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Review: Dear John

Gonads and strife
By SHAULA CLARK  |  February 5, 2010
1.0 1.0 Stars

This torturous, Lasse Hallström–directed adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel drags us through the saga of John (Channing Tatum), an angsty Green Beret who falls for the angelic Savannah (Amanda Seyfried). They may be separated — he's at war, she's at school — but they keep their simpering romance alive via endless volleys of passionate letters, until long-distance-relationship drama up and wrecks everything. Sound scintillating? Oh, it's not.

At one point, John announces: "We're sitting here . . . and we're talking, but nobody's actually saying anything." Why, John, I thought you'd never notice.

That said, at least we get a few howlers amid all the gushy verbal pabulum. My favorite comes in the opening scene, where our hero compares himself to a coin whose "ridges have been rimmed and beveled." Ugh. Still, unintentional comedy alone is not enough to stem the tide of tedium here, and by the 60-minute mark, you'll be more than ready to stamp Dear John "Return to sender."

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