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Erin Collazo Miller

Dear John Book vs. Movie

By February 3, 2010

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Dear JohnNicholas Sparks' books often translate well into movies; however, the 2008 release of Nights in Rodanthe flopped. Will Dear John be better?

The book Dear John is set just before and after 9/11 and involves a separation caused by the war in Iraq. In the book, Sparks did not talk very much about the war or politics. It was a timeless love story.

Planning on seeing the movie? Once you do, leave a comment with how it compares to the book. Is it a better read or do the actors make it come alive?

Warning! Some of the Comments Contain Spoilers.

Cover Photo Courtesy Hachette Book Group


February 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm
(1) marco says:

“NIGHTS IN RODANTHE” was NOT a flop. It was greeted with a mixed critical reception but was a $84 million hit at the boxoffice and made money.

February 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm
(2) stephanie says:

Warning! This Comment Contains Spoilers!

I went and saw Dear John lastnight. I have been waiting to see it for so long, but I was very disapointed. They left so much out of the movie..Tim dies and John and Savannah get back together. Alan is Tims son isntead of brother..It made me so upset, if only Hollywood wouldn’t have messed around they would have had a great movie… the book is amazing movie, not so much

February 6, 2010 at 1:12 pm
(3) Amy says:

I agree with stephanie. I loved the book, and have been waiting for the movie since they announced it long ago. In my opinion, the ending in the book is what separates it from other love stories; however, they completely changed it into a typical Hollywood ending. The movie may have been alright overall, not taking the book into account, but there’s certainly very little to differentiate it from every other predictable love story. They took away the best element.

February 6, 2010 at 1:52 pm
(4) Cathy says:

I have to disagree here. While yes, they can’t fit everything from the book into the movie, I thought it was a quality movie. You still fell in love with the characters. Spark’s shattering ending still came into play. The ending was not predictable, they never got back together. What Hollywood ending is that? Although I do agree that the some details should have been in the movie, what book lovers need to realize is that the book they fell in love with isn’t going to have every single minute detail from the book. I’m not trying to be rude, but maybe next time expect the worst going into a movie and you might come out with joy.

I guess I recommend this movie to more of an audience that hasn’t read the book, but likes other Nicholas Sparks movies instead.

February 6, 2010 at 5:38 pm
(5) amanda says:

I just saw the movie today and I was teary eyed almost the entire movie, there’s just sooo many emotions!! I absolutely fell in love with the movie, and cannot wait to see it again. After the movie I went to Barnes & Noble and purchased the book….I know it will be different and hopefully in some ways better, but having seen the movie first I can’t say it was a bad movie, it was beautiful and I can’t wait to see it again.

February 6, 2010 at 10:12 pm
(6) Kenzie says:

wow. Amanda i so agree with what you said, except i havent yet got the book. i figured that if i saw the movie first i wouldnt be disappointed if it didnt contain some things that were in the book. im really excited to read the book. and even more to buy the movie, cuz its amazing.

February 6, 2010 at 10:28 pm
(7) Sam says:

Please tell me what happens at the end of the book? I just saw the movie and I need to knowww!

February 7, 2010 at 12:58 am
(8) Kelly says:

I was hoping they would change the ending for the movie and was pleased that they did. It is just too sad to have John sell everything to have Savannah live happily ever after while he watches from a far and buys a motorcycle! I guess I am just a sucker for the fairtale ending…even if it isn’t true to life.

February 7, 2010 at 9:56 am
(9) Kelly says:

The movie dear John was horrible they took one of the greatest love stories I have ever read and changed every detail from the type of cancer tim has right down to the origin of the coin collecting I understand in transfer from movie to book things get changed but whoever wrote thus script did they even read the book or just look at the cover? All in all if Channing Tatum wasn’t so hot I would of walked out

February 7, 2010 at 10:21 am
(10) genesis says:

I saw the movie yesturday and i think it was disappointing at the end when savannah and john hugged when they saw each other but in book i think it was better that john didnt realy want to know anything about savanahh he did but at some point he wanted tim to live and be happy with her. They left a few main points but i guess they couldnt fit very much of it in the movie.some points: tim has a autistic brother and in the movies its his son. When john put his father in a home and his father cries because he dosnt want to go. Allen cries and screams when he gets back from the hospital and savanah tries to calm him down and tells him how much he loves tim, john then leaves and goes to the hosiptal to see tim. they left out the moment when savanah wiated for awhile to loose her vigirnty and it was speacial to both of them when she did.I mean you guys can disagree but i think that would of been really interesting not in a distugting way but a romantic way. There are so many more things they left out that would make the movie more interesting but ofcourse i dont think they would fit it all in. But fairly i thought the movie was ok

February 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm
(11) Nichole says:

I just saw the movie lastnight and I was an absolute mess in the end! I have been waiting for this movie to come for so long and Im tempted to ask my boyfriend to take me again. It truely makes you appreciate the one you love. Im reading everyone complain about the book being better, I think we should just appreciate that we fianlly got to see the characters come alive! I think this story is the best love story to come along since The Notebook. This author is amazing and I feel he just commands respect with his talent. Can we please stop complaining about how horrible the movie was and just appreciate a nice curse free, murder free love story?

February 7, 2010 at 4:09 pm
(12) Mayra says:

yeah sorry nichole but no..
the ending was one od the best parts of the book and they totally destroyed it. why do they always have to do this with the best books??? i mean they ruined most of his book that had made em into movies. for example nights in rodanthe.. lik please come on.. stop ruinin the endings!!! sparks has an amazing talent n its been spoiled by hollywood boooo

February 7, 2010 at 7:55 pm
(13) shay says:

I have to say I read the book and fell in love with tDear John and while the movie was good I have to agree they buthchered the ending. I know the movie isn’t going to be exactly like the book and most of the changes in the movie didn’t bother me but having them meet agin in the end and killing Tim just bothered the heck out of me. The rason the book was so good was because it told the story of this beautiful unselfish love and hollywood robbed the movie going auidence of that

February 8, 2010 at 11:04 am
(14) Tabitha says:

I saw the movie yesterday and was left with mixed feelings. Enjoyed Channing Tatum in an array of military uniforms- hah- but really missed so many parts of the book that were completely passed over. I loved in the book that I felt a real connection between Tim and Savannah; I believed that they really did fall in love and I know full well that it is possible to love to people in different ways at the same time…but in the movie that made it seem like she was forced into her marriage and didn’t have any real connection with him. Then (in the book) when John takes the high road, I absolutely loved (thought it was the whole point of the book) that he said that a marriage only works with two people and he bowed out gracefully so that Tim and Savannah could have a life together- wasn’t that the whole point of the book, to show what you would be willing to do for the people you love? Overall, disappointed with the movie:(

February 8, 2010 at 11:19 am
(15) ks says:

I just watched the movie and have never read the book, but was sooo bothered by the fact that Savannah fell in love with someone else…it seemed so unfair to John, he would have never done that to her. I liked the idea that the ending implied that they ended up together, I wish that part would have been even clearer.

But this is completely from the perspective of someone who only watched the movie and hasn’t read the book

February 8, 2010 at 11:36 am
(16) emily says:

I read the book back in december and could not wait for the movie! When I saw the movie I was very disappointed. I mean they did have some of the things in the book there. In the book tim was just her friend that she grew up and john repeatedly said he could tell tim loved savannah but that was never mentioned in the movie. And when they were on the beach savannah had to go back to school, really john was leaving and she already knew (in the book) that she wanted to be a teacher, in the book she gave johnn a book not just mentioning it to him about his dad be autistic. Whenn his dad died in the book john visited before he died and had a nurse and never wrote a letter to him. I could go on and on about the difference. Overall I was pissed and disappointed with the movie don’t get me wrong the picked a damn good john and I did get teary eyed but I don’t know I like the book way better.

February 8, 2010 at 3:22 pm
(17) Erica says:

i just got done reading the book and by far it is one of the best books that i have ever read. i was hoping and praying that they would end up together.. but they didnt. i personally liked the ending of the book because it showed that true love can last forever and you shouldnt let things hold you back from your dreams and what you want to do. john felt the need to fight for his country and keep everybody safe. in the end, that basically tore him and samantha apart. it is a GREAT book and it carries alot of different emotions. it just makes me want to have a “john” someday and love someone as much as they loved each other. GREAT READ!

