Scrolling Headlines:

UMass football can’t overcome four third quarter Mississippi State touchdowns, fall 47-35 Saturday -

September 24, 2016

UMass football’s fourth quarter comeback attempt falls short against Mississippi State Saturday -

September 24, 2016

Cyr: Despite improvement, UMass football still can’t capture first marquee FBS win -

September 24, 2016

MassPIRG kicks off for the fall semester -

September 22, 2016

UMass Resistance Studies Initiative hosts activist and author George Lakey -

September 22, 2016

UMass field hockey readies for tough tests against Stanford, Boston College -

September 22, 2016

Calling the shots: everything you need to know about the flu vaccine -

September 22, 2016

UMass assistant Professor speaks about oppression of American Indians -

September 22, 2016

Astronomy department head hosting sundial and sky-watching event -

September 22, 2016

UMass football looks to pull off upset against Mississippi State Saturday -

September 22, 2016

Cyr: Comis? Ford? Here’s how I would handle the UMass quarterback situation this weekend against Mississippi State -

September 22, 2016

An unofficial presidential debate drinking game for the unruly masses -

September 22, 2016

Stop sweating the small stuff -

September 22, 2016

In defense of being uncomfortable -

September 22, 2016

Please go to sleep -

September 22, 2016

VIDEO – ‘Life in the Dollhouse: Wes Anderson and the Dollhouse Aesthetic’ -

September 22, 2016

Student struck by car near UMass’ Mullins Center -

September 21, 2016

President Anthony Vitale and Vice President Nick Rampone anticipate productive year at SGA -

September 21, 2016

Symposium hosts discussion on safety for journalism students -

September 21, 2016

Andrew Ford, Ross Comis still battling for UMass football’s starting QB position -

September 21, 2016

‘Dear John’: Even the beautiful cast can’t save you

Valentine’s Day came a week early this year, as swooning girls everywhere brought their significant others to see Lasse Hallstrom’s “Dear John.” With yet another sappy Nicholas Sparks adaptation, bright and shining Amanda Seyfried and a shirtless Channing Tatum, what’s not to love?

A whole lot, in fact. “Dear John” begins with Tatum (“Step Up,” “She’s the Man”) flinging himself off a pier in South Carolina to save Savannah’s (Seyfried) purse. This show of youthful bravado wins the college girl over and romance ensues.

A continuing theme of the movie, what follows next is very rushed. Within two weeks, coinciding with her spring break, the pair manages to fall deeply in love. Viewers are able to find out a bit more about the main characters such as his reputation as a bad boy, how protective her friends are over her and how he was raised. They even meet each others families.

Enter Richard Jenkins as Mr. Tyree, John’s father. Jenkins, an actor whose resume is full of supporting roles (“Step Brothers,” “Cheaper By the Dozen”), really shines in his role in “Dear John.” He excels in playing an emotionally devoid, potentially autistic father trying to hold on to the best memories he has, those of his son as a young boy. Scenes showing his kinship with Savannah follow, creating a sweet undertone.

That sweetness goes right out the window when John must return to his tour. Again, the plot is rushed as the audience sees the pair’s relationship attempt to withstand the obstacle of distance through the mail. The turning point in the movie is prominent: 9/11.

As the nation suffers through a devastating attack, not much of this emotion is shown on screen. What is presented, however, is Savannah’s hesitancy to continue with the relationship as John decides to reenlist. This is one of the only times where Tatum actually shows emotion, and he does it well.

What’s a girl to do? Move on with her life at college, or remain loyal to a guy who will be gone indefinitely? Savannah has an important choice to make – someone will suffer either way.

While Savannah sticks by John in the beginning and makes her final decision, “Dear John” is peppered with beautiful cinematography. Many scenes in the film could easily fit in with a Travel Channel program focusing on the Carolinas. Although the romance is obviously the focus of the movie, cinematographer Terry Stacey was able to ensure that the setting would not just become a backdrop.

Though Tatum seems to be stiff through out most of the movie, the romance is obviously there between his and Seyfried’s characters. While the two week-long romance between Savannah and John is unbelievable, had the producers (or author) chosen to stretch it out a little longer, the film itself would have been a lot better.

“Dear John” is far from an Oscar nominated movie. That said, it is not a terrible film. It is the sort of movie one would watch on a rainy day spent with a boyfriend or girlfriend if nothing else is on, and no one would be disappointed. But for all the hype and love for the book, the movie just did not measure up. The fast pace mixed with the choppy dialogue led to an overall mediocre film.

Kate MacDonald can be reached at kaitlynm@student.umass.edu.

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