A Walk To Remember to Remember

I’ll always remember it was late afternoon… when I went to Greece Ridge Cinemas as a 15 year old and saw A Walk to Remember and unexpectedly cried because ~*tRu LoVe*~.

On January 25th, 2002, “Candy” and “I Wanna Be With You” hitmaker Mandy Moore hit the big screen for her first starring role in a movie, alongside Once and Again star Shane West. Based on the 1999 novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks, the story centered on bad boy Landon Carter, who unexpectedly falls in love with good Christian girl Jamie Sullivan (even though she tells him not to). It’s a love story for the ages with one big twist and for most people, it was just another teen movie. For older millennials, it was one of the movies that defined our generation.

For me, A Walk to Remember holds a special place in my heart for different reasons, with different memories connected to each one. In addition to the VHS tape I played over and over again (and currently have in my room JIC I need a Landon/Jamie fix), I was equally obsessed with the soundtrack. For my 16th birthday, my friend gave me the soundtrack (along with a set of fake play keys because I could drive and lololol) and as soon as I popped that baby in my boombox, it was spinning constantly.

While music did play a big part in the film (ONLY HOPE THO), I always felt like the soundtrack didn’t receive the attention it properly deserved. So what better way to celebrate A Walk to Remember than by stepping back in time This Is Us style and revisiting the tracks that formed our formative years.

Dare You to Move by Switchfoot

Some songs are just meant to be featured in movies with characters driving a long distance and thinking about their lives. In this case, it’s Switchfoot’s Dare You to Move falls under that category. It’s the perfect blend of stirring instrumentals and contemplative lyrics that make it a great fit for the movie and an even better fit as the first song on the soundtrack.

Cry by Mandy Moore

Only Hope aside, Cry was the most well known song off this album. Partly because it was sung by Queen Mandy, but also because it was also a single from her self-titled album that came out the year prior. Of course the irony is that we were all left crying in the theater after watching this movie, but I find it much more entertaining to take in the magic that is this music video to promote the film.

Someday We’ll Know by Mandy Moore and Jonathan Foreman

I was obsessed with the New Radicals original version of this song when it came out in 1999, and when I thought I couldn’t even love it even more, Mandy and Jon Foreman, lead singer of Switchfoot did just that. By having the two of them cover the song specifically for the movie, it took on a whole new meaning and reflected the love story between Jamie and Landon, pivoting from the New Radicals’ version of lost love and regret.

Dancin’ in the Moonlight by Toploader

15 year old me had no idea this song was a cover of a King Harvest track from 1972, but I guess A Walk to Remember was there to educate the people. Either way, it was a nice lighthearted song that conveyed the easiness to Jamie and Landon’s relationship, despite the fact the odds were against them. Also I’d like to think it was a preview into Mandy’s most ICONIC album, Coverage (which I wrote about for a past Mandy Moore Monday post).

Learning to Breathe by Switchfoot

Fun fact: Switchfoot was initially signed to a Christian label, and throughout their tenure as a band, they’ve had a weird relationship with being labelled a “Christian band”. However, this song, and the album of the same name, proved to be very sucessful for them in 2001, when it was nominated for a Best Rock Gospel Album Grammy.

Only Hope by Mandy Moore

I.CON.IC. ICONIC.

It’s Gonna Be Love by Mandy Moore

I really like this song, but it always threw me off when it started playing during a tender moment between Landon and Jamie when he’s putting the temp tattoo on her and softly blowing her skin. Cue Mandy Moore singing on the radio while Mandy Moore as Jamie Sullivan reacts in awe/shock/love when she feels the feels.

You by Switchfoot

Switchfoot probably got the most exposure during the Walk to Remember era, but they’ve always been one of those bands that is just always… around. It’s because their music is fine – it’s not bad, it’s not great, it’s not mainstream pop being played on the radio 24/7. Example: this song.

If You Believe by Rachael Lampa

Now that I’m thinking about it – were the producers of this film purposefully choosing Christian music artists for the soundtrack because Jamie and her Reverend father were too? Or does Rachel Lampa just have a really good PR team?

No One by Cold

This is the song I always skip.

So What Does It All Mean? by West, Gould, & Fitzgerald

This track is more in line with Landon’s squad of horrible people, but also, could have been on the Empire Records soundtrack too?