February 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm
(18) sg says:

From the first scene of the movie, I was already disappointed (but hoping it would get better). The actors, although attractive, did not portray the intriguing characters of John and Savannah. I kept asking myself “What could have made this film better?” and other than casting better actors who are more convincing, I think if John had narrated throughout the movie as he did in the novel, that you would feel a deeper connection with the characters. I know Hollywood was trying to condense this love story to avoid becoming a long, dragged on film, but I think you need to do the novel justice by keeping the intensity and details in tact. I did not like that Tim was Alan’s father – and although I felt that Henry Thomas acted well in this film, I felt this was not the same Tim in the book – charismatic, likeable, peaceful, a leader, and protective. The film’s Tim seemed unhappy, meek, fragile, tired and soft-spoken – obviously because of his storyline.

I was mostly disappointed in the portrayal of Savannah’s character. In the book she’s this smart, compassionate, innocent young woman. In the film, she appeared to be this immature, ditsy, bossy, unsympathetic sorority girl. I HATED her reaction to John telling her his Dad passed on. An example of poor acting – ugh!

Who knows how I’d feel about this film had I not read the novel. I LOVED the novel, and really missed seeing the growing appreciation that John had for his Dad, and wish they had a scene of him asking his Dad how he met his mother. Although the ending was different, I didn’t mind it. In fact, it was similar to how I thought the novel would end.

February 8, 2010 at 6:17 pm
(19) Sarah says:

I thought the movie was good. Channing Tatum did a great job and I love him! I did not like how Tim looked I pictured him very differently. I why did they make Alan his son? I would have liked to have seen John and Savannah’s relationship grow more and progress where in the movie everything happened so fast.I also like how everything came full circle and how John and Savannah got their happily ever after.

February 9, 2010 at 12:23 am
(20) Hopeless Romantic says:

The book, Dear John, is so beautifully written and provided so much more insight into the characters, i.e. their true feelings, their regrets, aspects of the wars, the reasons for their actions, etc., that the movie just doesn’t capture as well. In addition, if you read the book before seeing the movie, you will be disappointed with all the changes made to the story. Unfortunately, the movie does not stay true to the book and the book is flawless and more realistic. The book does not have the same tidy ending as the movie and speaking from experience the ending in the book is more likely than not. I suggest reading the book. You’ll get more out of it….Of course, who can puss the opportunity to see gorgeous visuals of Channing Tanum on the beach or in those camouflage BDUs.

February 9, 2010 at 10:41 am
(21) amanda says:

i want to read the book, the movie was good

February 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm
(22) vanessa:) says:

i was so dissapointed in this movie.
i hated the end.

February 10, 2010 at 10:45 am
(23) dillon says:

Well i love the book but the movie had a sucky ending

February 10, 2010 at 10:47 am
(24) dillon says:

i love the book but i also loved the movie just the end of the movie sucked i wanted a more romantic end

February 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm
(25) Tawny says:

I saw the movie after reading the book. I LOVED THE BOOK!!! I’m married to the military and I can tell you, those men get dumped ALL the time. It is reality. I know men who have been dumped while away fighting for the women they love. Now, the movie was HORRID. They made John out to be Special Forces cause, what, are Special Forces more impressive than just being in the military? Then, she’s a blonde in the movie, but a brunette in the book. What? Can Hollywood not handle the thought of a brunette stealing the heart of an “army grunt” (John’s words, not mine)? And, one of the most emotional parts of the book (the budding relationship between John and his Dad) was completely left out. Part of the beauty of the book is that Savannah gave John back his father. He thanks her at the end for that. Yet, Hollywood reduced the whole “John takes care of his father” scene to NOTHING! I was utterly disgusted. And the ending? Like, hello people, the guy doesn’t ALWAYS get the girl! Have you ALWAYS got what you wanted? That is part of the romance of the novel. How wonderful to see TRUE LOVE, not lustful love. And, in the movie they have Savannah as a bossy b-yatch. I hated her. And, to make it like SHE turned him away (in the scene where she is married and is changing and John sees her). In the book she TURNS TOWARD HIM and he looks away!!! Oh, man, if I keep going on and on I’m gonna have a stroke! Basically, the movis is CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! CRAP!

February 10, 2010 at 7:56 pm
(26) Corinne says:

This director’s (Lasse Hallstrom) commitment to the book that it’s based on is shameful!! Why sign on to do a project and then change the ending just to satisfy consumer groups wanting a happy ending, or at least an allusion to it? Complete sell-out in my opinion. This book read as if it was already a Hollywood and the powers that be really screwed it up? They neglected major relationships in the story between John and his father, Tim and Savannah’s, Alan and Tim. And Seyfried acted this movie like all her other roles…dumb, blonde, and bitchy. And the ending…just horrible. I sat in the theater in a state of shock as that ending unfolded. Are you kidding me? I feel robbed of the true meaning of the book with that feel-good made up end!!

February 11, 2010 at 1:04 pm
(27) Alex says:

I read the book and watched the movie for a podcast I do (review of the book, review of the movie), I can say without hesitation that the movie is better than the book. While the ending was left ambiguous, it was a big improvement on John’s creepy spying-from-the-hillside business, and it made way more sense than the idea that melanoma, a highly survivable cancer on its own, needed an expensive, experimental treatment that worked instantly. The main characters are a bit wooden in the movie, but Sparks wrote them that way. John is somebody who never expresses any emotion except rage in the book. Tatum stuck to that faithfully.

February 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm
(28) Sam says:

After reading the book and then seeing the movie, I was definitely disappointed. They changed so many great aspects of the book for the movie: in the book Allen was Tim’s brother and Tim wasn’t old and was never married. Also, in the book, Tim’s character was better depicted. He was shown as very religious and basically just the nicest guy ever. He came off a bit creepy in some parts of the movie. Also in the book, Savannah talked about Tim more and we were able to understand their great friendship. The relationship of John and his Dad wasn’t really shown that much in the movie, but I guess it would have been too awkward to show his Dad not really speaking etc. Also in the book, Savannah seemed so much more pure, and the movie did not show how much she help sex as sacred. In the book they her and John talked about it before they had sex but in the movie they did not. Also in the book, when John had been on a couple leaves he there was the last leave where he visited Savannah at her apartment when she was finishing up school. In the book, you could tell that the couple was drifting apart and getting into fights because of their jealousy and their hatred for always being apart. In the book, this is also where they first had sex, but unlike the movie, they had sex in the book basically to help save their relationship. I dont think it was as passionate in the book as it was in the movie. Alsooo in the book, John signed up for the Army again when 911 hit and did it without really thinking. He did not have the weekend to think about it because I feel that if he did in the book, he wouldnt have actually gone through with it after speaking to Savannah. In the book, he sort of regretted it and knew that after it was done, his relationship with Savannah was bound to suffer. There were a bunch of other differences, for instance, Savannah already knew she wanted to be a special ed teacher and when she met John’s Dad, she knew that something was off and tried to tell John by giving him a book about autism. She was only trying to help and was scared to even tell John about this. In the movie, she said it so nonchalantly as if John already knew his dad has a problem. Even after this, Tim came to John’s house to speak with him, not the other way around. I think that the movie made Savannah seem mean or selfish, while in the book, it was also John’s fault for Savannah leaving him and he knew that. In the book, he kind of saw that letter coming from Savannah where she broke up with him…in the movie it was so surprising and everyone was so shocked by what Savannah did. I just think that the movie left out/changed soo many parts that would have made it a lot better. The book was BY FAR better and I even saw the movie with people that have never read the book – they were unhappy with it too. Also in the book, when John visited Savannah, he hung out with her for a couple of days while he stayed in a hotel – all throughout this he did not know that she was married to Tim. She finally told John after feeling guilty and told John that Tim wanted to see him. John and Tim talked for a bit and it was understandable that Tim married Savannah – in the book you could tell he felt bad but we already knew that he loved her. Also, John went back for a second time in the book to talk to Tim. In that conversation, Tim basically told John that when he dies, he should have Savannah – John saw Savannah after this (for the last time) and she basically hinted at the same thing…John did not agree and said goodbye for the last time while she cried (kind of like the book) So instead of John being selfish and agreeing to see Savannah again, he knew that what they had was over and though he still loved her, too much had gone on and they were different people than they were before. He gave all the money from the coin collection to Tim to save him and he was saved. The book ends with John viewing Savannah’s life with Tim from afar while he makes a life for himself in the Army. In the end, he knew that he had made mistakes and took Savannah being there for him for granted. He knew he could have had Savannah by not donating his money to Tim but I think he would have felt too guilty – especially because Tim was such a great man. I also didn’t like how the coin story was changed – they did not find that coin from an ice cream man and it wasn’t worth $4,000 dollars. it was just very special because it was a coin that John and his dad tracked down and the coin was worth so much to them because they went on a journey together to get that coin. I just wish the movie showed John and Savannah’s connection more. I definitely recommend the book but the movie was a disappointment.

