I know that when I sit down to watch a Nicholas Sparks' film, I can count on a few things:
1. I'm probably going to be a weepy mess at some stage of the film.
2. At least one principal character that I have become emotionally attached to will contract a debilitating disease and die.
3. The romance will be cheesy and utterly delicious.
All in all, "Dear John" did not disappoint when it came to these things. However, as my friend who accompanied me to the theater pointed out, the preview for the film did not really resemble what the film was actually about. It only advertised the first 40 minutes, and then the rest was a total surprise. I mean, seriously, you don't really see it coming. I won't spoil it for you here though, because that's not my style.
The person to whom I became attached was Richard Jenkin's character. He played Mr. Tyree, or Stockard "Channin Tatum" O'Neal's on-screen dad. What made him so poignant for me was his very isolated way of life. It made my insides ache, and his scenes were when most of my tears were shed.
The two principles in the film (Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum) were well cast, and they did a decent job at convincing the audience that they fell in love after only two weeks. That's what I love about Nicholas Sparks' storytelling. He has characters fall madly in love after a brief time together, and then has them stay in love until it eventually kills one or both of them. Oy vey.
The part when the two principles are not together (you know, the part that no one saw coming), is a little unbelievable, and I lost a little respect for Mr. Sparks for taking it in that direction. There could have been other ways for him to separate the two lovers that would have been more convincing.
But hey! It was an alright movie. And for all the girls out there, Channing Tatum is often without his shirt, which is always a good time.
So on the CWeave scale of 1 to 10, I give "Dear John" a 6. It was entertaining, sad, and just a little too ridiculous to get a higher rating from me.