"Exactly the type of film that should go straight to DVD...or better still not be made in the first place"

Dear oh dear oh dear (John). Whose bright idea was this then? Oh, it was yours, Mr Nicholas Sparks! At least the Notebook had guts, why did you have to go and ruin it all with this smaltzy smaltzyness?

There is nothing I liked about this film. No, hang on, that's not entirely true. The leading man and lady, Mr Channing Tatum (what a name!) and Miss Amanda Seyfried were lovely to look at. As was their idyllic life by the sea. Very pleasant indeed. Such a shame, however, that the pair only had about four facial expressions between them; Tatum can do hunky loner and distracted soldier perfectly, while Seyfried clearly took lessons in how to dilate those pupils to express surprise/sadness/love/I need a wee…she can also smile. Bravo guys, amazing! Still, like I said, very nice to look at.

So then, this is a story of John and Savannah, two impossible lovers from the coast of South Carolina, who from the moment when he rescues her life (well, actually her bag that contains her “life”) are smitten as kittens and absolutely determined not to let anything come between them; not war, not sick parents, not even sick neighbors. Absolutely thrilling.

Of course there are more complications (it wouldn’t be Sparks otherwise, would it). Savannah comes from the golden side of the tracks, while John…well, I suppose his side is bronze. Not dirty coal, but definitely much less shiny. And to top it all off his father may be autistic – we assume this mainly because he has a deep interest in collecting coins and likes to have lasagna on a Sunday. But while for John this has equated to his father not loving him, Super-Savannah spots it straight away and shares her diagnosis with John.

Big heartbreaking arguments follow, then a predictable make-up full of passion and the like and, whatdaya know, Savannah is going to open up a special centre for autistic kids to be healed by horses. Just for the record, I think this is a great idea, I’m just not so keen on exploiting disabilities of any kind purely to give a film a sentimental edge – or, as in this case, add to the sentimental mountain. 

Somewhere amongst all this John has to go back to fight and so the first year of their relationship is conducted by pen and paper. Eventually it all goes a bit wrong, then a bit right and so forth until it finally, thankfully, ends.

A deep exploration of love this is not. Nor is it particularly entertaining. The US Army propaganda is obvious. But, despite myself, the tears definitely flowed.