February 11, 2010 at 8:30 pm
(29) Mara says:

I have not seen the movie but the book was amazing. I wonder why they changed the ending? The book ending sounds more truthful and real.

February 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm
(30) alyson says:

i just finished reading the book and it was fantastic….except the ending i did not like. i really wanted them to en up together. i havent yet seen the novie but i am so happy to hear that that ending is more fairy-tale like and i think i will enjoy that. i was kinda pissed off by the fat that she married tim and they lived on forever in the book. but in the movie im glad that they reunit. (for future referance i also finished reading the last song… ending is nice. and its very good. ) hope this helped you out.:)

February 13, 2010 at 2:42 am
(31) Victoria says:

i just saw the movie tonight and walked out of the theater completely unsatisfied. i have not read the book but i fell inlove with the movie the notebook and when i heard “dear john” was supposed to be better i made myself go see it. What was the point to this story? basically throughout the movie john seems like the perfect american hero that any girl would be lucky to have and this bitch blondey gives him up. and then she marries the old dad?? and yet she still is inlove with john. what a waste of money to watch this movie. however channing tatum was amazing in this, possibly the only reason i didn’t walk out of the theatre

February 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm
(32) trish says:

I bought the book for my daughter for Christmas, she read it and threw it at me when she was done. I read the book and cried and cried….it was depressing that it was not the fairytale, but it was so passionate. A friend went to the movie, told us about it and said how great it was. When we questioned her about some of the parts, she told us that wasn’t in the movie…..so do we want to see the movie, nope….no way…..it will probably piss us off…..

February 14, 2010 at 8:55 pm
(33) Am says:

I hated the fact that Savannah married Tim. I liked John way better.

February 15, 2010 at 1:33 am
(34) Jordan says:

I just saw the movie today, and i completely fell in love with jon … and I know most of you like the book better because it gives a better outlook on real life … but Jon and savannah were meant to be together … and you could tell. In the movie, the actors had such chemistry and sexual attraction and thats what made it great. Plus, they both were very, very good looking. I was teary eyed at the end of the movie, knowing they got back together, and lived a happy life … no it doesnt happen all the time in real life, but it COULD happen!

February 15, 2010 at 9:07 am
(35) Cynthia says:

I don’t know why so many details were left out of the movie. We did not get a feel of how John was before her joined the military. The change in roles to make Tim Allen’s dad rather than brother was strange. I enjoyed the movie but it could have been better.

February 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm
(36) Kris says:

i read the book and then went to see the movie. although i thought the movie was good, i was slightly disappointed that they changed alot of details and the ending. The ending in the book is what kinda made you fall even more in love with john’s character and while i love a happy ending i think that if they had kept true to the books ending, it would have still been a good movie..idk..just my thoughts

February 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm
(37) NaturesSara says:

Its titled “Dear John” for a reason, since when does someone get their “dear john letter” get a happy ending?! bittersweet at the very least! The book really opened the reader to exploring true love: its circumstances, its joys, its addiction, etc. but above all its sacrifices. such a beautiful love story that in such depth is rarely explored. Personally im sick of happy endings. theyre not realistic, and thats the real reason behind the fanbase of this story, it guides you along in admiring this strong connection two people can feel for one another, dispite the past, and the present. the longing will forever be a longing. what happened to “better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all” . . . to love someone so much, you would better their life simply so that they could be happy? its so completely unselfish,so completely beautiful. but, aparently lost love is something only independent films fully explore. and in this economy, lol well i guess thinking about it now, it should have been expected. sad endings dont sell, hopefull ones do. but after reading reviews of the movie, im not wasting my money.

February 16, 2010 at 8:57 pm
(38) Hannah says:

So far I have not read the novel or seen the movie. From my understanding I’ve been told that both are magnificent and I have plans to read the book very soon. As of right now though I am in much need to know who the main characters of the NOVEL are. I would appreciate it if someone could help. Thanks!

February 17, 2010 at 8:28 am
(39) DanEm says:

So far, I’ve only read the book and when there was the part that when Savannah tried to tuck a strand of hair, John saw the wedding ring and on that part, i cried more than I’ve ever cried on some of his books… I’m willing to try and risk my 80 pesos just to watch that movie and even if it has parts that weren’t there or that the original ending has been changed, I know that I will love the movie by it’s own true beauty itself and I won’t think of what hasn’t been shown or what has been changed for me to appreciate it and not try to think of it as a disappointment from the book itself because a book and a movie is totally different.

February 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm
(40) Yankee says:

the movie really bothered me. I like fairy tale happy endings too but with this movie, it was not just the way. John selling all of his father’s coins and donating to Tim and what happens? after like 2 months, tim’s dead in the movie. soo lame and such a waste of money.
Even if John didn’t get her in the end according to the book, he did find out, after talking to Tim, that what true love was all about but they just had to mess up the ending.
i personally wasn’t happy with it. they missed out such great important parts from the book.
the book was so much better.

February 18, 2010 at 12:50 am
(41) Andrea says:

I went to see Dear John tonight. I soon realized that it was MUCH different from the book. I fell in love with the book, especially the growth of “John” throughout the novel, and the relationship with his father. It was irritating that they made it a happy-ending love story, and what I loved so much about the book that it was more “real.” Because he didn’t get the girl in the end. That he watched Savannah and Tim continue their love after the treatments, and they continued life on two different roads…I just think that this time they missed the mark with the movie. I hope this next Nicholas Sparks film is a good one (The last song). But now I am less convinced after seeing how they treated Dear John. They left out the part that sent John back to war, wondering if he really knew who Savannah was, the part where he visits her in college and they have a huge fight. And they underplayed her drinking at the end. We didn’t get the arc of the movie like in Notebook or even Walk to remember…Leaving out things yes, but changing a wonderful story so much, not good…The original ending was better. I think they missed the mark a bit with this one.

February 20, 2010 at 4:40 am
(42) Femiluv says:

I haven’t read the book. I usually hate most romance movies but I love this one, I went with 2 girlfriends who love romance movies and they also loved this one, although they said it wasn’t the usually love story.

If you’re the type who like a “they lived happily ever after” kinda story, you probably won’t like how this one ended, cos there’s a huge question mark at the end.

February 20, 2010 at 4:47 am
(43) Femiluv says:

By the way, lol @ Nights in Rodanthe being a flop. Seriously?!!

February 20, 2010 at 8:32 pm
(44) Ashley says:

I thought the book and movie were both amazing in their own ways. I didn’t go into the theatre expecting everything to be exactly like the book, therefore I wasn’t disappointed. And maybe I’m a little biased because my boyfriend’s in the military, but I loved that they got back together in the end. At the same time, I also loved how in the book they didn’t. I was just happy overall with the book and movie.

February 20, 2010 at 11:01 pm
(45) Brittany says:

The book was absolutely wonderful, but the movie made me so mad. There were so many differences. Tim wasnt supposed to die and allen was supposed to be his little brother not his son, johns dad started collecting coins with his father not john. and ithot in the book the whole one picture of him and his dad was sweet. they shudnt have changed all tht. They definitely shudnt have had them get bac together at the end. it is supposed to end with john sitting on th hill looking down at savannah’s house when she walks out and looks up at the moon and thinks of john,,not they see eachother and hug thts too different;;utterly amazingg book,,and the movie wud be great if ihadnt read the book before.

