I have a sneaking suspicion that Dear John will finally topple Avatars reign as the number one movie of the weekend. I went and saw Dear John on an early Friday afternoon and the theater was ¾ filled. Of course, teenage girls skipping school or groups of mothers who no longer have a Twilight film to swoon over filled the majority of those seats. I guess in the absence of the Twilight hunks, Channing Tatum is the next best thing to look at, and unfortunately, that’s his only job the entire movie.
The group of girls sitting behind me filled my ears with tales of who was kissing who, who was backstabbing who and a humorous number about some people they knew who went swimming in a local pond drunk. I was so engrossed eavesdropping in on their conversation while the previews were rolling, I almost didn’t realize the movie had begun. This is in fact a very low-key romance (no comedy whatsoever) that pales in comparison to the likes of the Notebook, which was also by the same author. In this version of his same story told over and over, we have John played by Channing Tatum who looks great and has all the personality of a pillar of granite, falling in love with Savannah played by Amanda Seyfried who has a goldfish face but can actually act enough to make their relationship seem important (if a relationship between a rock and a goldfish could be important).
What threw me for a loop was the turn of Richard Jenkins as Channing’s father. He may not have any lines and the acting may be subversive, but it was their relationship I ended up caring for more than anything else in the movie. Now, I haven’t paid much attention to Richard Jenkins much in the past, but after his turn here and also in The Visitor (you have to see that) I can honestly say he is a great actor. I also enjoyed the pacing, slow and deliberate, nothing too experimental or boring, but carefully shot and timed conversations that are backed by the right popular music doesn’t present anything new, but makes falling in love seem, well… romantic.
Of course, there has to be a major flaw with the movie that takes it down a few notches and almost destroys the warm fuzzy feelings I was beginning to have for the movie. The ending. Oh how I loathe a predictable and saccharine ending, but at the same time, I feel that if an audience has sat through the pains and heartaches of a relationship throughout the duration of the film, they should be awarded with some sort of payoff. Not so in this film. I guess they were trying to throw us off or something, but talk about a head-scratcher. Granted, the relationship between father and son is way better than the one between granite and goldfish, but as the annoying TMI girls behind me put it… “That was the worst ending ever!” All I could do was chuckle out loud.
See it now!!!!
See it in theaters!!!
Rent it on DVD/BluRay!!
Wait for it on TV!