Audiences Will Fall For John

Dear John is the latest romantic novel-turned-film courtesy of famed author Nicholas Sparks. Directed by Lasse Hallström, the movie tells the story of John Tyree (played by Channing Tatum) and Savannah Curtis (played by Amanda Seyfried) as they struggle with separation over the span of seven years as Tyree re-enlists in the army while Curtis attends college.

The film captures the essence of every Sparks’ novel – sappy, romantic and heartbreaking. However, it is no predictable love story. Tatum and Seyfried play a convincing couple in love, who become smitten with each other in merely two weeks.

Tyree is a Special Forces Army sergeant who meets Curtis while on leave from the army.

They try to maintain contact through written correspondence, taking on each challenge as it comes. Tatum’s character reminisces about his childhood frequently throughout the film, resulting in many flashback scenes that show the struggles he faced as a young boy, especially dealing with a father who is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.

Dear John is a near-perfect replication of the novel, much like its Sparks’ predecessors The Notebook and Message in a Bottle. The movie wonderfully depicts the three-part story of Tyree’s childhood struggles through vivid flashbacks, the couple’s fateful meeting during a housing project in North Carolina for Habitat for Humanity and the progression of their relationship. They become quick friends after Tyree retrieves Curtis’ purse from the ocean. The audience goes on the journey of love with them as they learn to cope with the distance that life’s circumstances impose on both of them. The series of letters play a symbolic role in the film as they serve as a testament to their feelings for one another. The first letter is written by Curtis starting with “Dear John” and sealing her promise to love him in spite of the obstacles. In return, Tyree vows to marry her once he completes his deployment.

As time and distance take a toll on their flourishing relationship, Tyree re-enlists after the September 11 attacks occur. Years of separation put their love to the test.

The best aspect of any romantic film is portraying a love story that many can sympathize with. During a time where many servicemembers are forced to go to war and away from their loved ones, Dear John offers a bittersweet source of solace in overcoming inevitable odds to make a relationship work.

Audiences will be moved to tears and feel the passion that pervades every Sparks novel. It is the ideal date movie that guys can take their dates to see on Valentine’s Day.