Boy Meets Girl, Boy Kills Mood

    Keep on sipping that poison, Romeo and Juliet, sinking with the Titanic, Jack and Rose and heading toward that white light, Noah and Allie — there’s a new “greatest love story of all time.” But this time they’re writing letters. Nicholas Sparks, the golden boy of emo-tastic romance novels, has struck again. And after his box office-exploding successes with novel-turned-films “The Notebook” and “A Walk to Remember,” you better hold on to that Kleenex because this one’s going to trigger water works.

    Set in a cliche Southern town, boy meets girl. They converse, flirt, look up at the moon and fall in love within the span of “two perfect weeks.” All cynical eye-rolls aside, this tale of young love is not nearly as nauseatingly cheesy as the trailer — complete with steamy make-out sessions in the rain and acoustic love ballads — would suggest.

    Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) is spending spring break at her affluent parents’ beach house on the coast of South Carolina when she meets John (Channing Tatum), a bad boy turned reformed army soldier waiting to be deployed. The film wastes no time jumping right into their accelerated relationship, because as we know, after two weeks are up, they’ll be separated. Back to college, back to the war and back to reality.

    Commenting not only on the difficulties of long-distance relationships, “Dear John” is also critical of the painfully lonely life of a soldier, living each day with the sole comfort of letters from loved ones. “ I think [the film] has a little more bite to it, and maybe just because the content matter is very relevant right now,” Channing Tatum said. “It’s about what’s happening right now, the 9/11 of it all.”

    The acting is surprisingly well done, too. We go into the theater expecting to see Tatum with the emotional range of a gorilla (his trademark) and Seyfried bouncing around like a blonde ditz, but come out in awe of their ability to embody the gut-wrenching emotions of their counterparts.

    But chemistry is where “Dear John” falls short. For a couple that’s supposedly madly in love, we’re not buying it. They walk hand in hand, canoodle and make out, yet something still feels missing.

    We want to believe these characters are truly in love. Take it from Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling, who dated after filming “The Notebook.” Those two had a full-fledged fire going, whereas Tatum and Seyfried are hopelessly rubbing sticks together. Maybe the fact that both actors have off-screen honey buns pours water on the candle of love, but either way, the film suffers because of it.

    Luckily, Tatum spends enough of the film shirtless and surfing for us to care much.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $0
    $2500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $0
    $2500
    Contributed
    Our Goal