Jan 3, 2011

[Movies] Dear John (2010)

Dear John (2010)Nicholas Sparks entered my life after my mom made me read Message In A Bottle. She wanted me to see how men could also be sensitive in a manner of speaking, something that seems to characterize a lot of the fictional men in Sparks' novels. It wasn't that bad an experience although I did find myself involuntarily rolling my eyes a lot.

I've never been a big fan of his books since then and the same applies to movies based on his works. This is not a general statement against all romance movies in general. This is more of a statement against the kind of unrealistic view of men that Sparks tends to popularize with his books, thus setting up a lot of young women for disappointment when they meet actual men. I'm sure there are some sensitive guys out there for sure, although a large number of them will be of the homosexual persuasion.

This movie did have some minor things going for it. One is the fact that Channing Tatum is pretty hot (my partner especially thinks so). Two is that Amanda Seyfried in it, and she was a lot of fun in Mamma Mia! and Mean Girls. Beyond that though, it's hard to say.

Dear John is a romance movie based on the Nicholas Sparks book of the same title. It was directed Lasse Hallström.

HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 01:  Actress Amanda Seyfr...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeJohn Tyree (Channing Tatum) is a US Special Forces soldier on leave from the military for a few weeks. He has a chance encounter with college student Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) who is out on spring break. In the course of those two weeks, the pair start to develop a deeper relationship and ultimately fall in love. The only other person in John's life is his father (Richard Jenkins), with whom his relationship has soured over the years due to his father's obsession with collecting coins.

Savannah theorizes that his father is probably autistic given she has extensive experience with dealing with Alan (Braeden Reed), the autistic son of her neighbor Tim Wheddon (Henry Thomas). But given the sensitivity of the subject, this angers John initially. But they continue to work with their relationship and by the time John has to return to service, they agree to carry on a long distance correspondence relationship.

For those not familiar, a Dear John is a euphemism for a form letter that one would typically get from a company or is the kind of letter one sends to a partner in order to break up. The play here is a pun one couldn't possibly ignore since a lot of the movie involves all of Savannah's letters starting with "Dear John" in the course of his many years of service. Plus there's the fact that this is set around the time of September 11 means that his service gets extended after the attacks.

Channing Tatum is your usual piece of meat put on display. Acting-wise, he's nothing spectacular and the role he was cast in made sure to limit his need to speak, which was good. Plus they maximized the amount of time they had him, shirtless given the need to have him have surfing as a hobby for fan service purposes. Amanda was a bit better, but not overly so. After all, a lot of her acting consisted of the voiceover of her reading her letters set to various montages.

The movie has the usual variety of Nicholas Sparks' brand of plot twists. This means that there's the budding relationship. The guy being mostly good, then showing a bad side, then redemption. Someone important dies in the story. And so blah blah blah blah blah.

Dear John is an okay movie but nothing to write home about (haha, pun intended). It gets 2 rare coins out of a possible 5.

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