“Dear John” Go to Paris Instead

Genres: Drama, Romance and Adaptation
Running Time: 1 hr. 42 min.
Release Date: February 5th, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sensuality and violence.
Distributors: Sony Pictures Releasing


Directed by: Lasse Hallström

JJ Rating: B

John (Channing Tatum) meets Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) at the beach. They hit it off. They talk a lot for two weeks. He gets deployed. They write letters to one another and so goes Dear John.

If Tatum’s films are released in order of how he’s worked on them then I can say that he is progressively getting better. He’s not good at acting, he’s just ok. He still has that uncomfortable feel to how he acts and it’s unnerving. He shares a scene with Richard Jenkins (who plays his father Mr. Tyree) and it’s the best scene in the entire film. It holds the most emotion, the most power and the most love. This scene specifically allows me to believe that Tatum could get better. Amanda Seyfried isn’t exactly fantastic, but she’s better than just ok and her chemistry with Tatum is not so good. But Jenkins is the best. He does a fantastic job with his role. To act like his character and to leak the look of care and love is not easy and he makes it look easy. He is one reason to see this film, though I’m sure Tatum is the main reason for many.

Dear John is another adaptation from a Nicholas Sparks‘ book. Other adaptations were The Notebook and A Walk to Remember and Dear John was not as good as either. It lacked the connection between the main characters and it lacked that powerful feeling that a viewer should have for all scenes not just a single one. The film also felt like it was ending on a few occasions but it kept going making the hour and forty-two minutes a bit much. Had it focused on story delivering every moment then the few surprises it had would have had the viewers enjoying what happens instead of giving ample time to figure out the entire storyline before it was to happen.

I could not sit through this one again. It just lacked in too many areas for me to be bothered with it ever. I am not totally shocked that it was number one this past weekend. I will be shocked if it still has a high take next weekend. It’s sort of worth seeing. It’s one of the better romantic films released this month. This, of course, is not really saying much.

What have I learned from Dear John is that writing tons of letters doesn’t necessarily make someone yours. I learned that I’m good with diagnosing people. I learned that it didn’t bother me that the title of this film is Dear John and how incredibly clichéd that is.
Dear John is not perfect. It is far from it. It is also not that engaging. What it is is an interesting story that sort of makes me want to read the book. Though I am apprehensive because the story seems to be created to be sad and I don’t know if I’m willing to read a sad book at this time. If you are a girl you’ll like it most likely. If you are a guy…well you better run and hide or beg her to take her friends. Do not get dragged to see this. You’ll cry and it won’t be because of the story. It’ll be because you could be doing so many other things like watching From Paris with Love.

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