Dear John

Dear John is the latest movie adaptation of author Nicholas Sparks's sappy romance novels. The film, one of the few films of wartime romances, chronicles the difficulties of a couple separated by the 9-11 tragedy. FreshGrads finds out if it will be a letter that brings joy or tears.

Channing Tatum (Public Enemies) plays John, a special forces officer on short leave. Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia), on the other hand, plays Savannah on her spring break from college. As expected, in the short two weeks, the pretty couple meet and fell deeply in love against the beautiful background of the South Carolina coast. When John has to return to service, Savannah initiated the writing of love letters as a bid to stay together.

Problems arose with a few unrealistic choices by the lead characters - John chooses to be re-enlisted and Savannah unexpectedly leaves him to marry a much older friend. Seems like melodramatic novelist Nicholas Sparks has this thing for letters other than the sea. This time, the male lead gets dumped rather than romanced by letter.


The movie then starts to lose steam from here. John gets wounded in an operation and extends his service once more but was only forced to return home when his autistic father (Richard Jenkins) falls terminally ill. There, he meets Savannah once more and I shan't leave any spoilers.

John's strong and silent character can be more three dimensional while Savannah's character came across as too idealistic; her reason in leaving John is a tad unrealistic and even frustrating. Seyfried's character offers her hardly the opportunity to act but offers instead attractive shots of her from all angles. Supporting cast Oscar nominated Richard Jenkins and Henry Thomas each adds some much needed colour to the movie while staying in the background.

All in all, the film proves that beauty is only skin deep - Dear John won't be a film you will write home about. Neither would it match up to the high expectations set by the previous movie adaptation of the author's novel The Notebook.

Related links: Dear John official site

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