Dear John
PG-13
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +2 1/2

Main actors: Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried , Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), Henry Thomas. Director: Lasse Halstrom

FILM SYNOPSIS: Green Beret John Tyree (Channing Tatum) returns to his home in South Carolina between tours just as the college kids are celebrating spring break . He meets co-ed Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried) on the beach and they fall in love. John changes his plans to stay in the Army and promises to return at the end of his current tour. Then 9-11 happens, and John writes Savannah he cannot leave the military as promised. Will Savannah wait for John? Teenagers and young adults looking for a romantic movie on Valentine’s Day will find Dear John , based on Nicholas Spark’s novel, a good choice. Those looking for action, conflict and real drama might nod off occasionally.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Both John and Savannah are caring, responsible young adults. He suffers serious injuries saving a buddy’s life during a terrorist attack in Afghanistan. She volunteers for Habit for Humanity and helps her single-dad neighbor Tim (Henry Thomas) with his autistic son. While John is overseas, Savannah checks on his elderly father, who lives alone.

One of the most touching aspects of Dear John is John’s relationship with his father, played by Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins. The two cannot express their feelings, even when John ships out on a very dangerous assignment. Savannah immediately sees the love between them and tries to mend the void between the father and son.

It is refreshing to see wholesome characters who do not base their mutual attraction on sex. Even though John and Savannah demonstrate strong affection for each other, sex is implied only once – the night before he ships out. John shows a bit of a temper when some of Savannah’s friends resent his monopolizing her attention. Some exchange of insults lead to bloody noses. The brief but serious attack on John while on active duty is fairly graphic.

The exclamatory use of “Jesus” is heard twice and the s-word once, none of which added anything to the story’s appeal or believability. The college crowd drinking beer did not include any drunkenness, nor was there any smoking or drug use, which is pretty remarkable since spring break usually has a lot of all those elements.

Along with 21 chapters that guide you safely through the maze of Hollywood mediocrity and the spiritually unrewarding, MOVIES: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE REALLY, REALLY BAD by Phil Boatwright offers countless references to films, plus spotlights on classics and soon to be classics. It’s a useful tool for parents and concerned moviegoers, one you’ll find yourself coming back to over and over.

“Thoughtful and thought-provoking, his work could very well become the standard for historical reference.” - Will Hall, Vice President for News Services, Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee and Executive Editor Baptist Press.

To purchase a signed copy, click on the Preview home pagepromo.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Screen Gems

Summary
Crude Language: None noted.
Obscene Language: One s-word
Profanity: Use of “Jesus” twice
Violence: Some fisticuffs between guys at beach gathering; soldier seriously injured in attack by terrorist.
Sexual Intercourse: Couple in passionate embraces; no onscreen sex or nudity but implied once
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Some beer drinking; no smoking or drugs
Other: None
Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Young adults

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