Review: Dear John

What is it about Nicholas Sparks novels?

It doesn’t matter if I’ve read them or not, I can predict the story from beginning to end. Sadly, ‘Dear John’ was not the exception. It’s your typical N.Sparks formula–boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, something drastic tears boy away from girl, girl attempts to get over boy and falls for someone else and through some type of divine intervention, boy and girl find their way back to each other. That in a nutshell is ‘Dear John.’ And unfortunately for its sake, it doesn’t live up to the hype.

The audience is first introduced to John Tyree (Channing Tatum) and Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried) when John rescues Savannah’s purse from the depths of the ocean. She’s grateful and invites him back to her place for drinks and fellowship. Of course they fall for each other and the story begins to play out into something similar to a daytime drama.

My main problem with the film was that Seyfried’s and Tatum’s portrayals didn’t give me life.  Personally, I didn’t find Seyfried and Tatum too convincing as a couple,  and I honestly believe that Tatum was a miscast. I mean sure this guy is hot but his acting ability is very lackluster. He’s virtually the same guy with a different name in every film.  The bottom line, I never believed him to be John Tyree.   Thankfully Seyfried was able to hold her own in a role that was quite the departure for her. She was believable as Savannah and the only time she was unbearable was  when she shared  the screen with Tatum.  Well at least in the beginning; as the film progressed their scenes together were a little more tolerable. However I will admit, there was a glimmer of hope during a hospital scene featuring Tatum where I actually did believe that he was John Tyree.  That lasted all of five minutes but it was a memorable five minutes that almost brought me to tears.

Even though I was left feeling cold for most of the film, a major standout  for me was veteran actor Richard Jenkins as Mr. Tyree.   Simply put, he was amazing  and probably my favorite part of the film.

Another component that caught my eye was the accurate depiction of military action. I felt director Lasse Hallstrom did an exceptional job of capturing the military lifestyle abroad. And the story was well adapted as well. I hadn’t read the book beforehand but as I stated before, I pretty much had the story figured out within the first 15 minutes.

So to recap: “Dear John” is  a good story with good intentions, but sadly it’s not  “The Notebook.”

My Grade: 6/10

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4 Responses to “Review: Dear John”

  1. I agree with you! Savannah was a mediocre played part while John was a huge miscast! He did not even resemble the John in Spark’s novel… At all!
    I read the book before the movie. The book had major plot holes and shockingly the movie had more. At least with The Notebook, they tried and succeeded. With Dear John it seems as if they felt it being a Sparks novel was enough.

    • Thanks for the comment. It’s greatly appreciated.:)

      I was actually very nice in my critique of Channing Tatum’s acting ability. I always try to give him the benefit of the doubt and he always lets me down. And although he was a miscast, I can’t for the life of me think of a replacement.

  2. I wrote my own post on the film. I’d love if you put in your two cents!

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