And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

Dear John

Dear John1 203x300 - Dear JohnDear John seemed to come out of nowhere Super Bowl weekend to rake in more than $30 million and overtake Avatar atop the Box Office charts. But those aliens of Pandora needn’t worry too much. Movie-goers will write off Dear John way before it gets anywhere near Avatar’s record-breaking totals. Not that it’s a bad movie. It just doesn’t resonate beyond the theater walls. And I didn’t cry once!

Dear John is the latest in a slew of Nicholas Sparks novels to be turned into a big screen romantic drama (The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, Nights in Rodanthe, Message in a Bottle) and they all share a similar vibe. So if you know you like his novels and their movie incarnations, you’ll like Dear John to some degree. It is a total chick flick.

Dear John tells the story of John Tyree (Channing Tatum), a cute young soldier home on leave from the Army and Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), a pretty, idealistic college student in town for spring break. They meet on a South Carolina beach, spend two glorious weeks together, and fall madly in love. But then (of course), he’s got to get back to Army stuff overseas, and she has to get back to school. They vow to write to each other constantly while apart. And John promises to hang up his Army boots when his tour is up in a year. But then 9/11 happens – and all bets are off. John re-enlists, and after a while (and many letters), Savannah moves on with her life – with another guy. It’s not quite as predictable as it sounds. There are a few interesting surprises, as anyone who’s read the book is probably well aware.

I’m actually tempted to read the book to fill in the (several) gaps in the movie’s character and story development – and to see if the endings match. But I won’t feel the need to see the movie again. It makes for a fine gal pal outing, matinee, or date movie. But keep your expectations low. Or just wait for the next Nicholas Sparks book-turned-movie due out in March – The Last Song with Miley Cyrus. “Hannah Montana” in a romantic drama! The Disney Channel generation will eat it up. And I’m still a sucker for romantic dramas, so I won’t be able to stop myself from checking it out. Question is, do I bother reading the book first?

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