Dear John (2010 film)

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Dear John
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLasse Hallström
Screenplay byJamie Linden
Based onDear John
by Nicholas Sparks
Produced by
CinematographyTerry Stacey
Edited byKristina Boden
Music byDeborah Lurie
Distributed by
Release date
  • February 5, 2010 (2010-02-05) (United States)
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million[2]
Box office$115 million[2]

Dear John is a 2010 American romantic war drama film directed by Lasse Hallström, based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. 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 film was released in North America on February 5, 2010, by Screen Gems, and received mixed to negative reviews.


In 2003, while serving in the United States Army Special Forces, Staff Sergeant John Tyree is shot in Afghanistan. In a voice-over, 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."

Two years earlier in Spring 2001, John is on leave in Charleston, South Carolina. He meets Savannah Curtis, a college student building homes with a group of students for Habitat for Humanity while on spring break. Savannah invites John to a bonfire party where he meets her neighbor, Tim, and his autistic son, Alan. Over the next two weeks, they go on several dates and eventually fall in love. Savannah also meets John's father who is obsessed with his growing coin collection.

Savannah mentions to John that his father may be autistic like Tim's son, Alan. An upset John storms off and becomes involved in a fight, and he accidentally strikes Tim, breaking his nose. Savannah sees the commotion and stops speaking to John. John later apologizes to Tim, who offers to give Savannah a message. She later visits John to spend one last day together. Before John leaves, they make a promise to continue their relationship via letters, and vow to tell each other everything.

John and Savannah make plans to start a life together after John gets discharged from the Army. However, when the September 11 attacks occur, John along with his team request to extend their deployments. As a result, their time apart from each other ultimately turns into years. Back in Charleston, Savannah begins to spend more time with Tim, and decides that she wants to work with autistic children; she plans to build a farm and horse stables where they can enjoy the outdoors and animals.

Over the next two years, John and Savannah's romance continues through their letters. Eventually one turns out to be a literal "Dear John" letter, in which Savannah breaks up with John; she explains that while she still loves him, she has developed feelings for someone else and is engaged.

In 2003 after being shot in Afghanistan, John is encouraged to return home but he re-enlists for a second time. Four more years pass, and John is informed that his father has had a stroke, and is sent home to be with him. In the hospital, John reads a letter that he wrote to him; John's voice-over at the beginning of the film was from this letter, in which he tells him that the first thing to cross his mind after he was shot was coins, and the last thing before he lost consciousness was his dad. Soon afterward, his father dies.

After the funeral, John visits Savannah and learns that the man she married was Tim, abandoning her dream of a riding camp for autistic kids because of Tim's fight against lymphoma. Savannah takes John to the hospital to see him; Tim tells John that Savannah still loves John. Back at the house, John and Savannah enjoy a quiet evening together, and are tempted to pick up where they left off years earlier, but do not go through with their feelings. John says goodbye to Savannah and leaves, distraught.

John sells his father's coin collection (except the valuable mule coin that he found with his father years ago) to raise money to help with Tim's cancer treatment, then he returns to the military, carrying the mule coin with him as a good luck charm. He receives a final letter from Savannah telling him that they received an anonymous donation but Tim died from his illness after only two months of treatment.

Months later, John, now a civilian, eventually returns home; while in town one day while parking his bike, he sees Savannah at a coffee shop. They reunite and embrace.



Dear John OST
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedFebruary 2, 2010 (2010-02-02)
LabelRelativity Music Group
1."Paperweight"Joshua Radin & Schuyler Fisk3:22
2."The Moon"The Swell Season4:40
4."Exelsior Lady"The Donkeys3:34
5."Things & Time"The Wailing Souls3:22
6."Little House"Amanda Seyfried3:17
7."The is the Thing"Fink4:25
8."Think of Me"Rosi Golan3:09
9."You Take My Troubles Away"Rachael Yamagata & Dan Wilson3:39
10."Dear John Theme"Deborah Lurie1:53
Total length:33:30


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 right after finishing her score for 9.[3] 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]


The film was released on February 5, 2010, in the United States.


Box office[edit]

Dear John has grossed $80,014,842 in North America and $34,962,262 in other territories for a worldwide total of $114,977,104.[2]

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $30,468,614, finishing first at the box office, knocking off Avatar after seven weekends in first place and making it the best debut for a film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel.[2][4]

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.[2][5]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received negative reviews from critics, with some praising the casting, but many dismissing its characters and writing as generic.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 28% approval rating based on 137 reviews, with an average score of 4.50/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Built from many of the same ingredients as other Nicholas Sparks tearjerkers, Dear John suffers from its clichéd framework, as well as Lasse Hallstrom's curiously detached directing."[6] Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 from film critics' reviews, reports a rating of 43 based on 34 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[7]


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]

Dear John was released on DVD and Blu-ray on May 25, 2010.


  1. ^ Hazelton, John (4 February 2010). "Dear John". Screen International. Archived from the original on 3 July 2022. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Dear John (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 2010-05-20. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
  3. ^ Goldwasser, Dan (2010-01-25). "Deborah Lurie scores Dear John". Archived from the original on 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
  4. ^ Brandon Gray (2010-02-08). "Weekend Report: 'Dear John' Delivers, 'Avatar' Flies High Again". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 2010-02-14. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
  5. ^ "SUPER BOWL OPENINGS". Archived from the original on 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
  6. ^ "Dear John (2010)". Archived from the original on November 26, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2021 – via
  7. ^ "Dear John (2010): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Archived from the original on February 5, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2010.

External links[edit]