Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dear John

"Love brought them together. Fate will tear them apart."-the tagline which launched Dear John, another shamelessly romantic adaption of a cliched Nicholas Sparks novel. This and The Last Song confirm 2010 to be just another year where all the romance movies are pretty much the same: shallow, below-average and curiously chesmistry free.
One summer, a soldier on leave, John (Channing Tatum) meets a sweet girl on holiday from college, Savannah (Amanda Seyfried). In the two weeks they are together, they fall madly in love, but John soon has to leave Savannah to return to Iraq. To keep in touch, they write letters to tell each other what they have been doing so they don't feel so apart. But being apart for so long definitely strains their relationship.
There were two major faults with this movie which let it down immensely: Firstly, I simply couldn't believe in this relationship that John and Savannah had. Whether it was because Amanda Seyfried just didn't look right with Channing Tatum, and Tatum himself isn't cut out for a romance movie; or maybe this movie doesn't give their relationship a lot to chew on. To be honest, I was more interested in John's relationship with his father, who was wonderfully played by Richard Jenkins. Secondly, throughout the whole movie, nothing substantial happens. There is basically nothing to it. I felt like it hadn't started even though I had been watching it for an hour. All I knew was that John and Savannah were together, then they grew apart, and they found each other after a while.
Despite these two flaws, I still enjoyed it a bit, especially Richard Jenkins performance and the sweetness of Amanda Seyfried. I guess guys will get something out of this too, since there are some war scenes. I mean, this isn't The Hurt Locker, but they are perfectly adequate for a romance film. If anything, I came out of the film less than satisfied, but I definitely liked it a lot more than The Last Song. It's just a shame that director Lasse Hallstrom has reduced himself to directing stuff like this, unlike his best work What's Eating Gilbert Grape.

Cliched and plotless, Dear John just doesn't quite get started and the end leaves you less than satisfied.

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