Director: Lasse Halstrom Screenplay: Jamie Linden, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks Cast: Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried, Richard Jenkins, Henry Thomas Time: 105min Age Restriction: 10LVM
Dear John is a trademark Nicholas Sparks romance that will have you gushing and weeping, but still manages to be fresh and full of surprises.
Dear John was not my first choice of film, but one of my (female) followers put in a special request for this review, so I gave it a shot. Also, after Facebook has been Suggesting that I make Friends with Channing Tatum every single day for the past six weeks, I wanted to take another look and see if he looks like a great-aunt or a distant cousin of mine. Perhaps Facebook is aware of some familial connection between us that I don't know of?
John Tyree (Channing Tatum) is a Special Services officer in the US army and meets Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried) while on a short break from duty early in 2001. They spend two weeks together, in which they fall head-over-heels in love. John has to go back to serving in some remote country for one more year, but they plan to get together as soon as he gets back and, in the meantime, to write each other letters.
The situation gets complicated, however, when the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre happen on September 11.
Perhaps the winning element to Nicholas Sparks' stories is that the characters go through the typical besotted phases of relationship, making over-the-top oaths of undying love and commitment – but what sets these characters and their stories apart is that they always deliver on their promises and follow through on their vows.
The sentimental tone of Dear John is exactly what you would expect of a Nicholas Sparks romance, but that doesn't mean the story is predictable. There were many twists that I did not see coming and I was impressed with the authenticity of the young actors' performances.
Amid the backdrop of romance, Dear John explores the choice every person faces between doing your duty and following your heart.
Oh and, on closer inspection, Channing Tatum does bear a remarkable resemblance to my younger brother.