February 21, 2010 at 10:28 am
(46) Kari says:

so i was extremely disappointed in the movie and i have not read the book. so i just had to come online to see what others were saying who had read the book. i was just hoping people would say the book was better.

what i didn’t like was the savannah/tim marriage. in my opinion that came totally out of left field! they had just had sex for the first time, then he goes back and all of a sudden she stops writing?! i understand that movies have to cut chunks of story out, however, they could have shown some sort of connection between savannah and tim. i agree with a commenter who said the marriage seemed forced. to me, it didn’t fit in with her character at all. yes she was a selfless person, but she was in college, had dreams and the love of her life was coming back to her. she could have cared for tim and his son without marriage. the movie savannah would have never given up on john so easily.

two thirds of the movie was great. then i totally wanted to walk out. i don’t think i’ve ever been so pissed. (probably have)

February 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm
(47) Brittni says:

So I’m in e movie theatre watching it and it just upsetting me. The acting is blah and so
any things are different as the boom readers have pointed out. I know things are different from books and movies but this one is ridiculous. I’m gonna have to read the book and to make me happy. Although, I am watching it wih my roommate and she cried on it! I stop paying attention. I probably shouldn’t have read the boom before the movie but that’s how I do my novels! Granted, I read it last month and I rarely remember little details but I do remember the most important ones. Book readers: if you expect the movie to be great like the book, don’t be too disappointed. Movie watchers: I’m sure if you like chick flicks, you’ll love this one.

February 27, 2010 at 10:36 am
(48) Kerri says:

Don’t get me wrong, I liked the movie, but to me…it was almost as if the book and movie just “resembled” each other rather than it being the same story. I get that they cant put everything in the movie but come on! So many big details were left out or different all together. From the type of cancer Tim had (melanoma vs lymphoma), Alan being his son (but I think that was to reflect on John and his dad’s relationship w/o a mom), the name of the autism camp Savannah ran, Savannah and Tim living in HER parents house and not HIS, never menioned Tims parents dying…which is WHEN Savannah fell in love with him! Aside from Dear John being a fabuous love story between John and Savannah, I also loved the story between John and his dad. In that aspect, I thought the movie did portray that pretty good (those were the scenes I cried the most). I am also a Twilight fan and those movies were so much more “spot on” to the book…so Dear John bummed me out. I am now starting to read “the Last Song” hope they do a better job with portraying that story into a movie :)

February 27, 2010 at 11:39 pm
(49) amelia says:

so i loved the book. and i loved the movie.

newsflash peeps, these are two different things.

i enjoyed both of them. the book was long and beautiful and heartbreaking. the movie was faster, but had a different beauty and love to it on its own. just try to enjoy both as they are. it wasnt a bad movie, and it wasnt a bad book. enjoy what you have here! could you have made a better movie? doubt it, unless you’re an amazing director, which i dont think you are.

March 1, 2010 at 9:14 am
(50) Khadija says:

I watched the movie before i read the book… but when i read the book i couldn get over it… i still cant!!! it just hurt the most when they said goodbye outside the hospital! and when they both looked at the moon in the end i wish that nicholas sparks had atleast given him that in letting her know hes there too… but i guess thats the beauty of it all… he puts u on an emotional roller coaster only to come to the end and be more miserable. and seeing channing tatum cry is jus torture

March 1, 2010 at 7:15 pm
(51) heavenly says:

the book is A LOT better than the movie, in my opinion. though, the book broke my heart with it’s ending, i still loved it. however; i was impressed with the movie even though they left out a lot and also changed most of it. i mean, yeah, you can’t put every detail in the movie that was in the book but still, have a little more resemblance. but you can’t always have it your way, right?

March 6, 2010 at 2:16 am
(52) CMA says:

I read the book first. I was looking forward to seeing this.
It was like watching paint dry. Very tedious and boring.
And…. they made many crucial changes. Blech.

March 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm
(53) Natalie says:

Should I Read the Book – THEN – watching movie… OR Watch the movie – THEN – read book?

March 9, 2010 at 12:23 pm
(54) Rachel says:

I’m only about 15 min. into the movie and I already don’t like it. The book was amazing, but there are so many changes in the movie already that i just got confused. Also in the movie John and Savannah’s characters are really bad actors. I will finish the movie, but I am not a fan. The book was able to convey emotions that the movie never could- I am a Nicholas Sparks fan, not a fan of Hollywood’s interpretation of his work.

March 9, 2010 at 8:00 pm
(55) laura says:

I thought the book dear john was amazingggg!!!! It was such a good love story, and although they never get back together in the book who knows? its what i would have wanted for them.

March 10, 2010 at 6:53 pm
(56) shaa-wow says:

i agree with stephanie! and cathy please just shut up. maybe we get tired of hollywood messing up every book and would like them to finally make a movie similar to the book. they changed a lot of aspects and in the movie they dont fight like in the book and i hated how alan was tims son instead of brother.

March 10, 2010 at 9:47 pm
(57) Jenny says:

Can someone tell me the difference between the book and the movie in dear john? -thanks:)

March 11, 2010 at 7:14 am
(58) t says:

i liked the movie ending !

March 14, 2010 at 1:00 am
(59) Shannon says:

I liked the book and the movie. The book leaves you thinking that Savannah and Tim live happily ever after but if you really think about all the characters in the book were only in their 20′s. Like the book shows time changes everything and everything can change quickly. So in a way the book left a little room for a happy ending for Savannah and John. Sometimes movies expand where books left off if there is room for it. I did like showing them together in the end of the movie. The one thing that I didn’t like was changing Allan to Tim’s son and not brother. Changing that put a different perspective on the characters of Savannah and Tim; at least for me.

March 14, 2010 at 1:00 am
(60) Holly Rose says:

i haven’t read the book, and i am going to now, but the movie was fantastic! i was teary eyed the whole time, but…. I HATED THE ENDING OF THE MOVIE!!
i wanted savanna to jump into johns arms and john tell her how much he loves her, and Savannah to apologize, arrggh so annoying. i hope they make a dear john 2……

March 15, 2010 at 12:20 pm
(61) Anabella says:

The movie by itself may not be such a bad movie. It does capture you and makes you want to root for John and Savannah’s relationship…but, having read the book first, I can’t help but to compare one to the other.

In the book, I fell in love with the characters, with the way they met, their relationship, their struggle, their love for each other…in the movie, I didn’t feel quite like that. They changed too many things in my opinion and left important aspects of the story out.

I like the book’s ending because it is closer to reality than the fairytale ending of the movie where it suggests that Savannah and John end up together. The book’s ending is heart wrenching, it hurts, it feels real!

Either way, I loved the book…the movie was good but it does not compare. I recommend reading the book, great love story!

March 16, 2010 at 7:49 pm
(62) chelsea says:

well i jus finished the book, 2 be honest it was amazing..but it made me really sad at the end they were truly in love they shud have ended up 2gether.if 2 people truly love each other thats all that shud matter an savvanah shud have waited so 2 me her love wasnt as great as his was so hes the one all alone and still in love with her its sad..so iguess i would go wit the movie :( i really cried after the book becuz of the book

March 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm
(63) Angie says:

I loved the movie! Visually putting characters into place, setting, music, its amazing to see what the director did here! I am soooo happy they had a good ending because I was pissed in the book when there wasn’t one. No one likes sacrifice if there isn’t a reward at the end. I am married to a military husband and if we don’t end up together after all I’ve done to stay together I’m going to be pissed. lol

March 24, 2010 at 3:41 pm
(64) Kait says:

the movie was no where as good as the book i mean yea it was a good movie if you never read the book but they messed it up when they tried to make allen tims son instead of his brother it never actually touches why they savannah and tim got together in the first place and that defeats the purpose of the book.. not to mention tim never died and they did make it a hollywood ending!! in the book john said it was best that they never see each other again and it ends with him on the hill watching the moon while he watches savanna from a distance thats what made the book great!!

March 27, 2010 at 6:33 pm
(65) bryn says:

i read dear john the book before the movie, and i personally enjoyed them both. it was disappointing to me when i read the book that they did not end up together, but in the end i was happy with the ending. because john gave the money, tim lived, and he got to see savannah happy, even though it wasn’t with him. but even though they didnt end up together in a marriage sense, they ended up together, always connected by their memories and their infinite love for each other. but no one can deny that it would have been nice for them to be together. that said, i think we can all understand why the ending was changed for the movie. because there are a lot of people who would hear it ended badly, and not go see it. where book lovers would see it either way. so i am happy i got to see it turned around. because what i took from the ending was deeper then it showed. that they met once, fell in love, but got separated. but then, they found each other again unexpectedly, showing that they were unconsciously drawn to each other. but it was also disappointing for me that john sold his fathers coin collection, but tim ended up dying anyway. but in the end i was extremely happy with both. each of them left me happy and in tears, but in completely different ways.

