“Dear John” brings on the tears but not the acting chops

The latest tearjerker from author Nicolas Sparks is full of mushy romance, despite the unconvincing acting by the young lead stars. “Dear John” was adapted and directed by Oscar-nominated Swedish filmmaker Lasse Hallström, whose previous works include “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” “The Cider House Rules” and “Chocolat.” Although minor differences emerge from the novel to the big screen, the same love story develops and will capture audiences’ hearts.

The movie revolves around John Tyree (Channing Tatum) a Special Forces officer on leave from the U.S. Army and Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), a North Carolina University student spending her spring break doing charity work. John rescues Savannah’s purse which fell off a pier and she reciprocates the favor by inviting him over for a burger. After that, they spend the next two weeks together building houses for Habitat for Humanity and touring the town’s native eateries. Their relationship quickly develops and flourishes.

When Savannah leaves for college, they make a promise to think of each other during every full moon and to write letters detailing everything they experience. The audience practically feels the anticipation as the months slowly dwindle down to the happy reunion, but the terrorist events of 9/11 detour John and Savannah’s life together.

The acting in this movie is not exactly up to par. Tatum has a hard time expressing his emotions and leaves the audience wondering if he was the right choice for the role. Seyfriend does her job well, but next to Tatum they both seem like two novice actors. Their lack of chemistry is excruciatingly evident and one wishes for more on-screen romance. The film has various scenes that are shot with a soft lense and it works well to serve its purpose, however, not even soft lighting could bring this movie to life.

However, “Dear John” managed to dethrone Oscar favorite “Avatar” as king of the box office when it took in an impressive $30 million in its opening weekend.

Come prepared with a few tissues for the unexpected tearjerker moments. Although it may be a better read, this movie is not only perfect to see with your current beau this Valentine’s Day, but also something fun to see with friends or family.

Jacalyn Estrada can be reached at jacalyn.estrada@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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