Mother, We Just Can’t Get Enough by New Radicals

New Radicals didn’t get to sing their own song, so instead, they featured on their own track. Good enough.

Only Hope by Switchfoot

You’re a certain type of person that says they prefer this version over Mandy Moore’s version of Only Hope. I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying it’s a choice.

Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of Boy Meets World

Fourteen years ago, we said goodbye to one of the most influential TV series on millennials. In the current era in which nostalgia is not only cool, but more importantly, profitable, the folks from Boy Meets World decided it would be the perfect time to bring back the beloved series. Except they were super smart about it and instead of doing a whole reboot, it’s a spin-off with BMW’s main star, Cory and his oddly-named soulmate/wife/best friend Topanga and their two kids, specifically tween daughter Riley who like young Cory, is trying to find her place in the world.

Before the highly-anticipated series premieres on Friday, it’s only appropriate that we look back at the past, at a time when jeans were high-waisted, the hair was teased, and leather jacket made teachers look cool (where ARE you Mr. Turner?). While we know that people like Mr. Feeny, Mr. & Mrs. Matthews, and Uncle Shawn are heading to Girl Meets World, here are some unexpected guest stars of BMW that mostly likely won’t be reprising their roles.

Marla Sokoloff as Paige

{Season 1, Episode 4}

Just before Marla appeared as Gia, the bad influence on Stephanie Judith Tanner on Full House, she had a small role on BMW as a classmate who calls Cory overhears her call him a total “Brillo Head”, a term that sticks out in my mind when I think about this show for some reason. Cory gets the courage to confront her about calling him that, except she wasn’t talking about him in the first place, but rather her friend’s brother instead.

Keri Russell as Jessica

{Season 1, Episode 7}

dem jeans doe

Pre-Felicity (but with all the same hair to rival Topanga’s), Keri played Mr. Feeny’s niece who had a brief fling with Eric. That is until Cory pointed out Eric was “swapping spit with a Feeny”.

Rue McClanahan as Bernice Matthews

{Season 1, Episode 7}

In an alternate universe, Blanche Deveraux is the Matthews’ kids’ grandmother. And she wears fringe. God bless America.

Lindsay Price as Linda

{Season 1, Episode 8}

Lindsay Price is supposed to be 15 and 3/4 in this episode, but looks like a grown ass woman wearing one of those sweater vests that is like what you would wear to an ugly Christmas sweater party. Except sans Christmas decorations. Anyways, she plays a love interest for Eric who gets called something racist while she’s at the mall. It’s one of those deeper, more moral-centric episodes of the series, and Cory gives a passionate speech about Linda and Anne Frank in class. Gotta love this program.

Shane West as Nick

{Season 3, Episode 14}

It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when Cory and Topanga were ever not together – and in those episodes, we try to forget – but apparently Topanga even got the chance to date a kid named Nick, played by A Walk to Remember favorite, Shane West. Topanga and Cory run into Nick while they’re shopping for Christmas presents at the mall and turns out he’s working at Macy’s. But really, why is this teen boy working at Macy’s is my question.

Larissa Olyenik as Dana Pruitt

{Season 3, Episode 15 & 16}

Larisa was able to escape the Secret World of Nickelodeon and head over to Disney, leaving Alex Mack behind and stepping into the shoes of Dana Pruitt. She’s one of Cory & Shawn’s classmates, who Shawn asks out on a date, but since it’s clear all he wants to do on said date is make out with her, she declines a second date. Turns out she’s then interested in Cory who’s a “nice guy” and ended up not even kissing him at all, because he’s “boyfriend material” and wanted to take things slow. Meanwhile, Shawn got all jealous and pours his heart out to Dana who agrees to go on another date with him. They date for another episode until things get weird when Dana’s mom AND aunt date Mr. Turner (who is technically Shawn’s guardian at the moment). Yikes. Fun fact: Rider Strong and Larisa appeared as Gavroche & Cossette in a San Francisco production of Les Mis together in 1989!

Danny Strong as Arthur

{Season 3, Episode 15}

In the same episode as Alex Mack’s appearance, comes Danny Strong, who has since become an award-winning multi-hyphenate, but to me will forever be Doyle McMaster/Mr. Paris Gellar on Gilmore Girls. In BMW, he played a rival to Eric when the two compete for an internship at the local news station. Surprise, surprise (no really, a total surprise), Eric beats him to it.

