3. Dear John
Why was I indifferent to Channing Tatum for so long? The premise is simple: local soldier (Tatum) meets local rich girl (Amanda Seyfried) while she’s home on Spring Break; they fall in love two weeks before he has to ship out and promise to write each other until they’re reunited a year later. Through mail delivery montages and sappy voiceovers things intensify, and then 9/11 happens and it all everything falls apart. Does John have a duty to his country or his girlfriend? A woman who hasn’t exactly being hurting in her family’s lavish homes or picturesque college campus. Watching the first half of the movie made me realize how easily Tatum pulls off effortless cool and how unfortunate some of the casting for Friday Night Lights‘ Scott Porter has been. Why can’t Jason Street get a good role, world? You’d think the preppy co-ed vying for Savannah’s attention was going to give John problems, but instead it’s the awkward male divorcee who lives next door and has been creeping on his barely legal babysitter for years. In retrospect the big marriage twist is fairly obvious, considering the film spent so much time establishing a non-blood relative of Savannah’s and his interest in her love life. I thought he was going to be a murderer, or potentially come on to Savannah and give John another excuse to flex his muscles and/or remove his shirt (hopefully the latter!). Instead we get an extended mail montage followed by Seyfried’s guilty voice apologizing for “not telling [him] sooner.” Cut to six years later when John has lost his father and purpose in life only to find out that the girl he loved married her older neighbor because he was diagnosed with cancer and needed someone to care for his Autistic son. But that plus mounting medical bills won’t stop this doe-eyed from insinuating she’d be down to cheat on her dying husband, if John is. Amanda Seyfried you are a manipulative hussy and are not worthy of John’s love! And you probably shouldn’t have been cast as Cosette in Les Miserables either, but I’ll save that rant for another holiday. Frustrating plot developments aside, Tatum and Seyfried’s are far from cheesy, even if they’re basically recreating the rainy kiss scene in The Notebook. And as far as Sparks men go, Tatum is right up there alongside Ryan Gosling.