Dear John

This shameless tearjerker is Hollywood's alternative assault on Super Bowl weekend. Translation: While guys grunt and stuff their faces in front of large-screen TVs, women will line up to luxuriate in a bubble bath made from essence of Nicholas Sparks. You know who Sparks is, the guy who writes bestselling weepies that become appalling movies, such as The NotebookMessage in a Bottle and Nights in Rodanthe. The newest Sparks is Dear John, about soldier John (Channing Tatum), on leave from Special Forces to visit his hermit, coin-collecting dad (Richard Jenkins) in South Carolina.

Peter Travers reviews Dear John in his weekly video podcast, "At the Movies With Peter Travers."

Of course John meets a girl, she's Savannah and played by the lovely Amanda Seyfried. To say John and Savannah fall in love would be a spoiler only for people for have never been to the movies. Seyfried always makes the movies she's in better, including Mamma Mia. But I'd prefer a second dose of Abba music attacking my eardrums to watching Dear John, which indecently exploits 9/11 and throws in autism and canver for unscrupulous measure. Lasse Hallström directed What's Eating Gilbert Grape, My Life As a Dog, The Cider House Rules, The Hoax and other movies that would suggest he was hogtied and threatened to participate in Dear John. Perhaps the answer is as simple as a paycheck. In that case, he's made us all suffer. As for the ladies who think any kind of chick flick is preferable to football, be careful what you wish for.

Get more news, reviews and interviews from Peter Travers on The Travers Take.

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