Movie Review for Dear John

I watched Dear John yesterday! I decided to watch it because it’s a Nicholas Sparks show and among the rest of my untouched Nicholas Sparks shows, Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried were the ones who drew me to watch Dear John first.

Dear John tells the story of a soldier, John Tyree (Channing Tatum) who meets a college student, Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) while on vacation and she on spring break. He retrieves her purse from the waters and they meet for the first time. In the course of 2 weeks, they fall in love. Expected, since it’s a Nicholas Sparks movie ūüôā Here’s Savannah’s thoughts before she left to go back to school:

‘Dear John,

Two weeks together. That’s all it took.

Two weeks for me to fall in love with you.

Now we’ve one year apart.

But what’s one year apart after two weeks like that together?

You made me a promise, a promise I know you’ll keep.

So I only want one more promise from you during this time we spend apart.

Tell me everything.

Write it all down, John.

Scribble it in a notebook.

Type it out, email it to me.

That way before we know it,

I’ll see you soon then’

John leaves for the army and Savannah returns to college. But during their time apart, they exchange letters back and forth and keep each other’s letters. John plans to leave the army and return to Savannah so they can start a life together but the September 11 attacks occur and after reconsidering, John chooses to re-enlist and return to the army. Here’s the conversation of John and Savannah before he leaves at the airport:

John: ‘So we um, I mean we’re okay though. Right? Nothing has changed.’

Savannah: ‘Careful not to step on any fires, okay?’

John: *smiles* ‘Okay. I won’t. So I’ll see you soon then.’

Savannah: ‘I’ll see you soon then.’

So they seem¬†okay so far. But this time, over the course of their exchange of letters, John receives a Dear John letter, a letter written to a husband or boyfriend by his wife or girlfriend to inform him that their relationship is over, usually because the author has found another lover. The letter from Savannah informs him that she’s engaged to another man and heartbrokened, John burns all of Savannah’s letters. John re-enlists again and stays in the army for 4 more years. Eventually, he returns home because his father had suffered a stroke. His father passes on and John goes to visit Savannah. He is shocked to find out that she married Tim, her neighbour who has an autistic son, Alan.

He finds out that Tim has lymphoma and he visits him in hospital. Tim tells John that he loves Savannah but that he knows that she still loves John.

‘She still loves you, you know. It’s plain as day, you can see it all over her face. I wish that weren’t the case but she’s never looked at me the way she still looks at you. You should know that.’

Savannah invites John to dinner that night and John asks her why didn’t she call him to give him an explanation on her engagement to Tim. Savannah says she couldn’t but after John’s question turns¬†demanding, she¬†eventually breaks down, saying the following words:

‘Because just hearing your voice, I would have changed my mind.’

It’s so touching, the words and the emotions John and Savannah show on their faces because we can see her pain on her face at the decision that she had to make and John’s shock at the answer to his question.

Both of them go through the letters that John had sent her and she shows us the very first note that John had written to her – on Tim’s water bill – ‘I LOVE YOU – John’

John goes back to the army and there, he receives a letter from Savannah.

‘Dear John,

It’s been almost 5 years since I wrote a letter with an actual pen and on an actual sheet of paper.

But I thought maybe I could write you now and tell you all that’s happened since I saw you last.

A few weeks after you showed up here, Tim received an anonymous donation.

A donation that was enough to give him what the insurance companies wouldn’t – Time.

Time to finally come home. Time to spend with his son. Time to say goodbye.

The problem with time, I’ve learned, whether it’s those first 2 weeks I got to spend with you, or those final 2 months I got to spend with him.

Eventually time always runs out.

I’ve no idea where you are out there in the world, John.

But I understand that I’ve lost the right to¬†know these things long ago.

No matter how many years go by,

I know one thing to be as true as it ever was.

I’ll see you soon then.’

The film ends with John as a civilian who sees Savannah in a cafe. They smile and then embrace each other.

So. What a long story. This movie is touching and quite sad at the same time. It revolves around patience and the struggle of long-distance relationships. This movie is obviously for Nicholas Sparks movie fans like me or people who just don’t mind watching a movie revolve around 2 people. I understand why John kept re-enlisting even though he should have just gone home to see Savannah and clear things out earlier. He was hurt and anyway, what could he even say to her if he saw her? She was already married. Savannah had it hard too. She felt that she had to look after her sick neighbour and she felt for his autistic son too. The only way she could help both of them fully in those days was to just marry him I suppose. It must have been a hard and painful decision for her to make since she knew that she had never stopped loving John.

So I would say that it’s a pretty good story in all, since this is my kind of show. Though maybe a bit slow for some of you. The song being played throughout the entire movie is really nice, listen to it if you bother to:

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