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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Movie Review: Dear John

Movie Review: Dear John

Photos by Sony Pictures
    Nicholas Sparks' story, Dear John, takes us through a story of love found, and lost. This story is also about redemption, love, and forgiveness.  Through the characters, John and Savannah, we realize that there is always something more than what's on the surface.

      I attempted to read this book at one point, and failed to finished it because the story seemed to drag. I have to also disclose that I was simultaneously reading Night at the Rodanthe, another Sparks story.  I was also unimpressed by the book so there might have been some association that lead me to give up on the book sooner than I should have at the point.

   I digress.  Dear John starts out with a flashback of Special Forces soldier, Sergeant John Tyree (Channing Tatum) talking about the US coin minting process.  He talks about the specialty of the demarkations.  As his voice-over continues, he says that the last thing he thought about before blocking out was "you".

     Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried) meets a younger John in 2001.  He was on leave from Germany. She was on spring break with a bunch of friends. After John rescues Savannah's bag after it got accidentally knocked into the water, their friendship begins.  For two years, the couple corresponded until September 11 happened, forcing John's hand in reenlisting much to his, and Savannah's chagrin.  Because of this added stress, Savannah was forced to write her final note, a Dear John.  John comes back months after to find out that Savannah married someone whom she genuinely loved, but maybe for the wrong reasons.

The Good

     Surprisingly, I found Amanda and Channing's chemistry very believable.  They are very relaxed with each other, making their relationship believable.

      Amanda also sang a song called Little House. Enchanting.

      Channing's relationship with his father, an undiagnosed autistic, was very painful to watch.

    The cinematography is very good.  The visuals are tight and inspiring.   The segment of the coins being minted was really interesting.  Scenic views of the North Carolina region was exceptional. The scene where John and Savannah end up kissing in the rain was very awwww- inspiring (pun intended).

     The soundtrack is also not bad.  The choice in music was very appropriate, if not, helped the tone of the movie.

The Bad

     Early in the movie, John takes Savannah out to dinner at a place that John doesn't really feel like patronizing.  He ends up talking to some people within the strip, and you're supposed to assume that there was a brawl that ended up hurting someone.  This should've been, I don't know, mentioned somehow rather than inferred?

      There were also choppy flashbacks of John when he used to be a brat.  I feel the scenes could've been segued better.

The Ugly

      The movie suffers from Sparks-itis.  The tear jerking moments are predictable, but if it's what you wanted, then the movie served its purpose.  The predictability factor can be tiresome if you've watched any of the other Sparks movies made.

        Also, the movie, ends differently from the book.  If you wanted the book ending, you can only view it on the DVD version.  Any online versions (Blockbuster or Netflix) does not give you this option.

Stale Popcorn Rating: If you're looking for a cry movie, this movie is your baby.  Rent it, and make sure you have a box of Kleenex next to you.  If you're a serial love story hoarder, you might want to buy this from the bargain bin.  However, if you are the "movie-should-match-the book" kind of person, fear not.  The movie is still rentable, but not worth to rushing out for to get it at the Red Box.  Yes, you have to rent the DVD out, but the ending voice-over is worth it.


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