When it's over, this romance/drama had me in tears. Not balling, but enough to demand tissue nearby. I think I started crying about two thirds into the film and having read the Nicholas Sparks novel and knowing the ending just made the sadness so unavoidable. The story is about Landon and Jamie (played by Shane West and Mandy Moore) who are two teens with nothing in common, but joined together by fate. They fall in love, but when a heart-breaking secret is revealed, their love and their relationship is put to the test. Yes, this is definitely a sad and tragic film, but what separates this film from other "doom and gloom" tragedies is the uplifting tone of the story. It wasn't filled with scenes of overcast skies, pouring rain, and people huddled in the cold. Instead, the film had a palette of bright colors signifying life, new beginnings, and hope. The story's message to me was that sometimes you have to suffer to know what blessings are and what you are blessed with. The themes of faith, love, forgiveness, and courage are the veins that pump life into this love story, while at the same time mirrors the unfairness that life sometimes brings.
My rating: 4 out of 5