Review: Dear John

JENNIFER KERRISON: ‘A predictably charming film – go armed with the tissues and waterproof mascara and I’m sure you’ll love it.’

Amanda Seyfield Channing Tatum Dear John

Directed by Lasse Hallstrom. 

Having seen the adverts for ‘Dear John’ about hundred times during the Loose Women and daytime TV advert breaks over the Easter holidays, I didn’t expect much from this film. However, lured by the prospect of seeing a more than life-sized, not only topless, but uniformed Channing Tatum on screen, I was surprised to find myself falling for this love story.  For 90 minutes I sobbed into my zebra-print tissues.

So, to set the scene, it’s a heart-breaking chick flick about a boy (Channing Tatum) and a girl (Amanda Seyfield) who fall in love at first sight, but are separated after just two weeks together when he has to return to his army duties. I know what you’re thinking, “Please, give me strength”. But as you look past this film’s cheesy, almost sickening exterior, you actually find an inspiring message not only surrounding the complexity of their relationship, but those that they hold with their families.

Of course the film was packed with your typically unbelievable moments, epitomized when Seyfield simply runs through American airport security to embrace Tatum just a week after 9/11 had happened. However, as much as I was sniggering away in my head about it, the story did put some perspective on life. We all know that thousands of people have to say goodbye to their loved ones going off to war, without knowing whether they will ever see them again, but this hideously loved-up couple pining after each other for years on end really brought the reality of it home.  I felt pathetic for the fuss I make when I say goodbye to my boyfriend to come back to uni.

Although their love was believable, I fear that if the topless scenes of Tatum hadn’t been included, I probably would have lost my patience with him. I mean he made the most of the two expressions he’s got (we can’t all help what we’re born with) but I found myself just wanting to slap him in the hope that he would do something new.  But, his heart-warming relationship with his Dad could choke even the toughest of rugby players.

I would recommend ‘Dear John’ to anyone who wants an easy, heart-warming watch, but with the pre-warning that it’s probably not something you will want to write home about, or take a boy to see. It’s a predictably charming film – go armed with the tissues and waterproof mascara and I’m sure you’ll love it.