March 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm
(66) Kate says:

I loved the movie, i cried. Me and 3 other friends went and saw it. One being a guy and we all cried even him. I cant wait to read the book(:<3

April 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm
(67) vballchic#3 says:

Okay, so like i just finished the book last night i like balled my eyes out lol it was soooooo good but sooo sad! i love the book and i want to see the movie so bad what happens in the end of the movie do they get back together. omg, i hate savannah because they were perfect togtether and John is FREAKEN HOT and how can she leave him for Tim Ewwwwwww!!! i love Channing Tataum!! anyway i haven’t even seen the movie yet but o well lol i think im going to see it this week do you know when it does out on dvd where like you can get it at the movie store?

April 8, 2010 at 10:57 am
(68) Iftitan says:

I just saw the movie, I never read the book though. In my opinion it was really good, I cried and at the end I was glad they got back together. I appreciated it maybe more than others because even if they didn’t put all the details in I have a big imagination and I noticed their chemistry. I also loved it because it’s very much like my story and the John in the movie is just like my Jon. I loved how emotional it was and I hated when Tim came between them but I understand how stuff like that happens. I went through something similar, if Jon loves her so much he’d forgive her and be with her again. It’s more realistic that a girl that in love with her guy would go with another guy because she felt like she had to and sure it’s true that she could love Tim too but not the same way. I knew exactly every feeling she went through and how it happened and I was still upset. I’m glad he found out why she left him and that he forgave her and at the very end they both ended up together again. Life should be happy and full of hope, not perfect but happy. I could never ever take Jon for granted again and this movie was like learning that lesson all over again.

April 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm
(69) grr says:

the movie was great!

April 12, 2010 at 7:19 pm
(70) Jayme says:

I just saw the movie. I thought it was amazing. I did read the book first and have to agree they left a lot out of the movie. Although they changed things I think it helped them get better ratings. I loved the ending. The book was so sad when the whole book was about the love they had for one another then he just gives her up for Tim. So the ending in the movie was way better when they got together. I am a sucker for romantic fairy tale movies. This had a romantic fairy tale ending and throughout the whole movie. So I loved it.
If you like the romatic fairy tale stuff I recommend seeing this movie.

April 17, 2010 at 10:52 am
(71) Hannah says:

I saw the film last night, and I thought it was beautiful. I really connected with the book, and its another one of Nicholas Sparks love story gems that pulls at the heart strings. I saw this film was coming out, and purchased the book straight away, to read it before I saw the film. I knew the film would differ in some aspects from the book but I was really shocked by the ending of the film in comparison to book ending. I loved the film, don’t get me wrong, and was very tearful throughout, but I felt the film lacked the whole message of the book; which was emphasized by the quote:

“I finally understood what true love meant…love meant that you care for another person’s happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be.”
— Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)

The fact John sold his fathers coin collection and he walked away from Savannah (looking at her from afar), he rejected what Tim had asked him to do; be there for her when he was gone; but instead John gave up his happiness, he gave up the coin collection and the money, and instead he chose for Tim to live, and for Tim to make her happy. I think the film portrayed Savannah a little more passively on Johns return; although in both the book and film it was clear she still loved John, I felt in the book, she showed she genuwinely still loved Tim, hence why John wanted her to be happy, where as in the film, Savannah said ‘she had no choice’ etc.

All in all, I really enjoyed the film, despite the ending, which I loved still for its ‘fairy tale’ essence, but I think the books ending really emphasized the ‘love’ between John and Savannah, and how love means putting that other person before your own happiness!

I’d recommend this to anyone who loves a tearjerker, and amazing soundtrack; Amanda Seyfried has a stunning voice!

April 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm
(72) Seham says:

I read the book and was the first time in a very long time that I cried my eyes out to the point where my tears were falling onto the page. I am the type that loves happy endings. ‘Dear John’ the book has a very great but sad ending when John see’s Savannah head out and watch the moon and re-think about all the memories they had together.
I have to admit, I was kind of angry about the ending of the book. Not because it was a bad ending, but because it made me scream and cry my eyes out. I havn’t seen the film yet although I read some spoilers about the movie and I can’t really put into words how happy I am to have John and Savannah back together.
Many people would disagree with me, I know. But I can’t stand to see Edward and Bella apart, Remeo or Julliet apart and so, it is typicall of me to not be able to see John and Savannah apart.
Sorry, and hope to watch the movie soon. =D

April 25, 2010 at 8:53 pm
(73) laura says:

Normally I hate movies that are made from books, because I tend to be a book worm. I love Sparks’ stories, but I find he does NOT exicute them well. He can’t write (I’m sorry to say that because I really do find he has interesting ideas). That being said, I love the stories once they’ve been turned to movies because it’s like the finished product. That is included with Dear John. I read it a few years ago and watched it recently. I found I truly enjoyed the movie, whereas the book still bothers me. Sure, I don’t agree with everything, I do think Tim should have survived because it did change the movie, but the rest stayed pretty much on par with the book. Allan being Tim’s son still portrays him as truly a sweet and gentle soul, so it was not as big a disaster as it could have been. Therefore, if you like the stories, but don’t enjoy his writing style (like many others) then I suggest you see the movie.

April 29, 2010 at 11:05 pm
(74) carmen says:

I agree with a lot of u this was the first book I had ever read cause I hated reading and I fell n love with this beautiful love story the best ever but why did they change the ending of the movie it made me sad and mad the book left me crying like no other movie ever has and I wanted the same from the movie the movie was good thou I just wished it would of had the same ending as the book now I read all the time because of this love story and this is my favorite thus far

April 30, 2010 at 8:24 am
(75) Kim says:

In all honesty the book was wayy better than the movie, though they kept Savannah’s and John’s love story, they changed wayy too much that didnt need to be changed. I saw the movie in hopes that it would be almost as good as the book but i was left disappointed. WHich im usually not when i read a Nicholas Sparks book and then see the movie, it usually turns out to be really good, his books always bring me to tears and so do the movies, but dear john wouldve have beem so much better if they hadnt changed so much.

May 2, 2010 at 1:38 am
(76) Jaylene says:

I haven’t seen the movie yet but I just finished the book. I really liked the book but I hate how it ended and I really expected everyone to feel the same, I’m surprised that for so many people their favorite part of the book was the less than typical ending. Maybe it’s just because I’m such a naive hopeless romantic but I really thought that in the end Savannah and John should have neded up together! When I read a book I want it to leave me feeling happy not depressed! The end of this book just makes you realize that no matter how much two people love each other they might end up alone and miserable. That’s a terrible take-home message and not at all the feel-good ending I’m usually looking for in a book. I guess maybe its more realistic but I don’t usually like a book to leave me feeling that in the end things don’t always work out for the best and not everything happens to a reason and all that.

May 3, 2010 at 3:18 am
(77) Mim says:

I was really disapointed when i watched the movie, I loved the whole movie until the ending, she was suppose to wait for him to come home. When she married tim, it freaked me out. He looked to old to be his husband even though i really liked Tim. I wished you could of seen savanah and john fall in love again. But overall really cutee movie.

May 13, 2010 at 12:29 pm
(78) Marissa Clark says:

i loved the book & the moviee (:<3

May 20, 2010 at 9:58 am
(79) KP says:

I never seen the movie yet but I have read the book.
I think the ending is so sad, I did not like the book at all.
I think they should have ended up together. It just makes me wonder and it questions all relationships, it gives people no hope to find the love of their life. So I think they staying together would have been better.

May 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm
(80) Umm... says:

I’d just like to point out that Amanda Seyfried DID NOT sing the songs in the movie. She sung for John, ONCE, that’s ONE song she sung on the sound track.

And the movie was good, it was not amazing, but if I hadn’t read the book before hand I would’ve thought the movie was fantastic. The acting was amazing, the story line was amazing, and despite what others thought, the ending was fine itself.
Although, the movie’s characters didn’t compleatly match the descriptions in the book, the ending was different, and they’re were some mix-ups in the scenes, both the book and movie were great.

May 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm
(81) Dina says:

I just read the book, and though I enjoyed it, I wanted everything to be alright in the end, and in this book I had to endure reality. That being said, I looked forward to the movie, and was a bit disappointed because I am a truist. I think if you are going to take a book and make it into a movie get as close as you can, otherwise make a different movie. However, on the DVD they have an alternate ending that makes up for the original ending. Kudos for that! I have never read any of the his other books, but have enjoyed the movies…it makes me want to check those books out as well.

