Sunday, February 27, 2011

Movie Review - Dear John

by Alex Popp

What would you do with a letter that changed everything?

Well, whatever you'd do, I would send it to change everything in the minds of those who disliked the movie "Dear John," based on the book by Nicholas Sparks, the author of "The Last Song" and "The Notebook." This was also the film that knocked "Avatar" off the number one spot in the Box Office after it stayed there for seven consecutive weeks.

Channing Tatum from "Step Up" plays a soldier in the U.S. Military who gets sent home for a while before he performs his last year fighting in the war. At home in South Carolina, he meets a college student, played by Amanda Seyfried, and in just two weeks they fall in love. The girl lives next door to a young boy named Alan, who is based on Nicholas Sparks' autistic son. The soldier's father also has Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism. When the girl visits his house, his father is excited when she gets interested in what he likes doing the most: studying coins. After two weeks, though, the soldier has to go back to Germany to fight for one more year before he can go home permanantly. But on September 11, 2001, terrorists attack on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon, forcing him to stay in the war even longer. In the meantime, he and the girl are desperatly trying to keep each other in touch by letters.

For a film without much potential, my mom and I were impressed. "Dear John" is one of the best films I've seen in a while. It's even better than "The Last Song" and is deserving of more praise than it has received. Through three quarters of the movie, my mom and I cried like babies. I might even say this was the best love story since "Titanic." The real thing that struck me the most was the way they protrayed the soldier's father who had Asperger's Syndrome, as I do myself. And I think this movie gives people who have others in their family who are afflicted with Asperger's an idea of how to deal with them. If you do, by any chance, then this is the movie for you. Or if you're looking for a movie with a great love story, then I also recommend this one.

Rated PG-13 for sensuality and some war violence.

Four stars (out of four) for the appealing and poignant tear-jerker, "Dear John," definitely one of 2010's best.

Review by Alex Popp for The Animation Empire blog.

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