It is an incredibly hot and humid Charleston evening – the temperature is around 77 degrees and it's November – and we're climbing onto a set of a modern fairy tale. That's a high description for a dive seafood restaurant (and it is a dive), and even with the glimmering sunset and sea view, there's no way it would earn that kind of flowery description without the help of Nicholas Sparks. Luckily, he's the fairy godfather making lush romance out of Bowen's Island, where Sony has graciously invited Cinematical to the set of the latest Sparks romance, Dear John.

Directed by Lasse Hallstrom, Dear John centers around a young soldier named John Tyree (played by Channing Tatum), a young rebel with a rocky relationship with his father, who is played by the superb Richard Jenkins. He joins the Army to straighten himself out, and becomes a member of the Special Forces. One summer, while on leave, he meets the charming Savannah Lynn Curtis (Amanda Seyfried). Being a Sparks story, it's naturally love at first sight, but the lovers are separated by unhappy circumstance – in this case, it's 9/11, and John has to decide where his duty lies. "The book is very much about John and Savannah's love to each other, but it's also very clearly a love triangle of sorts. It's really a love rectangle – it's the story of John and his love for Savannah, and John and his relationship with his father, and John and his duty to his country," says producer Marty Bowen.