Mena Suvari as Laura/Hilary

{Season 2, Episode 16; Season 3, Episode 12}

Mena is a double agent in BMW, first appearing as a girl who’s into Eric, and the second time she plays a girl checking people in at the door to a dance and thinks Cory is Shawn, who already as a reputation as a ladies’ man at this school on the other side of town. Needless to say, it’s not surprising this was her first professional acting role.

Adam Scott as Griff Hawkins

{Seasons 2 & 3}

Adam Scott easily wins the best guest star role award, just because he is Adam Scott. The funny thing about him in this show is that when I watched it as a tween, I remember thinking he was way too serious and seemed like too much of an “adult actor” on a kids show that it was oddly unsettling. Fast forward years later when I find out that the kid who fills in for the man in charge, Harley Kleiner, was no other than Human Disaster Ben Wyatt I flipped out. If anyone should make an appearance on GMW, it needs to be Adam Scott. Come on, Adam. Do it for your kids.

Brittany Murphy as Trini

{Season 3 , Episode 9}

Don’t be confused by her name – she’s not the yellow power ranger (although, RIP to both of them :\ ) Britt plays a classmate who needs a partner for one of their projects, and since Topanga is out sick, and Mr. Feeny split Cory and Shawn apart, Cory’s in need of a partner. And instead of choosing sweet, awkward Trini, he goes for super popular hot girl Missy. Check minus, Cory Matthews.

Charisma Carpenter

{Season 3, Episode 10}

This is the episode where they get stuck on a subway train on New Year’s Eve – and don’t get that confused with the episode of Full House where they get stuck on a subway train on the way to Uncle Jesse’s graduation, because lawd certainly knows I did. In the clip above Charisma Carpenter doesn’t have any lines, however you know who does- Wesley Jonathan. C-I-T-Y you can see why/these guys/the neat guys/smart and streetwise. Anyone? Anyone?

Andrew Keegan

{Season 3, Episode 21}

Remember the heartthrobs of the 90s and how both Rider Strong and Andrew Keegan were always in those pullout posters in Teen Beat? Well I can’t even imaging what it was like when they were on the same show together, even if it was for but a fleeting moment. Andrew played Ronnie “Lips” Watterman, who along with Topanga and this chick Kristen win an essay contest that wins them a trip down to Disney. And yes, this is the episode (again, not to be confused with the FH ep where DJ can’t stop seeing Steve everywhere) where Cory follows Topanga down to Florida to declare his love for her.

Candace Cameron Bure as Millie

{Season 5, Episode 5}

Speaking of Deej Tanner, immediately after FH ended, Candace got married and died her hair bleach blonde and then ended up back on the TGIF lineup on BMW as a crazy neighbor to Jack and Eric. Also, she’s a witch. Naturally. I wonder what her brother Kirk Cameron had to say about this.

Jennifer Love Hewitt

{Seasons 5, Episode 17}

Obviously, if you’re a BMW fan, you know this episode is probably not only the greatest in the entire series, but one of the most 22 minutes of television ever. How can you deny the screams of Jennifer Love Fefferman and the ultimate story of loyalty and friendship??

Linda Cardellini as the bitch who kissed Cory Lauren

{Season 5 }

First of all, I’d like to point out that I did not make the above meme, someone else clearly has the same thoughts as many BMW experts who also watch Mad Men. Linda obviously played the infamous Lauren in the ski trip episode, kissing Cory and ultimately the reason why he and Topanga broke up. Listen, Linda. You can be Freaks and Geeks me, Scooby Doo, even ER me, but you will forever be the bitch who broke up one of TV’s greatest couples. I mean, they clearly got back together, but still.

Fred Savage

{Season 6, Episode 7}

It was inevitable to have Ben Savage’s brother be on the show, right? Well I always found it interesting that the one time he’s on it, he plays skeezy college professor Stuart,. who hits on Topanga then instantly denies it. When confronted about he by Cory, the usually level-headed Mr. Matthews pushes Stuart through a glass door and he has to “go on trial” in front of the Dean – who subsequently only suspends Cory for one day. Peace out Ben Savage.

