When a prank on fellow high-school student Clay Gephardt goes wrong, popular but rebellious Landon Carter (Shane West) is threatened with expulsion. His punishment is mandatory participation invarious after-school activities, such as the drama club, where he is forced to interact with quiet, kind and bookish Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), a girl he has known for many years but to whom he hasrarely ever spoken. Their differing social statures leave them worlds apart, despite their close physical proximity.
When Landon has trouble learning his lines he asks Jamie for help. They beginpracticing together at her house after school. At first Landon is only using Jamie for her help with the play, and treats her coldly when his other friends are around. But as he spends more and more time withher, he is surprised to find she is far from the person he thought she was, and begins to question who he really wants to impress.
During the play, Jamie astounds Landon and the entire audience withher beauty and voice, and Landon kisses her on the stage. Afterwards, he tries to get closer to her, but she repeatedly rejects him. Soon thereafter, however, Landon's friends publicly humiliateJamie by altering a photograph of her and placing her head on the body of a scantily clad woman. Landon angrily confronts his former friend, punching him and publicly siding with Jamie. Afterwards, Landonand Jamie begin a relationship in which Landon dedicates most of his time to her. He discovers that she has a wish list, and sets out to make all her ambitions come true, such as taking her to astate border so that she can stand on either side of the line and, thus, be in two places at once.
In the final stretch of the movie, Jamie confesses to Landon that she is afflicted byterminal leukemia and has stopped responding to treatments. Landon gets upset at first, and Jamie tells him the reason she didn't tell him is that she was moving on with her life and using the time she had left but...
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