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 Notebook, Message 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.
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.