Nia Vardalos as Mrs. Gallagher

{Season 6, Episode 18}

Remember the time Eric befriended a small tot named Tommy who basically begs Eric to adopt him so he doesn’t have to live with foster parents in California. Eric seriously considers it and talks to the adoption center worker, played by Nia Vardalos. In a shocking moment of clarity, Eric realizes it’s the wrong thing to do and has to break this kid’s heart.

Marcia Cross as Rihannon Lawrence

{Season 7}

I appreciate that Topanga’s mom’s name is Rihannon – it totally fits with their hippie vibe. However I always thought Marcia Cross herself was an odd choice of casting, even though she joined later in the series, since the original Mrs. Lawrence was busy, I guess? I mean Topanga’s dad was played by three different actors, including one of The Monkees.

 

Movies I Actually Paid To See In the Theater: Part 2 – No Shame

Welcome to the conclusion of this mini-series, in which I reveal the movies I paid to see in the theaters. This second list is comprised of films that most would be embarrassed to say they even saw, none the less exchanged money in order to see it, but I am owning up to the fact that I enjoyed every single one.

The Lizzie McGuire Movie

I may have been a Junior in high school when this movie came out. I may have watched the series on DisChan and seen every episode. I may have dressed up as Miranda to my friend Sarah’s Lizzie for a Halloween party at my church. So sue me. This movie was the perfect way to end the series, and was satisfying on all ends. A trip to Italy, mistaken identity, and the epic kiss between Lizzie and Gordo that made my 17 year old self swoon. This IS what dreams are made of.

A Walk to Remember

I think this was the first Nicholas Sparks movie that started a wave of his depressing yet uplifting love stories, and it certainly still ranks as one of  my favorites. I mainly went to see it for Mandy Moore, not expecting much out of it, and not knowing what was going to happen. Little did I know that I was totally sucked in, and became obsessed with it. I played the soundtrack on repeat, and probably ruined my VHS tape because I watched it so many times. And I will no doubt watch it when it’s on TV.

Spice World

This is the absolute definition of the best worst movie ever. It was utterly ridiculous, but amazing at the same time. I remember sitting in the back row of the theater with my friends and there being probably like 2 to 4 other people there. We had a great time, and were probably obnoxious, but hey, it’s hard to not sing along to the Spice Girls when you’re 12 years old.

Hannah Montana The Movie

Not to be confused with the Hannah Montana concert movie in 3D (which I also saw. ugh what is my life), this movie is the character of Hannah Montana/Miley Stewart going back home to Tennessee and living a life away from Hollywood. My friend Brian and I saw this because we were/are big fans of the show and Miles herself. And while it was a good movie, we had a lot of questions. Which made us think that maybe we weren’t the right target demographic to be seeing the film and asking about continuity (i.e. SPOILER ALERT: Miley decides to tell her entire small town in TN that she’s living a double life at the end of the movie, but back on TV for the regular episodes, they make no mention of her big reveal at all. Like, you’re telling me every single citizen kept their mouth shut about one of the biggest pop stars in the world? Come on folks).

High School Musical 3

Disney Channel has clearly made an impact on my movie going habits. I was of course a fan of the first two movies, but those were only shown on TV. HSM3 was the first (and last) to be shown on the big screen, so naturally I had to go. Again, I went with Brian, and our bossfriend Rosita to a 10am screening the day it came out. We were joined by moms and their kids, but it was well worth it. Zanessa (RIP) was in full effect, and the songs were as catchy as ever. A great way to end the franchise and a great way to confirm my taste in movie is usually questionable.

Katy Perry: A Part of Me

I admit it, I have absolutely have no problem in saying I like Katy Perry. Teenage Dream is one of the best pop albums ever made. More than half of the tracks on that cd are among my 25 most played songs. In saying that, I knew I had to watch her movie. So I did. I went by myself on a Friday afternoon, and sat among mothers and their tween daughters. What was so great about the movie was that it wasn’t just a concert, it was behind the scenes and essentially a documentary about her life. But the most honest and heart-wrenching part is when she finally realize her marriage to Russell Brand can’t be saved. She’s due to go on stage in Brazil, I believe, in front of thousands of people. Here is a woman at probably the lowest point in her life, but she decides to go on with the show anyways. Cut to her singing The One That Got Away and me in the theater crying into my popcorn.