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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Dear John (Das Leuchten der Stille)

Starts May 6

Dear Lasse Hallström, With so many stories waiting to be told, why did you direct this one? Having just re-watched Chocolate (and not forgetting What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Cider House Rules, and An Unfinished Life), I am perplexed. I have not read Nicholas Sparks’ novel, but Jamie Linden’s screenplay is callow and monotonous. Wrapping the story in the American flag, (guy) loyalty, self-sacrificing denial, and tears, it is too long and painfully predictable.

Channing Tatum’s wooden performance as John is counterbalanced by Amanda Seyfried’s affected depiction of Savannah, whether her relentless effervescence or her couple of dramatic scenes. Their timing in delivery is repeatedly out of sync, and since they are ubiquitous throughout, the supporting cast of Richard Jenkins, Henry Thomas, Scott Porter, et al does little to rescue Dear John.

Honestly said, the film is, (unashamedly, Mr. Hallström?) kitsch! Even your production team (cinematographer, editor, music) delivers lackluster results. Speaking on behalf of your audiences, we can only hope your future endeavors are better.

Most sincerely reviewed, Marinell H.

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