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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Dear John'
(Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2010 / Sony Pictures)

Overview: A former small-town golden boy (Matt Long) and his new girlfriend (Jessica Stroup) come back to visit his hometown and discover his high school sweetheart (Mischa Barton) has developed an unhealthy obsession with him. His ex-girlfriend’s desperation slowly but surely becomes apparent, and all hell breaks loose as she does everything it takes to get him back.

DVD: 'Dear John' is (as you might infer) a movie about a young man in the military who finds his way home for a couple of weeks, falls in love and then gets dumped via the US postal service. He is a surfer dude, with a rock hard body and a quiet reserved demeanor. Channing Tatum plays the lead role and while I don't know too much about him, his acting was less than stellar. While all the women in the audience were watching with their mouths wide open and a little drool forming or their lips, he didn't do much more than grunt his way through his lines. I think he might want to stick to modeling. His acting was nothing more than a few guttural slurs that were almost indecipherable.

While he drags the movie down, Amanda Seyfried and Richard Jenkins did their best to elevate it to a lofty level. The army brat (Channing), who apparently had a violent past, finds love in Amanda's character and with Richard Jenkins doing an amazingly fantastic job as Channing's father; the three spend two weeks getting to know each other. Richard Jenkins is at his very best playing the father who suffers in silence from autism. One catches on quickly with the constant references to meatloaf every Saturday and Lasagna every Sunday, without fail.

As you might expect, John (Channing Tatum) heads back to his day job and Savannah (Amanda) heads back to school stretching their romance to thousands of miles. It starts out well with letters exchanging hands but eventually it gets too difficult for Savannah to handle. After the planes did their damage in New York City John decided to re-enlist for another stint and what was supposed to be a 12 month separation begins to stretch into years. There is a reason the movie is called 'Dear John.'

The movie is filled with several sad scenes, struggles with handling the autism aspect and injects "true love' into the mix. While it wasn't a bad movie it definitely was lacking something. In my opinion it would be extremely difficult having much of a connection with a man (Channing Tatum) who can't manage much more than looking good with his shirt off. Whoever was in charge of the cast should be slapped on the wrist. I change of actor in the lead male role would have done wonders with the chemistry.

Still, if you want a date movie this would be a fine one to pick. All of the women would overlook bad acting for a cut six pack and you do get to see plenty of Channing topless. Richard Jenkins deserves an Oscar nomination in my opinion for carrying so much of the emotional load of this movie as a supporting character. I did not realize he was so gifted, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing him in this character.

Overall, not bad but could have been much better. It will have you crying, if you are a woman, or possibly and feminine male as I continue to be called from time to time. I didn't cry for the record so get off my back. {CP] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Deleted and Alternate Scenes
Alternate Ending
A Conversation with Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried and Lasse Hallstrom
Transforming Charleston
Military in Movies: Dear John's Military Advisors
Mr. Tyree, The Mule, and Benny Dietz
The Story of Braeden Reed