Alee’s Analysis: A clichéd but heartfelt story of love found and love lost.
Dear John is a 2010 romantic drama centered around the long-distance relationship of Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried) and John Tyree (Channing Tatum). The movie is based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, Dear John.
Savannah and John meet by chance one spring day and quickly fall in love. Their whirlwind romance takes place over two weeks and they’re convinced that they’ve found a life partner. Despite knowing that they will soon be separated, they decide to pursue a relationship. But when time and distance comes between them they realize that relationships may be easy to begin but difficult to maintain.
Savannah and John come from separate worlds and are as different as can be, which causes attraction and tension in their relationship. Savannah is the wholesome, empathic, goody two-shoes student who arrives in North Carolina on spring break to help build homes for families in need. There she meets John, a rebellious, seemingly dispassionate U.S. Army sergeant who is finally finding direction in life.
Savannah studies psychology and her ever-present curiosity about people causes issues with John who would rather keep his life private. However, John feels comfortable enough to invite Savannah to his home, where she meets his father.
John admits to Savannah that he and his father have a strained relationship. He has a hard time understanding his reclusive, socially awkward and routine-obsessed father. Savannah hopes to help the father and son understand each other. After spending some time with him, Savannah offers her diagnosis: John’s father has a mild form of autism (Asperger’s Syndrome).
Instead of being happy to finally understand, John is angered by Savannah’s examination of his father and their relationship meets one bump in the road. Luckily, they reconcile before John is to leave.
Love Can’t Survive the Distance
After their brief affair, Savannah and John return to their regularly scheduled lives: her to college and he to the battlefield. But they promise that they will continue their relationship through John’s enlistment and Savannah’s college years. They do this by writing letters back and forth.
But John ends up spending more time away than he prepared for, and over the next two years they find their relationship dwindling. Neither really understands why things have changed and initially blame each other for the demise of their relationship.
…Or Can It?
John remains in the Army after their relationship ends, even after being shot; he doesn’t feel like he has anything to go home to. When he finally returns to the United States, after a total of seven years, he goes to see Savannah but retains his anger at her for the relationship break-up.
What he doesn’t know is that, after all this time, Savannah still loves him and never forgot about him. When they finally tell each other their true feelings, it is up to them to decide to pursue their love again. The ending, like most parts of this movie, is as predictable as can be but somehow manages to pull your heart strings.