May 26, 2010 at 3:21 pm
(82) Amy says:

Just watched the movie last night, and I think the thing that bothered me the most was the Tim/Allen relationship. And the fact that they made Tim out to be this weirdo old man who Savannah married out of obligation because he was sick. I didn’t feel it at ALL. I pictured Tim to be this really cute, sweet, very friendly guy who you could really tell LOVED her. I didn’t feel that at ALL. The whole reason they ended up falling in love so deeply was because they were bonding over Tim’s parents who died in a car accident. NOT because she decided to marry a man who she already knew had cancer. (Especially when she knew the love of her life still loved her)

In fact, I think they made the Randy storyline seem more like it was going to happen, and I was wondering for half the movie if she’d end up with Randy instead of Tim.

In the book, I truly liked Tim, and I kinda knew it was him when he found out she was married. I was actually really sad that he had cancer and couldn’t imagine what Savannah was going through. WHY didn’t they bring that out in the movie? They just made it look like Savannah was this idiot who married some sick guy who she kinda liked a little, and made it all uncomfortable.

May 27, 2010 at 4:57 am
(83) Debbie says:

I totally agree with the following statement from Victoria February 13, 2010 at 2:42 am

i just saw the movie tonight and walked out of the theater completely unsatisfied. i have not read the book but i fell inlove with the movie the notebook and when i heard “dear john” was supposed to be better i made myself go see it. What was the point to this story? basically throughout the movie john seems like the perfect american hero that any girl would be lucky to have and this bitch blondey gives him up. and then she marries the old dad?? and yet she still is inlove with john. what a waste of money to watch this movie. however channing tatum was amazing in this, possibly the only reason i didn’t walk out of the theatre.

from me:

Channing was gorgeous and made the movie. His acting was great.

People who read the book and are disappointed that the movie was not like book should realize that this happens all the time. Get over it.

May 27, 2010 at 5:10 am
(84) Lynne says:

I was disappointed with the movie. Savannah should have waited for John if she truly loved him. He unselfishly served his country. True love can wait. Women who break up with soldiers serving in war time through the mail are terrible people. Tim was very selfish in the movie. He knew that Savannah loved John. He should have left her alone. He could have been a good friend. Tim preyed on Savannah’s good heart and her relationship with his son. In the movie like the book, John should have moved on.

Channing Tatum’s acting in this movie made the movie. I loved just watching him act. Amanda’s acting was terrible.

This is my opinion. I am glad that I did not read the book. But I would have liked the ending.

May 29, 2010 at 1:54 pm
(85) Heather says:

Wow…first I must say I read like all of these other comments and must agree with most of them that the book was way better, and for some of the comments I must disagree like for instance someone named Alex commented on how Tim’s cancer in the book is so easy to survive..first of all tell that to all the people who have lost someone to that melanoma and by the way google it for some info like how it is the 3rd deadliest cancer out there..so not sure why you would say it is so easy to survive. Personally I liked the fact that the old saying came into play in this movie if you love someone enough sometimes you have to let them go. That’s what John did he let her go and yea he had the opportunity to give the money needed to try and help save Tim so he did…I hated that the movie didn’t show the growing relationship between John and his father like when John was sleeping on the floor in his fathers room to make sure he was ok.. and so what Hollywood endings of happily ever after aren’t always the selling point that is one thing that I love so much about Nicolas Sparks his books don’t all end the same with the hero/main character getting the guy/girl they want. Oh and please someone tell me why they would make Alan Tim’s son.. that took away some of the compassion you felt for Tim.. even some of the compassion that went towards making it ok for Tim to be with Savannah b/c he was young and thrown into taking care of his brother.. over all my fiancee had never read the book and he felt the movie was a dissapointment and then I told him all the differences the book had from the movie and he thought the book version was better too… all I can say is I hope The Last Song by Nicolas Sparks version of the Movie is much more true to the book style than this was

June 1, 2010 at 2:19 am
(86) Brenda says:

First off let me say The Last Song movie was HORRIBLE, the book was amazing! Back to Dear John, this has to be my favorite book/movie combo!!! Movies are never exact to the books, it’s impossible the movies would be way to long! The movie stays fairly close to the book, leaving out bits and pieces…but the book was amazing and the movie was too! Channing and Amanda make an amazing on screen couple! The ending was pretty close to the book they changed it slightly, but the same could have happened after the ending in the book, just because Tim’s death isn’t written into the book doesn’t mean he doesn’t pass shortly after….LOVED BOTH BOOK AND MOVIE!

June 1, 2010 at 12:20 pm
(87) jenna says:


Bottom Line: WATCH THE DVD!! I didn’t read the book and only saw the dvd – but I thought the Dear John was fabulous! I almost didn’t watch it because I read somewhere that they don’t get together in the end…but they do! I heard that in the book they don’t get together, and there is an alternate ending on the dvd where they also don’t get together and I think that may have been the ending to the movie on the big screen, but the ending on the dvd they DO end up together…or it ends with them embracing and you know they will be together as Tim has passed.

June 1, 2010 at 4:38 pm
(88) Rachel says:

I love the movie and book of dear john and the fact that they used an actual autisic child to play the younger Alan

June 6, 2010 at 10:25 pm
(89) Condel says:

The movie was a slap in the face to anyone who has read the novel. It was confusing, it moved very quickly through the story line, and the characters weren’t properly depicted. There were A-list actors in this movie and the director used them very very poorly. The book was absolutely amazing and with great surprises. Two thumbs up for the book and two thumbs down for the movie.

June 13, 2010 at 5:58 pm
(90) Kim says:

This comment is mainly Stephanie. If you want to diss the movie, that is fine, however please get the facts straight. John and Savannah DO NOT get back together at the end of the book. the book leaves you at John selling the coins to helping Tim. There is no result to him selling the coins. But what kind of movie would that be? I was also disapointed that they did not puit parts of the book in (John Visiting Savannah at school etc) but I also think they did a great job in the movie depicting the LOVe between savannah and John. Kudos to both the book and the movie.

June 14, 2010 at 11:00 am
(91) Catherine says:

I thought both the book and the movie were great the movie made me cry like something terrible just because this was sorta like my life me and my ex actually it was like someone recorded our life and then two years later made it into a movie. exsept i didnt get married to someone else. and we didnt get back together but he wanted to go into the marines and he thought i would leave him and blah blah blah yea i love the movie 10 Star lol

June 17, 2010 at 8:01 pm
(92) Sue says:

Loved the movie, hated the ending. Haven’t read the book…yet.

June 21, 2010 at 7:44 pm
(93) Nick says:

Well, I have to say the book was amazing I couldn’t put it down, but the movie was really great. I had a story like that so when u lived through it u can relate more and when I read the book me and john felt a lot of the same feelings. But yeah the movie did leave out a lot of things, but it was good. The ending, I thought was weird that they seen each other at the end, they didn’t have the part when their looking at the moon and john sees savannah outside and he had a bike instead of a harley. But I loved the movie and the book.

June 21, 2010 at 9:21 pm
(94) Hannah says:

I read this book a long time ago and after finishing it I came out of my room with my eyes full of tears, I laughed, cried, and got angry all while reading this book.. Which is why I loved it soo much. I didn’t like the beginning of the movie… All of the conversations seemed forced and the movie moved way to fast. When reading the book I of course hoped that the two would get back together… But i hated the way the movie ended, if they were going to change it they should have made it worth while.. For example showing their wedding day or 6 years later having a baby…. Something! I think i would like this movie more had I not read the book… But it still wouldn’t have been a favorite

June 22, 2010 at 5:43 am
(95) Sam says:

If I were Nicholas Sparks I would be PISSED!!! This movie is just insulting to his immense talent as an author. I know its a daunting task to condense all of the information and character development into a feature length film, but they only gave it a measly hour and a half! Instead of trying to follow the story, they simply borrowed the main themes and warped them to their liking. I can’t even start to list all of the differences and ommisions of the movie because I would probably just become too irrate to finish this message. I don’t want to hear another person on here praising the movie who hasn’t read the book- your ingnorance is embarressing. But anyways thank you hollywood for once again raping an amazing book and exploiting it in order to make a quick buck.

June 27, 2010 at 12:42 pm
(96) Laura says:

Well I just saw the movie for the second time since I first saw it in theatres and after re-reading the book (since I first ready it almost 3 years ago), there are so many differences, I’ve come to terms with the fact that these are basically two completely different stories.

