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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Sparks’ Dear John pushes viewers to grab the hankie

Channing+Tatum+and+Amanda+Seyfried+team+up+in+Dear+John+to+tell+a+tear-jerking+tale.+The+two+characters+meet+and+fall+in+love+while+John+is+on+leave+from+war%2C+just+to+be+separated+again.%0D%0APhoto+courtesy+Sony+Pictures+
Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried team up in Dear John to tell a tear-jerking tale. The two characters meet and fall in love while John is on leave from war, just to be separated again. Photo courtesy Sony Pictures

By Sandy hill/reporter

Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried team up in Dear John to tell a tear-jerking tale. The two characters meet and fall in love while John is on leave from war, just to be separated again.
Photo courtesy Sony Pictures

Dear John is Nicholas Sparks’ fifth book to hit the screens since his first, Message in a Bottle, was released in 1999.

Dear John is a typical young love story about two people who have a chance encounter and quickly fall in love. But true love does not always a happy ending make, according to Sparks’ novels.

The movie begins with a flashback scene of John Tyree (played by Channing Tatum) reflecting on a childhood memory after he has been shot in combat.

John, while on a two-week leave from his tour of duty, meets Savannah Curtis (played by Amanda Seyfried) after diving off a pier to recover her purse.

Savannah and John spend the day getting to know each other. From that point on, the two become inseparable.

Savannah, who has preppy friends and enjoys horseback riding, has strong morals and comes from a well-to-do family. John seems to have had a troubled past and struggles to relate to his emotionally distant dad.

Tim (played by Henry Thomas), a close friend of the Curtis family, has an autistic son who shares a special relationship with Savannah. She shares her dream with John of someday starting a horse riding camp for autistic children.

Savannah meets John’s father (played by Richard Jenkins), who is sullen and withdrawn, leaving her to think that he too may have a form of autism. Even though he doesn’t understand his father’s behavior which leaves their relationship strained and awkward, John gets angry at her presumption. In time, however, he begins to think she may be on to something.

Although John must return to his unit to serve his remaining 12 months and Savannah must return to school, their love is palpable, and the audience believes that nothing, not even time, can possibly keep them from being together.

They pledge to write to each other and tell each other everything during their time apart.

During this time, Sept. 11 occurs. John, though torn about going home to be with Savannah, reluctantly re-enlists.

Savannah must again deal with the strain of a long-distance relationship.

Over time, the letters begin to dwindle until one day the ill-fated letter arrives. “Dear John, …”

Although the title of the movie foreshadows what’s to come, we still hope it doesn’t end the way we know it will. As much as I liked the first half of the movie and didn’t want those good feelings to end, it wasn’t to be.

It was disappointing when the fateful letter arrives without any scenes leading up to the changes Savannah was going through back home.

In the end, they are both left suffering with thoughts of what could have been. Savannah has changed. But John forgives Savannah and proves his love for her once more through an unselfish act ultimately not even known by Savannah.

Dear John delivers on the romance side and will make a good date night movie. But don’t be surprised if you leave the theatre feeling a little shortchanged.

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