it is 90s pornography. But Anna Nicole Smith’s acting is just insane enough to legitimize the initial viewing.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Perfect Quiz

Let’s see, one minute I was in my daily jazzercise / aerobics class with a sexy instructor, and the next I got kicked in the head during a particularly jazzy 80s guitar riff. I do not remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in the movie Perfect?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) During the course of the film John Travolta works on two stories. One of them is about the trial of a businessman named MacKenzie. What was he arrested for, and what big scoop does Travolta get from him?

2) What is Jamie Lee Curtis’ nickname at the health club?

3) What was Jamie Lee Curtis’ previous career and why doesn’t Jamie Lee Curtis trust journalists?

4) Ultimately what story does John Travolta write about the gym? What was the original story?

5) In the end why does Travolta go to prison?

Answers