[Screen It]

 

"DEAR JOHN"
(2010) (Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Mild Extreme Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor Minor None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Extreme Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: An Army Special Forces sergeant and a college student try to carry on a long distance relationship both before and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
PLOT:
John Tyree (CHANNING TATUM) is a sergeant in the Army Special Forces who's on leave and thus staying with his dad (RICHARD JENKINS) at their South Carolina home. The two don't have much to talk about -- what with John not knowing how to deal with his father's social interaction issues and obsessive fixation on collecting coins -- and thus the soldier spends much of his time surfing. It's at the beach that he meets Savannah Curtis (AMANDA SEYFRIED), a pretty college girl who's home on spring break.

After John rescues her bag when it falls into the ocean -- much to the chagrin of Randy (SCOTT PORTER) who obviously likes her -- the two are instantly smitten and quickly become a romantic item over the next two weeks. She ends up becoming attached to his dad, while he takes a liking to her longtime friend, Tim (HENRY THOMAS), and his young, autistic son, Alan (BRAEDEN REED).

When John returns overseas to serve under the command of Captain Stone (KEITH ROBINSON) and Savannah heads back to school, the two agree to keep in constant contact via handwritten letters. Yet, as time passes and an unexpected development shakes the nation and world, the two must contend with growing apart and the possibility that keeping their long distance relationship going might be harder than they imagined.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into weepy romantic dramas, are fans of movie adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels and/or anyone in the cast, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some sensuality and violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CHANNING TATUM plays a sergeant in the Army Special Forces who ends up meeting and immediately falling for Savannah while back home on leave. Although he's mostly tamed his quick temper issues, they still occasionally arise, but his relationship with his dad, while still not perfect, is at least better than in his teen years. He uses a little profanity, briefly drinks, has sex with Savannah, and has a hard time with them being apart.
  • AMANDA SEYFRIED plays a college student and charity volunteer who falls for John when he rescues her bag from the ocean. She eventually has sex with him and tries to keep their relationship afloat from a long distance via handwritten letters, all while taking a platonic liking to his dad and that man's ways.
  • RICHARD JENKINS plays John's dad who's awkward and uncomfortable in social situations and related interaction, and thus retreats into his world of coin collecting.
  • HENRY THOMAS plays Savannah's longtime friend, a dad who's raising his young autistic son by himself in the absence of his wife and the boy's mother. He briefly drinks.
  • BRAEDEN REED plays his young, autistic son.
  • SCOTT PORTER plays a guy who likes Savannah but isn't happy that she likes John. Accordingly, he behaves somewhat sarcastically toward him and thus briefly feels the wrathful consequences. He briefly drinks.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 2 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered, as is brief, non-explicit sexually related dialogue. There's a partially seen sexual encounter, along with other making out. Part of a young woman's bare breast is seen as she changes clothes, and she's also seen in a bikini bottom in another scene, while a male surfer is seen shirtless, and some poster pin-ups are seen in an army barracks.

