Former troublemaker--now a sergeant in U.S. Special Forces--John Tyree (Channing Tatum), is on two weeks leave from the army in the North Carolina coast. Quite by chance, John meets college student and do-gooder Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), and after a few dates they fall heavily in love. But when the two weeks are up John must go back to his mission and by then the summer is over, so Savannah must return to college.
Over the following year John and Savannah exchange letters while he is on humanitarian missions all over the world, but right when his tour is about to end 9/11 happens and changes the course of their lives for John re-enlists, while Savannah gets to worry about him.
During his tour in Iraq, John receives a letter from Savannah breaking up their relationship because she’s gotten engaged to someone else and John decides to make a career in the army even after he gets shot in the battlefront.
When I watched The Vow, starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, I didn’t think Channing Tatum was convincing as a lover boy; I thought he rather belonged in action movies. The problem must have been The Vow because his chemistry with Amanda Seyfried in Dear John is fantastic.
In Dear John, Tatum is macho yet vulnerable, while she showcases that easy going, spirited performance that has become her trademark. Amanda Seyfried makes it easy to work with her, and brings out the best in her leading men. This duo, together with the raw emotions of the topics put forth by the original source, which is the homonymous novel by Nicholas Sparks, make this movie a winner.
I wouldn’t mind watching another Sparks’ novel starring Tatum and Seyfried. They look like they should have been a couple in real life.
Another winning performance is that of Richard Jenkins as John’s mildly autistic (perhaps way obsessive) father.