Director: Adam Shankman
Starring: Mandy Moore, Shane West
Just a chick flick right? Wrong. It's a formula as old as time - bad boy meets reverend's daughter and have to work together, and he falls in love with her. However this film had me so involved with the characters that you could forget it's a formulaic love story with Mandy Moore.
Our bad boy ends up raising the ire of the cool kids at school, and soon sticks up for poor Mandy Moore, who is the personification of virtue and morality. He transforms from a selfish drifter into a man of substance in a very steady and believable way. Nothing in the plot or its pacing feels forced.
The real twist is when she finally breaks things off with him just as everything seems perfect. By this point he is completely in love with her, and this shatters him. But he doesn't give up. He discovers that the whole time he has known her and loved her, she has been dying from terminal cancer. Nobody knew because she and her parents wanted her last year to be as normal as possible. The remainder of the film sees him trying to win her back, and win her back he does. For a chick flick I found myself really invested by this point and felt genuine joy.
The epilogue of the film was incredibly touching, as a few years later our once bad boy returns after university, and Mandy Moore has sinced passed away. Our bad boy visits her father and they talk about her, his degree and what he will do know. I was moved by how obviously in love he was, so strongly that he knowingly goes on with his life not lonely, because she is still watching him, and their love didn't die with her. It blew my mind.
So imagine how shocked I was at this chick flick!
(That's right, I just scored this higher than 300.. I never would have expected that either)