Movie “Dear John”, directed by Swede Lasse Hallstr?m, opens strongly in its first week

Film review in The New York Times

Film review in The New York Times

“DEAR JOHN,” a movie about young love, opened on Friday, February 5, in theaters nationwide. It is directed by the well-known Swedish film director Lasse Hallstr?m. The movie received lukewarm response in the media, but was a hit at the box office, with revenues this weekend of $32.4 million. It even came out ahead of the much talked about movie “Avator,” which grossed only $23.6 million.

“DEAR JOHN” is based on a best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks about a soldier and his sweatheart back home. Young actors Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried play the lead roles in this romantic story that takes place in the shadow of 9/11. The traditional ingredients in Mr. Sparks’s novels are love, illness and death.

THE NEW YORK TIMES’ critic A.O. Scott writes in his film review that “He (Sparks) is a master of the feel-good weepie, a form of mass-market deep-tissue massage.”

A.O. SCOTT says, “In the hands of director Lasse Hallstr?m…this story of interrupted passion takes on a ripe, summery glow.”

MR. SCOTT adds, “Mr. Hallstr?m and the screenwriter, Jamie Linden, are careful to respect the vague, whispery tones of Mr. Sparks’s writing (They do, however, change the book’s ending in a way that both deepens and blunts its impact.)”

DIRECTOR Hallstr?m is married to the award-winning Swedish actress Lena Olin. The couple lives outside New York.

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