Dear John (2010 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lasse Hallström|
|Produced by||Marty Bowen
|Written by||Jamie Linden|
|Based on||Dear John
by Nicholas Sparks
|Music by||Deborah Lurie|
|Edited by||Kristina Boden|
|Distributed by||Screen Gems|
Dear John is a 2010 American romantic drama-war film starring Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum. It was made by Screen Gems and was released theatrically in North America on February 5, 2010. The film was directed by Lasse Hallström, and it is an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' 2006 novel of the same name. It follows the life of a soldier (Channing Tatum) after he falls in love with a young woman (Amanda Seyfried). They decide to exchange letters to each other after he is deployed to the war. The movie was filmed in 2009 in Charleston, South Carolina.
Despite receiving negative reviews, the film made a strong box office performance, knocking off Avatar after seven weekends in first place and grossing a total of $114,977,104 worldwide. The film was released on May 25, 2010 on DVD and Blu-ray.
In 2003, John Tyree (Channing Tatum), a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army Special Forces is lying on the ground in combat gear with multiple gunshot wounds to his body. Coins begin to fall over him as, in a voiceover; he recalls a childhood trip to the U.S. Mint. He compares himself to a coin in the United States Military, and states that the last thing he thought about before he blacked out was "you".
In 2001, in Charleston, South Carolina, John is on vacation. He meets Savannah (Amanda Seyfried), a college student on spring break, when he rescues her purse from the water. Over the course of two weeks, Savannah and John fall in love. John meets Savannah's family, her neighbor, Tim Wheddon (Henry Thomas), and Tim's son, Alan (Luke Benward) who has autism.
Savannah meets John's father (Richard Jenkins), a reclusive man who seems to be obsessed with his coin collection (specifically mules), but his genuine interest draws her, to John's surprise. Savannah mentions to John that his father, like Alan, may have high-functioning autism. This upsets John, who storms off, and then gets into a fight with Savannah's friend Randy (Scott Porter) and, in the process, accidentally punches Tim. John apologizes to Tim, leaves Savannah a note, and then they spend one last day together, parting with, "I'll see you soon then" rather than goodbye.
John and Savannah continue their relationship through letters, expecting to build a life together when he leaves the army. But the recent September 11 attacks make him reconsider the army, and he ultimately chooses to re-enlist. Over the next two years, the romance goes on, through their letters. After a time, John finds himself anxiously awaiting the next letter, but when it arrives it is a Dear John letter, informing him that she has become engaged to someone else, John burns all of Savannah's letters.
Despite being wounded and encouraged to return home, John re-enlists. After four more years and many missions, while waiting to receive orders on his unit's next deployment, John is informed that his father had a stroke. When John arrives at the hospital he learns that his father is still alive but in grave condition. John writes a letter to his father, which he reads to him at the hospital; John's voiceover at the beginning of the film was from this letter, in which he told his father that the first thing to cross his mind after he was shot was coins, and the last thing to cross his mind before he lost consciousness was his dad, ultimately the most precious person in his life. Soon afterwards, his father dies.
John goes to visit Savannah and is shocked to find that she has married Tim and is living with him. He learns that she had to abandon her dream of a riding camp for kids with autism because of Tim's fight against lymphoma, and John goes with her to visit him in the hospital. Tim tells John that Savannah still loves John and she has never forgotten him. That night, Savannah asks John to stay for dinner. At the table, John asks Savannah why she did not even call him and she says it was because just hearing his voice would make her change her mind. As John goes towards the door, Savannah says "I'll see you soon then". She asks him to reply the same (like they always do) but there is silence. John could not say it back because it wouldn't have the same meaning as before. John stands at the door struggling inside to decide. Savannah asks for him to say it back once again. He replies "Goodbye, Savannah" and leaves, which leaves Savannah crushed and heartbroken. John drives away knowing the decision to let her go had killed him inside. John makes a decision to sell all of his father's coin collection except the mule that John found, to raise money, which could help Tim in his treatment. Back in the army, it shows John using the mule as a charm. It then shows John receiving a letter from Savannah telling him that Tim died after two months and ending with "I'll see you soon, then." The film then skips forward to show John as a civilian, having left the army, carrying his bike. He sees Savannah in a coffee shop, and they make eye contact. The last scene ends with both of them warmly hugging one another outside the coffee shop.
- Channing Tatum as John Tyree
- Amanda Seyfried as Savannah Lynn Curtis
- Scott Porter as Randy
- Richard Jenkins as Mr. Tyree
- Henry Thomas as Tim Wheddon
- Luke Benward as Alan
- Braeden Reed as Young Alan
- D.J. Cotrona as Noodles
- Cullen Moss as Rooster
- Gavin McCulley as Starks
- Joshua Radin and Schuyler Fisk – "Paperweight"
- The Swell Season – "The Moon"
- 311 – "Amber"
- The Donkeys – "Excelsior Lady"
- Wailing Souls – "Things & Time"
- Amanda Seyfried and Marshall Altman – "Little House"
- Fink – "This Is the Thing"
- Rosi Golan - "Think of Me"
- Rachael Yamagata and Dan Wilson – "You Take My Troubles Away"
- Deborah Lurie – Dear John Theme
- Snow Patrol ft. Martha Wainwright – "Set the Fire to the Third Bar" (Bonus Track)
- Other songs from the movie not on the CD soundtrack
- Ryan Adams – "Answering Bell"
- Amanda Seyfried – "Little House" (Acoustic)
- Ozomatli – "Saturday Night"
- Brian Tichy – "Dead in Your Tracks"
- Gaye Tolan Hatfield and Jeffrey S. Meegan – "Let Her Gift Be Me"
- Brad Hatfield – "Ballroom Ballad"
The score to Dear John was composed by Deborah Lurie, who recorded her score with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Warner Brothers Eastwood Scoring Stage. A soundtrack album containing songs was released on February 2, 2010 from Relativity Media Group, and a score album was released digitally the same day.
Dear John debuted as the No. 1 movie with $30,468,614 in its opening weekend, knocking off Avatar after seven weekends in first place. The film was the second highest debut for a film opening Super Bowl weekend, just shy of Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert in 2008. It is reportedly the best debut for a film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. By 2011 it had generated $114,977,104 at the box office.
The film received generally mixed to negative reviews from critics, with some praising the casting, but many dismissing its characters and writing as generic.
Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score from film critics' reviews, reports a rating of 43% based on 34 reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a "rotten" 29% with an average score of 4.4/10.
Awards and nominations
||This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (January 2011)|
|2011||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Drama Movie||Dear John||Nominated|
|2010||MTV Movie Awards||Best Male Performance||Channing Tatum||Nominated|
|2010||MTV Movie Awards||Best Female Performance||Amanda Seyfried||Nominated|
|2011||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie -Drama||Dear John||Nominated|
The film was released on May 25, 2010 on DVD and Blu-ray. It includes an alternate ending in its special features that is more in keeping with the ending of the novel, leaving the viewer to decide which is a more appropriate ending to the film.
- "Dear John (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
- Goldwasser, Dan (2010-01-25). "Deborah Lurie scores Dear John". ScoringSessions.com. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- "SUPER BOWL OPENINGS". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- Brandon Gray (2010-02-08). "Weekend Report: ‘Dear John’ Delivers, ‘Avatar’ Flies High Again". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- "Dear John (2010): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
- Official website
- Dear John at the Internet Movie Database
- Dear John at AllMovie
- Dear John at Rotten Tomatoes
- Dear John at Metacritic
- Dear John at Box Office Mojo