In the world of romantic novels and their film adaptations, it's hard not to know the name of Nicholas Sparks. The best-selling author has a knack for enduring romance, kisses in the rain and North Carolina shorelines, and Hollywood tends to translate his tearjerkers with an effortless emphasis on those most swoon-worthy moments ... which means that certain cynics rarely take well to his particular brand of saccharine whether it's on the page or the screen.

As luck would have it, Dear John isn't nearly as saccharine or heavy-handed as any movie about autism, cancer and a love divided by duty inherently threatens to be. In fact, in director Lasse Hallstrom's hands, the material comes off with some measure of grace and restraint, as do the performances of Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, and it's all enough to have even us certain cynics rooting for their eventual reunion.
categories Reviews, Cinematical