    Violence includes some brief overseas wartime material including gunfire and at least one injury (with a mild amount of bloody results), while there's also a brief bit of one man hitting several people stateside. Tense family material is present, as are various thematic elements. There's some drinking, brief smoking, bad attitudes, and a bit of potentially imitative behavior.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some camera movement showing surfing, and later in a moving car and then a flying helicopter.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • When John politely declines Savannah's offer to join them for dinner, she says at least she can give him a beer for the walk home. We then see him with one at her barbeque, while others there also have beer, including Randy who says he's going off to get one.
  • People drink beer and wine at a restaurant (with some beer being consumed outside it on the sidewalk).
  • John playfully comments on Savannah, saying, "You don't drink" (she says "nope"), "You don't smoke" ("nope") and "You probably don't sleep around" ("absolutely not").
  • Savannah asks about a scar on John's head, with him saying it was from a knife fight when he was really drunk.
  • A person has a beer at the beach.
  • Seeing that John is upset, Randy says he should have a beer and tosses him one, but John throws it aside.
  • People drink at a social gathering, including Tim, where Randy says that John looks like he could use a drink, and then brings him some bourbon.
  • Savannah and John have wine with dinner. He asks about her now drinking, and she says that Tim got her started several years ago.
  • Miscellaneous people have wine.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear voice-over narration from John as he lies wounded after being shot in combat (not seen here, but there's a little blood on his neck, while we briefly hear some machine gun fire in the distance).
  • Tim has a black eye after John strikes him there (thinking it was someone else coming at him from behind).
  • We see two healed bullet hole wounds in John's back.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Jealous of Savannah obviously liking John, Randy makes playful fun of the latter being a soldier, thus coming off as somewhat of a jerk.
  • A local isn't happy to see John back in town.
  • About dealing with Alan, John announces she wants to get involved in helping autistic kids, adding that she thinks Mr. Tyree probably has a slight form of that. John is mad about that, angrily asks if she thinks his dad is "retarded" and then storms off. When Randy offers him a beer, John throws it aside, followed by hitting him, a second guy, and then elbowing Tim when he comes from behind to try to intervene. Rather than apologize, John just storms off (but later feels badly about Tim's resultant black eye).
  • We see a flashback to a coin collector trying to cheat Mr. Tyree and young John out of a valuable coin.
  • In a flashback, teen John drinks directly from a milk carton, but then angrily tells his dad to get a "freakin'" refrigerator that works.
  • Savannah is mad at John when he states he plans on re-upping for another two years in the Army.
  • After not writing for two months, Savannah dumps John via a letter (that states she fell for someone else and is now engaged).
  • An unidentified gunman shoots at John and another soldier in a failed attempt to kill them in a foreign city (although John is wounded).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may be unsettling and/or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • We see students on Savannah's campus in shock, followed by John -- in a foreign country -- making his way to a TV where he sees news footage of one of the World Trade Center towers collapsing after the 9/11 attacks.
  • Mr. Tyree has a social interaction based panic attack in the back of Savannah's car as she and John drive him to a party at her parents' place.
  • John and another soldier slowly walk through a ruined town, guns at the ready. A sudden shot hits the other guy (but he's okay due to armor plating he's wearing). John returns machine gun fire, but is then shot twice himself, followed by other soldiers returning fire at those gunmen up above them.
  • We hear that a minor character has stage 4 lymphoma and see that he looks quite ill (the scene isn't inherently frightening, but those facing cancer might be unsettled by it).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Whenever John and his squad mates are seen on patrol and/or in combat areas, they carry machine guns or the like. They end up using them in a brief gun battle (detailed in "Violence").
  • Savannah asks about a scar on John's head, with him saying it was from a knife fight when he was really drunk.
  • We see one explosion on the ground during combat, and then a building exploding behind John (he's okay).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Ah sh*t," "I speak all kinds of sh*t," "Dude," "What the hell are you doing here?" "What's up, girls?" (said to guys), "I'll be damned," "Get a freakin' fridge that works," "Are you nuts?" "I don't have any freakin' idea," "You lucky son of a bitch," "The hell with it," "I guess you want to kick my ass, huh?" and "A hell of a plan."
  • After Savannah's bag falls into the ocean, John jumps off a high pier down into the water to retrieve it for her.
