Dear John (2010 film)

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Dear John
Dear John film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Lasse Hallström
Produced by Marty Bowen
Wyck Godfrey
Ryan Kavanaugh
Screenplay by Jamie Linden
Based on Dear John 
by Nicholas Sparks
Starring Channing Tatum
Amanda Seyfried
Henry Thomas
Richard Jenkins
Music by Deborah Lurie
Cinematography Terry Stacey
Edited by Kristina Boden
Distributed by Screen Gems
Release dates
  • February 5, 2010 (2010-02-05)
Running time
107 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million[1]
Box office $114,977,104[1]

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.


While serving in the United States Army Special Forces in 2007, John Tyree (Channing Tatum), a Staff Sergeant, is lying on the ground after being shot multiple times in the neck and body, with his comrades gathered around him. In a voiceover, he recalls a childhood trip to the U.S. Mint and compares himself to a coin in the United States Military before stating that the last thing he thought of before he blacked out was "you".

In 2001, John is on vacation in Charleston, South Carolina while on leave. He meets Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), a college student on spring break, when he fetches her purse from the ocean after it gets knocked over the pier. She invites him to a bonfire party that same night where he meets her neighbor, Tim Wheddon (Henry Thomas), and his son, Alan (Luke Benward), who has autism. Over the course of two weeks, they go on several dates and fall in love. Savannah also meets John's father (Richard Jenkins), a reclusive man who is obsessed with his coin collection, a fixation that intrigues her but irritates John and causes distance between them.

One afternoon while taking a walk on the beach, Savannah mentions to John that his father, like Alan, may have high-functioning autism. This instantly upsets John who refuses to admit that his father has autism, and storms off. In the parking lot, Savannah's friend Randy (Scott Porter), who also has a crush on her, makes a comment that provokes John to start a fight and, in the process, he accidentally punches Tim. Savannah sees the commotion and stops speaking to him. The following day, John visits Tim to apologise and he offers to give Savannah a message, which he scrawls down on the back of Tim's water bill. Knowing he has to go back soon, she drives to his house and they spend one last day together, parting with, "I'll see you soon then" rather than a goodbye.

John and Savannah continue their relationship through letters. Meanwhile, back home, Savannah spends more and more time with Tim and decides she wants to work with children with autism, and plans to build a farm and stables for horses where they can enjoy the outdoors and animals of the same nature. Over the twelve months they're apart, they expect to build a life together when John leaves the army, but in 2001 when the September 11 attacks occur, he reconsiders and ultimately chooses to re-enlist, causing an argument between them. 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. Upset, 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 learns that she has married Tim and had to abandon her dream of a riding camp for kids with autism because of Tim's fight against lymphoma. John goes with her to visit Tim 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 but he replies "Goodbye, Savannah" and leaves.

John decides 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, John uses the mule as a charm. He receives a letter from Savannah telling him that Tim died after two months and ending with "I'll see you soon, then." Later, John—now a civilian again—coincidentally sees Savannah at a coffee shop and they hug.



  1. Joshua Radin and Schuyler Fisk – "Paperweight"
  2. The Swell Season – "The Moon"
  3. 311 – "Amber"
  4. The Donkeys – "Excelsior Lady"
  5. Wailing Souls – "Things & Time"
  6. Amanda Seyfried and Marshall Altman – "Little House"
  7. Fink – "This Is the Thing"
  8. Rosi Golan - "Think of Me"
  9. Rachael Yamagata and Dan Wilson – "You Take My Troubles Away"
  10. Deborah LurieDear John Theme
  11. Snow Patrol ft. Martha Wainwright – "Set the Fire to the Third Bar" (Bonus Track)
Other songs from the movie not on the CD soundtrack


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.[2] 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.[citation needed]


Box office[edit]

Dear John debuted as the No. 1 movie with $30,468,614 in its opening weekend,[3] 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.[4] It is reportedly the best debut for a film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel.[4] By 2011 it had generated $114,977,104 at the box office.

Critical response[edit]

The film received 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.[5]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2010 MTV Movie Awards Best Male Performance Channing Tatum Nominated
Best Female Performance Amanda Seyfried Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Drama Dear John Nominated
Choice Movie Actor: Drama Channing Tatum Nominated
Choice Movie Actress: Drama Amanda Seyfried Nominated
Choice Movie: Chemistry Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum Nominated
2011 People's Choice Awards Favorite Drama Movie Dear John Nominated
ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards Top Box Office Films Deborah Lurie Won
CinEuphoria Awards Top Ten of the Year – Audience Award Lasse Hallström Won
Top Ten of the Year – International Competition Won
Best Actor – International Competition Channing Tatum Won

Home media[edit]

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.


  1. ^ a b "Dear John (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-05-19. 
  2. ^ Goldwasser, Dan (2010-01-25). "Deborah Lurie scores Dear John". Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  3. ^ "SUPER BOWL OPENINGS". Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  4. ^ a b Brandon Gray (2010-02-08). "Weekend Report: ‘Dear John’ Delivers, ‘Avatar’ Flies High Again". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  5. ^ "Dear John (2010): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 

External links[edit]