The characters are different, I thought Channing Tatum was amazing – love this guy! He is my celebrity crush! :) Their relationship forms differently, it ends differently and the list goes on.

There are also totally different themes that the movie presents that the book doesn’t and vice versa. All in all, I enjoyed the movie, but as that, a movie. When I re-read the book, I didn’t picture John and Savannah as Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried and Tim as the Tim in the movie, which made it clear to me that although they share the same title, they are two different (although with obvious similarities) stories.

This book has had such an affect on my life as it has made me question how my life would be different if I would have chosen to do x over y, etc… Just my two cents!

July 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm
(97) S says:

There were so many differences. It was dissappointing. The movie would’ve been great if I wouldn’t have read the book first. Dear John is my favorite book ever, so I was disheartened to say the least. The quality of the movie is still good, but I think the one thing they absolutely should’ve left in was when they first said they loved each other.

September 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm
(98) courtney says:

the book was wayyyyyyyy better!

October 1, 2010 at 1:52 am
(99) Juniper says:

The movie was waaaaaayyyyyyyy BETTER. Watching Channing Tatum beats reading a book any day of the week! The man is a freakin’ Adonis! I mean, WOW.

October 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm
(100) ace says:

i thank the Movie is more better then the book just coming from me

October 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm
(101) HolyMoly says:

I just watched the movie…never read the book, but the ending just came out of left field. My hubby and I were wondering if we had FFWDed the DVR or something cos it just seamed to come out of nowhere. It did touch me though, and I did cry my eyes out….and to answer some people’s question about why they made Tim’s brother his son and not his brother, well it was to add to the element of surprise when they end up together, otherwise movie gowers would have seen it coming a mile away. My only Q is, did the other friend really exist in the book? The one John punches first at the party.

October 18, 2010 at 6:56 am
(102) Switnono says:

I read dear John and i was amazed! it was the novel i have ever read… But i’m very disappointed by the changes made in the film

October 20, 2010 at 2:38 pm
(103) Mita says:

I never read the book..but I also disapointed about the ending of the movie. But not because John and Savannah get back together..more because the ending not deep enough for me, not like the rest of the movie.

For those who disapointed with the ending because it’s diffrent from the book, you should buy the dvd, they have the alternate ending scene, and on that scene John just seeing savannah from the distance, watching over the same moon, then walks away. Maybe by watching this ending you liked the movie more cause it’s the same as the book.

I’m going to buy the book now, and hope I wont be disapointed reading John and Savanna didn’t get back together..

October 26, 2010 at 12:58 am
(104) Cynthia says:

The book as well as the movie were amazing. But I have to admit the fact that the book made me more emotional than the movie. Of course not all movies are going to be exactly like the book.

Although, I was rather disappointed with the ending in the book; but that shows you what a great author Nicholas is by not putting a typical hollywood ending.

November 30, 2010 at 11:44 am
(105) Jennifer says:

I was very disappointed in the movie compared to the book. If I was just going to see the movie, it was good. But having read the book, I was very sadly disappointed. Hollywood chose to make changes that were unnecessary.

The point of the book is selfless love. The movie did not get that point across. The book reflects the selfless love that Tim showed John and in return John showed Tim. The movie totally misses the point and therefore totally screws with the beautiful message of the book.

If you go see the movie. Which is a a good movie on its own, do not go into it thinking you will get a movie based on the book, because it is “loosely” based on the book!

January 7, 2011 at 10:34 pm
(106) gigi says:

just saw the movie and must say I was extraordinarily pissed that they didn’t end up together but Nicholas hardly ever fails at that :/

January 9, 2011 at 8:03 am
(107) Jewel says:

can someone please list the years when everything happened, like when he met her, the years he returned home, the year he got the letter, when he went back to his father and in what year the book? thank you

January 11, 2011 at 3:36 am
(108) yo says:

Dear John Alternate Ending!!!


i cried so much!!

February 6, 2011 at 11:37 am
(109) alyson says:

I read Dear John when it was first released in 2006, I have been a fan of Nicholas Sparks novels for a long time and I will say Dear John is my favorite to date. Actually, Dear John is probably my favorite book, period. I, like most of you, was super excited to find out they were turning this book into a movie. I liked the movie a lot, and I was teary-eyed a majority of the movie. His dad’s character touched my heart more than I realized and the whole movie was just a mixture of emotions. However, there were so many aspects of the book that were changed. I understand the concept that you cannot fit all the minute details of a book into a moive but did they have to change the aspects they did show. I was especially upset on how they ruined the moon. In the book the moon story was that you can see a full moon from anywhere in the world, so when John leaves to go back to Germany he tells her anytime you miss me just look up at the moon and we will be together. The whole book they look up athe moon together and at the end, while John is watching her from afar and she goes inside the house with her family, she walks outside and looks at the full moon. That gets me every time and I can’t believe it was so downplayed in the movie.

February 6, 2011 at 11:36 pm
(110) Someone says:

I think at the end of the movie, you can make it up for the rest. Either, they’re great friends, or they get back together. You choose. I’ve never read the book, I doubt I ever will. But, make it as you want it.

February 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm
(111) Sierra♥ says:

I had mixed feelings about the movie. I haven’t read the book, but I just read a walk to remember & it’s next on my list. I, personally, love the fairytale endings & I wasn’t sure if they were back together at the end or what, but at least they were talking. they definitely belong together.♥

February 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm
(112) Molly says:

One advantage to being in one’s seventies we don’t always remember details. I remember reading the book and throwing it across the floor hating the ending. They needed to find their way back together. I loved the changes in the movie and I loved the ending but it was kind of blink and you will miss it brief. The two just had such chemistry throughout the show. I am sure Nicholas Sparks was on the set and approving of the changes. I did not read Nights in Rodanthe but cried through the movie. Would I like the book better?

March 9, 2011 at 11:36 am
(113) Maria says:

I just watched the movie last night and was so disappointed that she fell in love with another man while the man she was so “in love” with was fighting for our country. It made a mockery of love in my opinion. I had just witnessed John and Savannah living only for each other in so many scenes. The way the story played out, she also fell in love with a man who had been her friend for years??? So that his autisic son could be loved and taken care since he had become gravely ill??? All I could think of was that no one must have heard of word “guardianship”.
My heart ached as this was a story of a soldier fighting for our country in the most horrible of surroundings and I am sure all he can do is survive for this one woman that he loves so much, only to receive a letter from her telling him she is engaged to another man. They dressed up her explanation for doing this as pretty as they could, but I thought so little of her after that scene. Very disappointing movie. To me, love is standing by each other and supporting each other and not bailing out.

March 15, 2011 at 7:06 am
(114) lunn says:

i guess it’s one of the best romantic movie i’ve ever seen.

April 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm
(115) jorge says:

I just have to say that, the book touched me a lot more than the movie…some parts, i felt the tears falling down while i was reading…and that endind?? what was that?? that’s why i always prefer the books! anyway, i think it’s good for everyone to see it, to have different prospects, because i see the movie as a supplement to the book…

April 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm
(116) jorge says:

and for those who didn’t read the book, i’ll let here a quote

‎”love meant that you care for another person’s happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be.”

and that’s why, the ending made no sense on the movie! because, what john did for savanah, was the strongest prove of love that could be possible… :)

I <3 Nicholas Sparks, he inspires me everyday of my life eheh

April 8, 2011 at 11:44 am
(117) sjain says:

I saw the movie first and loved it! When I read the book, I couldn’t put it down but after seeing the movie, the ending sucked! I wish they would have gotten together in the end like in the book. I also love fairytale endings in stories so I guess I’m a bit biased there! But nevertheless, the book’s ending was truly beautiful.

April 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm
(118) Audrey says:

i think what makes dear john such a unique and real love story is that in the end, they dont end up together, and the movie didnt include that,. which just ruined it in my opinion. becuase in real life, fairy tale dreams are just as common as the ending to the bookk. i love how john endlessly loves for savannah, and even though he has little money, he gives it to tim to live, so that she can be happy with tim. the movie had no right leaving this tragic ending out!!

April 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm
(119) melissa says:

well, i just saw the movie the last week.. i’d heard great comments of my friends like: ”aw this movie is so good” and things like that, so i have to confess that i already had an idea how the movie it will be.

