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Why Dear John Made Me Feel Every Emotion Under The Sun (AKA You Need To Watch It)

Warning: I spoil the entire movie.


As an avid lover of romance movies and the cliche happy ending that has been in almost every movie (at least, when seen by the naked eye), I thought that Dear John would be no different. As I dove farther into the movie, the more layers of the onion of emotion began to peel away at me. The overplayed theme that love will overcome an obstacle, and that if you truly love something let it free, bothered me so grossly in this two hour long film that when I woke up the next morning, I was still clouded with annoyed thoughts about the movie. 

But was it the fact that I was actually upset over the film, or was it the fact that even though it got to it’s expected ending, it took much more obstacles and losses than I wanted to see? I apologize, but if your boyfriend is in the army and takes time out of his stressful day to write you a heartfelt love letter and you don’t respond…. You’re horrible. No exceptions. Whether Savannah wanted to break up with him or not, she should have told him that, not make John wait for months without letters before finally telling him no more. If she loved him truly, she would have waited for him, not run to Tim because he asked for her help and marry him blah, blah, blah. Another thing. Poor Mr. Tyree. Why on earth would John treat him like that if he obviously wasn’t ‘normal’ as John stated MULTIPLE times throughout the movie? Why didn’t he ask for help or forgive his father for his disabilities? Because in reality, he had only good intentions.

Besides that, let’s reverse back to Tim. In the beginning of the movie he threatened (term used loosely) that if he ever hurt Savannah he would beat John up. He did hurt him just like he promised he would, except much later in the movie when he stole Savannah away from John and asked her to marry him while they all knew her feelings for John were clear. How selfish can someone be to pop the question to a woman who works well with his son, but is actually in love with another man, but was guilted by the engagement Tim sprung on her?

Aside from the raging anger I have for some of the characters in the novel-turned romance movie, I was incredibly sad. Throughout the stages of the film, I found myself crying over the smallest occurrences that seemed irrelevant to the main plot. And yet, in a way, without those small pieces building, I wouldn’t have been able to hysterically cry at the end of the film when John Tyree’s father invariably dies after collapsing alone because John wasn’t there to save him. It stung and shocked me to my very core, because guilt, one of the harshest of emotions, cuts deep like a knife and truly resonated within me. Nicholas Sparks, the author of the original book and story, tends to hit home in every novel he writes; his goal and main path of success: tragedy and tears.

I should have seen it coming, because there was just no way Savannah and John could find and love each other so fast in the beginning of the movie. When I first watched it, I thought it wasn’t possible that love could be that easy, no matter how true I wish that could be. But, as love does conquer all, both characters end up together after many years apart. Although each emotion washed over me like a strong wave at the beach knocking me on my rear, I thought it wasn’t something to skip over the next time you look for a Netflix movie to binge. If you want to feel ~all the feels~ then Dear John is what you’re looking for.


Erin is a junior at The College of New Jersey; she majors in Communications and is minoring in professional writing. Erin is currently HCTCNJ's Editor in Chief. When she's not writing, Erin runs on TCNJ's track team; she loves to read, dance around, and spend time with her friends.
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