  • In a flashback, teen John drinks directly from a milk carton, but then angrily tells his dad to get a "freakin'" refrigerator that works.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • John and another soldier slowly walk through a ruined town, guns at the ready. A sudden shot hits the other guy (but he's okay due to armor plating he's wearing).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "s" words, 3 hells, 1 ass, 1 damn, 1 S.O.B., 2 uses of "Jesus" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "Oh Jesus" and "Swear to God."
  • Savannah says her vice is cursing in her head, but won't give John any example of that.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • John is seen shirtless every time he surfs (in several scenes), while another shirtless guy is seen on a pier.
  • Savannah wears a somewhat sheer top over her bikini that allows partial views of that swimwear.
  • Savannah shows a little cleavage.
  • John playfully comments on Savannah, saying, "You don't drink" (she says "nope"), "You don't smoke" ("nope") and "You probably don't sleep around" ("absolutely not").
  • John and Savannah passionately kiss while clothed and slightly sheltered from rain. He then ends up sitting on the floor with her straddling his lap (both still clothed).
  • We see Savannah learning how to surf in a wet-suit type top and a regular bikini bottom.
  • John and Savannah playfully kiss and wrestle on his bed and then elsewhere, with Mr. Tyree looking awkward in another room while hearing her playful screams and giggles.
  • A poster on a background wall in an army barracks shows a young woman in a bikini, while another (also in the background of the shot) later shows a woman with her arm across her otherwise bare chest, thus blocking a view of anything explicit.
  • John and Savannah passionately kiss in a barn and start to undress each other while standing. We then see him shirtless, her in her bra, then him on top, with her topless as well, but the placement of her arms and the camera angle block any view of her bare breasts. We then see a torso and up view of them, with him nuzzling her neck, etc. as they apparently have sex.
  • We briefly/partially see Savannah topless when she changes shirts after spilling something on herself. During that, we briefly see a partial bare breast view (nothing explicit) as does John, but nothing happens.
  • SMOKING
  • A miscellaneous character is briefly seen smoking.
  • John playfully comments on Savannah, saying, "You don't drink" (she says "nope"), "You don't smoke" ("nope") and "You probably don't sleep around" ("absolutely not").
  • Savannah's dad carries a cigar at a social gathering.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • On several occasions, Tim states his absent wife is on "vacation." In one scene, John comments on his own experience as a kid growing up waiting for his mom to come home, and that she never did after 15 years.
  • In a flashback, teen John drinks directly from a milk carton, but then angrily tells his dad to get a "freakin'" refrigerator that works. This stems from John not being happy about his dad not being "normal" and obsessed with coins. We then hear John state that after that (and John no longer doing the coin thing with him) there wasn't much for them to talk about.
  • John gets bad news about his dad, and then finds he had a stroke and is now hospitalized.
  • John reads a heartfelt letter aloud to his dad that he earlier penned for him.
  • We see a young man alone in a church following his father's funeral (the casket is still there).
  • We hear that a woman's husband has died (from cancer).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The Special Forces division of the U.S. Army.
  • Trying to maintain long-distance relationships.
  • The 9/11 terrorist attacks and how that affected those serving in the military at the time.
  • Autism and its varying degrees of severity.
  • Cancer.
  • Coin collecting.
  • Mr. Tyree has a social interaction based panic attack in the back of Savannah's car as she and John drive him to a party at her parents' place.
  • Keeping in touch with others via mailed, handwritten letters.
  • The comment that time eventually runs out for everyone.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We hear voice-over narration from John as he lies wounded after being shot in combat (not seen here, but there's a little blood on his neck, while we briefly hear some machine gun fire in the distance).
  • John slightly burns his foot when he accidentally steps on a campfire.
  • Seeing that John is upset, Randy says he should have a beer and tosses him one, but John throws it aside. Randy then keeps at him, with John slapping away his hand, followed by punching him and then another guy. When Tim comes up from behind to intervene, John instinctively reacts and elbows him in the face, later leaving him with a black eye.
  • We see students on Savannah's campus in shock, followed by John -- in a foreign country -- making his way to a TV where he sees news footage of one of the World Trade Center towers collapsing after the unseen 9/11 attacks.
  • John and another soldier slowly walk through a ruined town, guns at the ready. A sudden shot hits the other guy (but he's okay due to armor plating he's wearing). John returns machine gun fire, but is then shot twice himself, followed by other soldiers returning fire at those gunmen up above them.
  • We see one explosion on the ground during combat, and then a building exploding behind John (he's okay).



  • Reviewed January 28, 2010 / Posted February 5, 2010

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Darkest Hour] [Just Getting Started] [The Shape of Water]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.