At the beginning i completely loved John & Savannah, but i felt like the movie was going so fast. However, i really like mostly everything. it was a good story.

I know it was a different unexpected ending but personally, i completely hate it! it pissed me off that John sold his father’s coins collection. I completely love John, the way he was, unselfish and loyal. but i have to admit that i didn’t like the way Savannah was, she could adopt Allan without marry Tim.

Anyways, it was a great movie. makes you cry but i really wanted that the end was a little bit different.

June 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm
(120) Kendra says:

I would like to agree with Melissa.

I’m watching dear john right now again.
And I don’t see how savannah could just break John’s heart.
What really pissed me off was it was with TIM!!!

I think the way the talk through letters is pretty amazing.
They are keeping true love alive! Something that upsets me is
That Savannah Had to Write a dear john letter to john telling him that it’s over and that she had gotten engaged to tim..
Yes i mean tim he does have cancer but i don’t see why you would have to break up with john just to be with a guy that only has so long to live? I’m not trying to dis the movie .. i just think the book was better and that John was terribly hurt by savannah.

Good movie, but i dislike some of the parts..
I’m iffy if i like this movie.. but i just LOVE the book!

June 29, 2011 at 3:42 am
(121) koko says:

saw the movie and don’t feel like reading the book just in case…

July 13, 2011 at 11:06 pm
(122) Carmen says:

Ok, so I’ve seen the movie like a billion times and it’s one of the best love stories movie I’ve ever seen! I lovd it and I cried my eyes out. I got so emotional- I just couldn’t stop cryng. So wonderful job to the producers or that.

I could see the connection between the two clearly and the acting was wonderful. Plus seeing Channing Tatum in a military outfit was just ut of this world! Yummy! LOL

I saw the movie way before I read the book. Yes, they made changes. Yes, the ending is different. Yes, the movie moved a bit fast. Yes, the book describes more things. And yes, they left major things out. BUT, I enjoyed both of them. They are equally great in their own different ways. You can’t really go into a movie theatre expecting to see the exact book come to life. It just doesn’t work that way. So get over it.

For those of you that are complaining about the ending being way different and blah, blah, blah…go buy the DVD and watch the alternative ending. If you want to see John all lonely and looking at Savannah from afar the that’s th best thing to do. I cried while reading it, but, I cried even harder seeing it. It’s heart wrenching seeing it play out on actual screen than just reading it on a piece of paper.

July 20, 2011 at 5:41 am
(123) Cpl D says:

Have not read the book, but recently watched the movie.
At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch it because of the name. When I first joined the army, I received a Dear John letter that reveals either a break up of a girlfriend or reveals a coming clean of a girlfriend that has or is cheating. So maybe you can understand why I was skeptical at watching it at first. As an overall opinion the movie was good, but I will never watch it again. The reason behind this decision is because it was so very close to what happened to me when I went on my second tour to Iraq. I started dating this girl, that has an autistic son, for only about three weeks before I went to do my training for my second tour. With my whole heart I believed that she was the one that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Needless to say she left me and gave me the exact reasons that Savanah gave John. I have been back for two years now and still have those same feelings in my heart for her. She was suppose to get married to a guy this month, but she caught him cheating on her and called off the wedding. She is the one that mentioned that I should watch this movie. She recently told me that her heart right now will not allow her to give us another chance, but she won’t say that she won’t eventually give it another try. You may think this is a good love story, and maybe it is, but as a soldier this movie had me relive one of the worst times of my life. John’s pain shown in the movie doesn’t come close to the pain i felt! Still trying to work those issues out, along with the PTSD that I was given on my first tour. So that is my story why I will not watch this movie again.

August 9, 2011 at 4:48 am
(124) Dj says:

Hey guys. I’m a 16 year old boy. I thought it would be refreshing to hear a guys point of view. I read the book first, as many people have done. I later saw the movie. I believe both are good in there own unique ways. The book was great because the way the characters, scenarios and emotions were eexplained, created vivid images in your head as if you were there with John and Savannah. Also like some have stated it wasn’t the typical love story. The end wasn’t typical and was vereally realistic.
The movie was god because it paired life and visual attributes to back up the emotion. Amanda Seyfreid is also really pretty which added to the WOW factor. The ending was more typical to that of most love stories but was still amazing!

Overall I think it is impossible to say one is better than the other! They were both great in their own regards, and cannot be compared. I hope they release a sequel.

August 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm
(125) Lisa says:

Just got around to seeing this movie. Although it is quite different than the beautifully written book, I felt it was well cast and very effective. It is frustrating when well written stories are changed in the “movie version”, but I felt this movie worked. It’s worth the performance of Richard Jenkins alone as John’s father – and for the loving and sexy chemistry between John and Savannah, well done by Tatum and Seyfried. I enjoyed it for what it was – a good romantic story that proves the road of love is bumpy, even in the movies.

February 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm
(126) Candyce says:

Ok…I just read Dear John and I just bought the movie and I can’t stop watching it. That is of course because Channing Tatum is extremely hot…Hollywood always has to have it their way! Nicholas Sparks is an amazing writer and he is so talented!! Not every ending has to be a fairytale (even though we all like savannah and John more then savannah and tim…) base the movie off of the book!! Don’t keep changing stuff around!! I alSo thought it was gross how savannah married someone who looks like her dad even though tim is so sweet. The movie made it seem like Tim married savannah only because he wanted someone to take care of Alan…however the book really strongly states that Tim feels bad about leaving savannah with Alan all alone if he dies. DEAR JOHN 2 PLEASE!!!!

March 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm
(127) Loni says:

The book, Dear John was the most amazing love story I’ve ever read. After I finished it I couldn’t stop crying. What John did for Savannah and Tim showed how much he truly cared for her. It showed his selflessness and I just wanted to go into the book and tell him to turn around and walk up to her on the porch. I wished I could tell Savannah how much John loved her and that he was the one who help save Tim. There is so much one can learn from John, that is John from the book.
The movie, Dear John didn’t show the love they had…it skipped some important scenes (like the ones when he went to visit her at college), it also changed some important parts, like why is Tim so old in the movie- it made it more unbelievable that Savannah actually loved him. And the worst part of the movie was the ending…in the book you know they didn’t end up together but in the movie it was kind of like do they don’t they? I think they did but it wasn’t 100% clean.
Bottom Line: Book is amazing!!!!!!!!! Movie is alright, not great.

April 21, 2012 at 3:05 am
(128) Claudia says:

For me dear John is one of THE best movies i have ever seen, then i saw On THE internet that in THE book its goth ŕ different ending,i was curious and tried to look it up, i was horrified with what i saw, in THE book they never see eachother again and you thinking thats great? I like THE end of THE movie better, dough it is still not THE ending it should be, Tim should recover and then savannah could leave him,as she has always lover John more then amything, Tim could meet another woman and she and John could be happy! I know not all can end welli, i like ŕ little drama in ŕ movie and i like THE unselfishness of THE ending of THE book, but who Will do such ŕ thing, truetype lovers should be together, if not then and people arround them Will only be Sad,thats vert. Horrible,and not THE purpose of live. If we do not all live for an ending like John and savanah then wHat do we live for?

April 29, 2012 at 10:39 am
(129) Sara says:

WTH people! Yeah I get that the point of the book was that John wannted savannah to b happy more than he wanted to b with savannah. But still they show that in the movie by having him sell his dad’s coin collection! Then Tim dies which I don’t like that he dies but still savannah and John are meant to b together no matter what! And yes I do agree with you guys that they left out details of the book that should have been in the movie like savannah being a sweet southern belle that wanted to keep her virginity but eventually giving it to John because she loved him so much. And I also hated the actor they had play savannah she is supposed to b a sweet charming brunette not an ugly blond(no offense to blondes she’s not ugly because she’s blond she’s just ugly and happens to have blond hair). So I guess you can say that I have conflicting emotions about the movie overall but I liked how they changed the ending because savannah and John were meant to b together!!! And that’s that!!!

June 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm
(130) jenny says:

this book is amazing!

February 12, 2013 at 2:12 am
(131) xyz says:

actually the movie has alternate ending. buy the blu-ray copy of the movie then you’ll see the special features includes the alternate ending

March 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm
(132) rooge says:

Im glad they stayed together, in the movie

August 23, 2013 at 5:35 pm
(133) Joy says:

I love the movie the because I was so broken hearted with the way the book ended. Maybe its better for them to be together. It is still my best book.

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