Then, one fateful weekend afternoon, I took said daughter and her soccer teammate to a matinee of "A Walk to Remember" and the scales fell from my eyes -- just as they did for the do-badder love interest in the film. I'm sure the telescope/vision metaphor in the Nicholas Sparks novel (from which this movie was taken) was not accidental: She was able to see farther than he was, off into the great beyond.
And so, dear reader, I became a Mandy Moore fan and that fandom was what forced me to admit I had a 13-year-old girl's movie tastes. We also saw "Saved," which boosted my respect for Moore, an actress/singer I had thought was just a Christian moralist. She may be one, but she's capable of laughing at the excesses of organized religion.
I never, however, exposed those weaknesses the same way I did with Moore. Having blabbed to the family, I was even gifted, one year, with my own copy of "A Walk to Remember." On review, it's not a fine movie, but I still like Mandy Moore. I think she deserves her own film festival. If nobody else does it, I hope to launch it one day. In the meantime, here's a list of her films. Not all of them, but enough for a weeklong, one-a-night fest with a double feature on Saturday. I've only seen six days worth.
- "The Princess Diaries" (2001) - Moore is the evil-ish foil to Mia Thermopolis, the character that made Anne Hathaway. I like this movie. I have seen it more than once. I still don't understand how it became a minor kids' classic.
- "A Walk to Remember" (2002) - As I've mentioned before, this fits the boy meets girl, girl meets death formula. As always, she goes nobly and, as always, he is left a better man because of her. Sigh.
- "How to Deal" (2003) - Nothing can please a die-hard romantic more than seeing a jaded cynic fall in love.
- "Saved!" (2004) - It's always so satisfying to see the self-righteous get their comeuppance, as occurs in this movie. Moore plays the same kind of character Bynes plays in "The Easy A," only much better. You know the type. She's thinking, "I want to save your soul. I hate you, but I just want to save your soul."
- "Chasing Liberty" (2004) -- Moore plays the U.S. President's daughter, determined to kick up her heels in Europe, including at German's Love Parade (though not the one where hundreds were injured and 21 died in 2010.) It's a love story between her and the guy assigned to keep her out of trouble.
- "Dedication" (2007) - Haven't seen this one, but IMDB describes it with the three magic words: romance, comedy, drama.
- "Because I Said So" (2007) - Fun, but not great. It sports a good cast, including Gabriel Macht, cousin to one of my editors at work. Someday, Chick Flick Guy will get an interview.
- "Love, Wedding, Marriage" (2011) - Another one I think I would enjoy, but something (like the fact that it came out this year and I don't remember hearing about it) tells me it's not that good.