Whatever the critics think of Mandy Moore's performance in A Walk to Remember, the Christian heroine that she plays in the movie is making it a hit with American evangelical audiences. Surprising skeptics, Walk is a modest success, coming in fourth in last week's North American box office charts with $8.8 million earned for the week, $23.3 million overall. (Yes, that's modest, compared with Black Hawk Down's three-week total of $75.5 million, or The Fellowship of the Ring, which has gathered $267.1 million in North America alone since December 19.) For a project widely referred to as a "Christian movie," its popularity is impressive, and many religious press critics are expressing hopes that this will encourage production of more Christian-themed films on the big screen.
Last week, Film Forum excerpted reviews from critics who were either moved to tears or crying for it to go away. This week, I found out moviegoers have strong opinions of their own and that they are quite willing to send in e-mail on the subject. Most of the positive reviews came from teenagers.
Nicole S. testified, "I fell in love with the whole theme of the movie. I walked away saying, 'I want to be more like Jamie.' It's amazing how one girl's life can touch so many. People are looking at your life, and I want people to feel that discomfort that God puts in your heart to change. [This] was really a great movie."
What do boys think of this weepy, rather sentimental story? Dan writes, "Being a teenage boy, I am not always interested in attending movies [that have] lots of high emotion and I don't feel like any kind of real plot developed. I was amazingly shocked to find that … not only was the movie a good plot, but God was lifted up in it also. I feel on ...1
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