Dear John, directed by Lasse Hallstorm is an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel by the same name. This 2010 romance drama is a movie about a young soldier and his girl finding love on a summer break but they fail to find happiness together. Their romance is sweet, their love is passionate but fate has a play in it, as always.
John Tyree (Channing Tatum), the US Army Special Forces specialist is back home at Charleston, South Carolina, on a two week break. He meets the young and beautiful college girl Savannah played by Amanda Seyfried while her purse falls in the sea. John dives in the sea to get her purse and as a gesture of thanks is invited at the BBQ party. They spend these two weeks in each other’s company and are in love – like crazy.
John’s father is a quiet man, who has an interest in coins and has a massive collection. He has difficulty in having any meaningful conversation with his son, or anyone for that matter. His house is in perfect order – with the couch wrapped in plastic, dinner plates displayed perfectly in the crockery unit. He cooks meat loafs on every Saturday and Lasagna on Sundays. When Savannah meets him, she realizes John’s father is mildly autistic.
Her confrontation with John on this matter doesn’t go well. John had never thought about autism or any serious condition but believed his dad was just quiet. He has to join back his team and they decide to write letters to each other so that they know what is happening in each other’s life. Over the course of 12 months several letters are sent and received through air mail. But 9/11 changes everything and after spending two days break with Savannah, John decides to re-enlist.
For nearly, two months he doesn’t receive a letter till the final ‘Dear John’ reaches him. Savannah, being the nice, compassionate girl she is marries Tim, because he needed her. John keeps re-enlisting himself to stay away from everything and let the war work as a drug. When he meets her after several years he learns about Tim’s cancer but also learns that Savannah has always loved him in spite of her decision to marry Tim or taking care of his autistic son.
John and Savannah are not together, yet they are in love with each other and there is a sense of commitment.
Channing Tatum as the young soldier is HOT. He’s hot while surfing, he’s hot while just sitting around the beach, is hot while reading the letters in the Army aircraft and is hot while putting bullets onto the enemies. Amanda Seyfried is cute, but let’s stick to Tatum for a while. He brings love, care, concern on screen effortlessly. But he could have been so much more! Hallstorm’s direction was a letdown for me, like song with good lyrics but not-so-good music!
While coming to lyrics – if you are to blame anyone for a bigger let down you should be asking Mr. Sparks. That he doesn’t want his characters to be happy or can’t do without killing someone is a universal truth now. But Dear John doesn’t tell you where they stand finally – distant lovers, acquaintances, social friends or what? I guess Sparks gets some sort of a high to get that sad smile on his reader’s face!
This is not a sob story thankfully. Dear John which started as a charming story lost it somewhere in between.
If you want to watch it do that for Channing because he’s cute (no I am not biased). This is a 2010 movie so you can Youtube or Netflix it easily. I’ll give it probably a 2 and a half. Umm, 2 for Channing and ½ for everything else. Yeah that should be fine.
P.S. This post is not for Channing Tatum, if you really want to believe me!